"Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn't have explained anything... I don't think any word can explain a man's life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a... piece in a jigsaw puzzle... a missing piece." (Citizen Kane, 1941)
When I look at my life, it's a partially solved puzzle. The more I live and experience, the more missing puzzle pieces I find and piece together. But the real question is, what will the picture be once it's completed? Will it be something immaculate in beauty or horrendous and hard to look at? This all depends on the decisions I make day by day.
Little over a half a year ago, I put away my shot glasses, started actually saving money and revamped my harebrained lifestyle. As some might say, I learned how to "adult". I am still unsure if I'm doing it correctly, but I'm not living in a van down by the river yet. So I must being doing something right - knock on wood.
After I graduated high school with just a slight interest in English and politics, I decided to major in journalism at North Dakota State University. There, I joined a sorority, found a wonderful group of friends, went to nearly every football game and flourished in my social life. But, as we all know, your social life is not the important part of college. Although NDSU is a fantastic school, academically I found no interest. After sending a drunk email to one of my professors, it was the little spark (as dull as it may have been) that got my alcohol soaked brain running again.
My sister, Katherine, had moved to Orlando and was attending Full Sail University for computer animation. Anytime I spoke to her, she raved about it. The teachers, the classes, the people! If she could marry the bloody school, she probably would of.
Gaining interest, I began my research. Digital Art and Design, Recording Arts, Show Production, Entertainment Business are a few of the unique programs offered. They all sounded interesting, but the only that truly struck me was film. I have always had a curiosity for the business. Like... Who decided Pixels was a good idea for a movie? Why don't sparks come out of my wand when I say Expectopatronum? (You can't judge me for trying.) And how in the hell did they find such realistic looking body parts for Dead Presidents?
The moment I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life creating films, was when I watched My Life as a Hollywood Assistant Director. It was motivating, enlightening, challenging and overall an eye opening watch. I realized I didn't want some boring desk job. I didn't want to be the cliche of a lawyer or doctor. I wanted something unique, something I'd have to really fight to shine in. Nowadays, awards are handed out like pamphlets. You get a pat on the back for breathing. The reality is that achievements don't come in forms of instant gratification or happy face stickers. Achievements are things that you spend years working towards. You can't wake up and smell the roses until you've dug in the dirt, planted the seeds, tended to it each day with care and held enormous amounts of patience. Even once you have that rose garden, you can't let it simply sit. To be the best you can be, you must give the best you can everyday in every situation.
Kids these days fail to realize that what you go to school for is what you'll be doing the rest of your life. Key part of that being REST OF YOUR LIFE. Teachers, parents and almost every adult will tell you to go the route that will secure you a job. Be that accountant. Be that teacher. Sure, those jobs are important, but what I'm saying is if you aren't passionate for that career path, let someone else do it. If you want to be something that people deem as unwise or absolutely insane, in the words of our colorful friend Mr. Shia LaBeouf - don't let your dreams be dreams. Just do it.
I wasn't going to let myself be subject to society and it's ways of frightening people into 'safe' jobs. If you don't fall down from your mistakes, you'll never learn how to get back up and stand taller. When I grow old with my house full of cats, I want to be able to say that I truly did something with my life. I don't need a shiny sports car, a 4-story mansion or a building dedicated in my name to prove to the world that I'm incredibly awesome. If anything, that makes me look incredibly ridiculous if I haven't accomplished anything worthwhile.
When it comes down to it, the only person you need to prove anything to is yourself. We have grown up trying to impress those around us only to be crushed and belittled because we try to do things that others will like, not things we will like. Being yourself these days is insanely hard, and we only are making it harder when we allow ourselves to fall into the cookie cutter ways. The day you learn to say "I don't care" and actually mean it is the day you start living.
On February 1st of 2015, I chose a new path for myself. I jumped off the road that society laid out for me and started making my own choices. No, it's not going to be easy. Roadblocks, failures and mistakes are without a doubt destined to occur. But that end goal - that's what matters. Be amazing to yourself first and people will begin to see it too.
Six months later, I'm still overwhelming happy with the decisions I made, and I cannot wait to see where I will be in the future.
Later in life, when I have completed life's puzzle, I won't have to hope that the picture displayed will be something truly significant and purposeful. I will already know, because I created it.