Don’t be afraid. 

The unknown is a terrifying thing. Being in your twenties is even worse. Having to figure out what path you want to follow for the rest of your life, having to plan your rebuttal or acceptance of every twist and turn that path throws at you, is an absurd thing to put on someone who hasn’t even lived a third of their life yet. 

It’s crazy to think the world depends on young people taking over the missing places in the job world that older people have moved up and out of. How are we supposed to know what we are doing? This whole sink or swim strategy doesn’t seem very promising. 

Being in, well actually only beginning my twenties, I’ve suddenly made a very important realization that I feel like nobody believes: you don’t have to do one thing for the rest of your life. Actually, you really shouldn’t do just one thing. That’s not a life well-lived. When people told you as a child that you can do anything you set your mind to, they were not lying to you. 

In high school, all I ever heard was how badly people wanted to leave Pittsburgh, that is has nothing for them. Now, I’ve seen, experienced, and become a part of a huge creative and cultural scene that resembles one of any other big city like New York or Chicago, just downsized. The young people, and older as well, in this city have turned it around to being a hub of art, culture, food, music, and intellect. I’ve never been so proud to be from such an incredible place that homes people who empower each other and support any and all endeavors that the community tries to tackle. It’s inspiring to say the very least. 

Going into my junior year of college, I’ve hit the point where I’m unsure if film is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have honestly no idea what’s in store for me with it, and I’ve lost the admiration I had my first year with it. But I’m gonna finish it in hopes that I find it’s something I should do. However, I’ve learned that I have an affinity for food and restaurants. The “foodie” community is one that fascinates and entertains me. The booming ideas for restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, and bars have been slowly and successfully convincing me to perhaps look a little more into becoming a larger part of it all. I mean, it would be beyond awesome to move somewhere and open my own place. I’d have more fun building a social space accompanied by great food and drinks where people can come and learn about the same community that I have been spending the last year or so learning about myself. I want to be a driving force of it all. But I don’t want to do it here. 

I love Pittsburgh and all of its glory and it will forever be home. But once school is over, it’s unlikely I’ll be around for very long. It’s become a philosophy of mine that to fully experience what the world and life has to offer you, you must move far from your home for at least a year. That experience will teach you more than you could ever learn being comfortable in the place you’ve always been. Travel, see places, get out of your comfort zone. Life is an adventure and you’re doing it a great injustice by not adventuring yourself. 

My father and his family are moving to Colorado in two weeks and now that it’s hit me, I’ve been thinking a lot. It’s bittersweet, but the bright side is that life is giving me an opportunity to do what I’ve always dreamed of doing. With them being my connection out west, I have a legitimate reason to travel now. I can stop making excuses as to why I can’t just pick up and go. Next summer I plan to road trip cross country. I’ve been all talk saying how badly I’ve wanted to do this, and I realize that I just have to make it happen. And by God, I’m gonna do it. Stop making excuses. 

There is no reason you can’t be the person you want to be. There’s no reason you can’t live how you want to live. Start a new hobby, go to a restaurant alone and people watch, take a night drive to somewhere you’ve never been, camp, hike, see the world, LIVE. Make yourself happy because life is way too short to be anything but. 

As Shia LaBeouf said (way better than Nike), just do it. 

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