Keep Moving Forward

Sammy, Eric, and Eddie walking downtown.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long.  We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney.

Many of my friends are juniors and seniors in college.  Those who aren’t in college are juniors and seniors in high school.  There are some others who are already out of college and I am finding that we’re all at a loss right now.  Some of us have loose assurances:   I have a job, I’m going to college, I’m getting married.  We lean on the cornerstones in our life and depend on them to hold us through all the rest.  But we don’t have a lot going for us, my generation.  Those cornerstones aren’t going to last forever.

It’s a terrible thing to do, but I purposefully keep myself ignorant of the things going on in the world; especially things going on in the United States.  Okay, I read up on the earthquake in Haiti a few months ago, and I’ve been keeping an eye on the Icelandic volcanoes, but other than that?  I rarely check the news.  I do it on purpose, because I know that the economy is faltering.  It never goes up… it drops, stabilizes a little, and then drops again.  That means I’m going to have a heck of a time making a living.  Getting married.  All of that will be nearly impossible.  If nothing else, it’s going to be really hard.

I’m not supposed to think about those things, though.  It makes me depressed, and then I talk to others about it, and it discourages them, and in the end, nobody is happy.  I’m trying to think more positively.  I keep telling myself that all those things I want?  Guess what?  Want isn’t need.  I don’t need them.  And if I don’t buy them, I will have more money for things that I do, in fact, need.  Lately, that hasn’t kept me from buying them.  I’m absolutely incorrigible like that.  But I think I can do better, and in fact, I have to.  How many pairs of pants does a person need, after all?  That sort of thing.

There really are a million ways to cut corners financially.  But I am one of the lucky ones.  You see, I actually have a job.  It’s got no promises attached, but it’s a job, and that’s more than a lot of people can say.  I have a friend who’s getting married in a year, and he doesn’t have a job.  I don’t want to tell him this, but chances are he’s not going to find one.  And if he does, it won’t be a stable job.  He’s a really nice guy, sweet, a hard-worker… but it’s a dog-eat-dog world, and the only people hiring don’t want nice.  Nice is an accessory.  They’re looking for vicious.  I’m not vicious.  I’m lucky I got a job before they started looking for that as a trait.

As a junior in college, I don’t know where I’m going next.  I’ll keep working my job, I suppose.  Start paying off my college loans (yeah, those will be fun).  Even with college loans, I’m lucky.  I don’t even begin to have loans in the quantities that some people have, so I’ll be struggling a little less.  I’ll almost definitely get a second job.  I’d love to go to grad school and get a Masters, but who could afford that?  Besides, I’m looking at Brown University.  It’s an Ivy League school- talk about expensive!  So I’ll have to deal.  Especially since what I want to get my Masters in is entertainment-related.  Uses for a Masters in Creative Arts and Writing isn’t particularly helpful, and Brown is in Rhode Island, so I’d have to live over there.

But you know what?  Despite the worries of the world, I’m going to keep moving forward.  I am an artist, and nobody can stop that.  Nobody can change that in me.  I take photographs, because I want to remember what that moment looked like, not because I’m trying to sell them.  I paint so I can see what my emotions look like on canvas.  I write because I have so many stories to tell.  I act because I know so many characters, I want to give them all justice.  I smile because I am happy, and I smile because it makes me happy.  And nobody and nothing can take that away from me.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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