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Journal 11/2/2021

I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about how ENCOURAGED we are, as a society, to give up on our dreams.

It’s so stinking sad, honestly. The way we are told as little children to dream big, to chas eour dreams, to work hard and it will all come to us- and then as we get older, and we hang on to those dreams, we’re labelled as having our “head in the clouds”, as silly, as unrealistic. Scraping by as a starving artist JUST TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO CREATE is looked down on by most. Some of the most successful creators I’ve ever met quit their jobs, quit college, did all of those things that society tells us are necessary… and they absolutely thrived. Their families told them “we’re not helping, see ya in three months when you run out of money”. Their friends told them they were crazy. But those people knew that following their dream and creating was farrrrr more important than anything else.

I’ve been introduced to a handful of new people this week, and so many of them have this common story: I gave up on my dreams of being a musician, a writer, a professor, a painter, an athlete to walk to road that guaranteed stability.

Which…. I do understand. If you want that life that we are told we should want, of kids and a white picket fence and feeding capitalism’s never ending stomach, we have to think about stability. We have to think about how to provide a life for our partner and spouse, and most everyone wants that life to be better than the one THEY had. So it makes all the logical sense that you want that stable road.

But as Van Gogh said, a paved road is comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow. Where is the fulfillment, in giving everything up to work forty hours a week, prioritize a corporation over your family and have the money to go places and do things, but not the freedom nor the energy?

When did we start believing that the point of life, that the epitome of our existence, is to work so hard for a company who does not give a flying shit about us as individuals that we sacrifice the only life we get (that we know of) for the HONOR of being paid $22/hr plus benefits?

I’ve started a new job recently, where I am not my own boss but where I am making actual money. And that’s where a lot of this is coming from- the amount of freedom and energy that I am giving up to work a job that not only drains me physically but drains my soul… it’s not okay. I will work hard, okay? That’s not the problem, as long as it’s something I love doing, something I believe in, something that’s WORTH IT. Worth the life force that I lose by putting in that work.

There is so much we lose by spending our lives focused on these things, giving up on our dreams, chasing money before chasing passion. Where did this come from?? Where did love and passion and creativity GO!? Why is it not celebrated today, the way it was even a hundred years ago. I’m just so sad and so lost at why it’s been made so difficult. Do you see how detrimental this can be? Does the world not see all that we’re losing??

Adam told me a few days ago that he can’t wait for me to find my career. To find a job that’s more than just a job. I said Adam- I want that to be creating, podcasting, painting. And listen y’all, Adam is the most supportive boyfriend I could've asked for. He buys me things for my projects, he believes in me, he tries to help. But he said Alanna, painting and drinking wine is NOT a career. First of all, this is something I wish I had KNOWN he thought three years ago, before I got so invested!!!!! Kidding. But here’s the real thing: I said Adam, why NOT!? You can find happiness there, you can make money there (if that’s what you’re worried about). Don’t think Adam is a villain here, because he’s not. He is the logic to my chaos- the Hades to my Persephone in a lot of ways (I like to romanticize their relationship, it’s one of the least toxic in Greek mythos in my humble opinion). Nerd alert, I know.

Anyway, back to the point: Adam is logical. He wants that stability to be able to do whatever we want, to be able to go out for drinks or order anything off the menu or book a flight to somewhere new. And I want those things too!!!! But I also want the freedom to chase my passions, to love life and not be exhausted by it, to be stable and also to be happy.

Why does it seem to have become a choice between the two? Why can't it be both?

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