In a world filled with facades, filters and only our “best” angles, I long for originality. In my recent efforts to appeal to a larger audience and share my work, I’ve experienced a betrayal to myself. To be honest, I hate social media; I have a strong dislike for a large percentage of the population and I don’t think I’m photogenic. However, before I started writing this, I spent over four hours preparing selfies, Instagram posts and contacting potential collaborators: literally everything I just said I hated. On a Saturday, no less. So, why? Why would I do things I hate and then apply to a job by complaining about it? Well, the answer is simple: I love to write.
Whether I am writing about something I love or something I hate, the passion remains the same because as long as I see my words flowing onto a page, I’m happy. I’m afraid of heights, but I would love to go skydiving and write about it. Tigers are my favorite animal and I want to visit the GG Conservation (a.k.a the reverse zoo) in South Africa. Even though 47 Meters Down petrified me, I would dive with the sharks in a second! So the answer to the original question of what I would do with my life is what I’m doing right now: be a writer. In almost 30 years, that answer has not changed. I do what I hate because it means I can bring awareness and do what I love. Therefore, if I have to pretend like I like people and I have the confidence to put my work out there, I can continue to share my thoughts and experiences.
As for where I would live, that answer is different today than ten years ago. I used to love the city. New York has been my home for a very long time. However, as I age, I long for tranquility. I am turning into an old grumpy woman, far quicker than I care to. If it were up to me, I would live in solitude. Perhaps somewhere in the woods, where I can see the leaves on the trees change with the seasons close-up. A nice warm cabin somewhere that when it snows, it really snows. I would venture out every so often to try a new crazy adventure, like bungee jumping or motor crossing. Money wouldn’t be an issue because I’d get paid buckets of money for doing everything I enjoy and writing about it. I wouldn’t have to worry about bills or how to pay for the next adventure. My family would be taken care of beyond their needs and most of all, I wouldn’t have to take any pictures other than the beautiful scenery that would surround me.
In the end, isn’t that the American Dream? To work without really working? To enjoy what we do and our lives? To support ourselves and our families? My overall goal is to be true to myself. I keep that in sight and remind myself of just that when I feel like I’m wavering. At the end of the tunnel vision, the light shines on my cabin in the snowy woods that awaits me. However, for the time being, I’m going to have to settle for Instagram captions and blog post headlines.