Yep, not need to adjust your computer or phone screen, you read that correctly.
At 24 years old, I, Aley Arion, still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up."
I remember back when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, I was gifted a sketching pad from one of my parents. I would spend hours in a corner just filling it out with drawing of clothes, draping my stick figure models. Dresses here, pants suites there, I just knew one day I would become a world-renowned designer like the ones I watched on the Style Channel every morning before school.
(*Like* this you used to watch the Style Channel lol)
But tragedy hit when my older sister got a hold of one of my drawings and in a effort to rescue my masterpiece from her grip, the picture ripped in half.
I was crushed. Devastated.
And that was the day I abandoned my dreams of becoming a fashion designer.
In retrospect, my sister's antics were probably some type of divine intervention to get me off a course of becoming a fashion school dropout because to this day, my drawing skills are far from Picasso. In fact, they suck. Sure, maybe with a little more practice I could have improved over the years, but who's to really say? Even my love for fashion has wavered in recent years as I've learned more about the industry. I did a lot of small styling projects back in college and claimed to be a "fashion blogger" for a while. But nothing stuck. The only common denominator in all my premature career ventures was creative production & storytelling: the act of turning nothing into something. Birthing an original idea from the spark of a neuron in my brain and bringing it to life for the world to digest. Searching through someone's life and the events of it to find a story worth telling.
I've done this through my blog. My writing. My videos. Interviews. And still I ask myself: what am I?
Did you know that back in college, I was a Biology major with a concentration in Chemistry my entire freshman year? I wanted to be a neuropsychologist because of my fascination with human behavior and our relationship with the brain's function…. and it didn't hurt that it paid a lot.
But maybe I was on to something…
In essence, the human brain is our source of creativity. It's where all of our deepest thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams lie. It stores memories of heartbreak, love, and childhood pains. And is home for the information we've developed over the years from pre-school to the informal classrooms of adulthood. It's where every great business plan and venture was and will be conceived. All right there, in our head.
If you think about it, we can really be anything; even if it doesn't have a name yet. Especially right now with the recent boom in social media influencers and "creatives." No on really has one job or specific title for that matter. Gone are the days where we must be confined to the conventional "doctor," "lawyer," "dentist," response when Aunt Pookie asks, "So… what do you do exactly?" Heck, even the jobs that many of our peers hold didn't even exist when our parents were our age (social media coordinator, what?).
Now, you can tell Aunt Pookie with confidence that you are a photographer and refer her to your Instagram page for proof. You can share with your cousins that you are a creative and how you dabble into a number of projects because your creativity can not be contained to just one thing.
Or you can simply say, "I don't know yet. Just wait and see."
And leave it at that.
Whether you're 19, 24, or even 34, what's wrong with putting your hand into things that make you happy & pay the bills until your find the "glass slipper" to your career path. If you don't have an answer to the dreaded "What are your plans/What do you do?" question, you don't own anyone a response.
"I don't know," is a complete sentence.
Before you go: Do you feel rushed to know what you want to be when you "grow up." Do you feel like you've figured it out? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, I'd love to hear!
Peace, peace, peace,