I feel behind and uncertain of my journey all the time, but somehow I still manage to make a way...
Back during the summer of 2013 I came across this dope cropped hoodie online.
I loved the look of it, real sporty and kinda fly, all me. I eyed it up until nearly the end of that summer when it, unfortunately, became completely sold out. Of course I was devastated, but in order to get what I wanted, I was still willing to ‘make a way out of no way.' So, in my usual fashion--no pun intended--I scoured the internet for a similar hoodie. I finally found the one and decided I would just crop it to get the look I wanted, but it ran at $56. These were leisure funds I clearly did not have at the time. Being the broke recent college grad I was, I sat on it.
Later that same summer I visited my old high school teacher and friend in NYC for the first time. During my last few days there I was determined to thrift a men’s hoodie that I could crop to save myself the energy and money I stressed over before. Low and behold, I got this dope vintage UC Berkeley sweatshirt and made it into what I wanted--the results turned out even better than I even anticipated, as you can see.
I have always been someone who has figured out how to ‘make a way out of no way,' even when I didn't think I could.
Creativity has been the lifeline to my authenticity and love for life. These days, in spite of the proper credentials received, this idea of ‘making a way’ for my generation has become more of a hassle due to improper funds or the right job. As you would know it, there are not too many people giving out too many of those, even with the proper credentials in hand. Add being a creative to the mix--when you want to do what you love while making ends meet is that much harder.
It seems like more and more creatives such as myself and even some of my friends, cannot find the door let alone get close enough to stick our foot in one.
Even with the vigor, the incessant need, and the desire to achieve and work our way up in a field we truly love, all of the obstacles certainly do not make it any easier. Many of us end up taking dead-end, never-ending soul-sucking jobs that prey on our inherent need to survive and make money while exploiting that valid need and draining the lights that fuel our want and need to create.
Many people do not realize that getting a job outside of fast track fields such law, medicine, or engineering hardly garner any real attention.
The job search has completely evolved since they were halfway giving out employment in the 80s and 90s. Nowadays you are lucky to get a call back from a company saying they do not want you. With the cost of living tripling over the last few decades, finding the means to support a livelihood stays at the forefront of our mind no matter what we may think our true purpose is. I hate knowing that after all the years I spent in school--which many people told me would guarantee me a job--in addition to the work I have done and the foundation I have laid for myself, I still have more ‘dues’ to pay in experience. It makes dreams and goals seem that much further away in the process of trying to attain them.
Aside from these inherently annoying aspects that come with moving further into adulthood, I am more than aware of my ability to make things happen regardless of the ever-mounting odds in front of me.
I feel behind all the time, like I didn’t pick the right major and program, I did not realize what I truly wanted to do soon enough.
And so, this uncertainty landed me in this precarious and agitating space that stretches me more than I’d like. I wonder all the time if I messed up along the way and if all of this strife could have been avoided. But I try to keep in mind that I’m right where I need to be whether I feel like I am or not. I am positioned right where I need be. And much like I did when I couldn’t get my hands on the hoodie I initially wanted, I am back to ‘making a way out of no way’ except this time... it is in regards to my creative purpose and life.
But that just makes the process and trip to the top that much more worthwhile.
I admit that recently I made the excuse of being too tired to do the additional work to truly ‘make a way’ after being in school for a thousand years and working temp jobs for what feels like a decade, but I realize it is an essential part of the hustle, and I can't keep sleeping on myself and my abilities. I don’t want to just work, I want to work doing what I love. When you feel like you have been working your whole life, working from the ground up can skew your reality of what it means reap the rewards of your labor. It's like, that's why they told you to school, right? To be ahead of the game and have a job waiting for you, right? What happens when you do all that and you're still struggling and cannot meet all the expectations set up for you to get a job following suit? You form a support system, build a network, putting yourself out there by knocking on all the doors, and you put your talent and ability on display for the world to see because whether or not somebody else recognizes it right away, you do first and that’s what I’m learning is going to reveal the door and get your foot in it.
This is a reminder to keep going...
No matter what your dreams are, no matter how old you are, no matter where you are in life or how far you have to go, you can get to where you want to go. I realized at the beginning of this journey, as long as I believe it, it is real and attainable. Faith in yourself and your abilities is going to be an essential tool on your journey, and as someone who is right in the middle of theirs, I urge you to hang on to that belief in yourself. That will be your light to guide you through your darkest moments. While others will slowly but surely begin to realize your light, your talents, and their depths, remember that you recognized it first and that’s what matters most. Even in the face of struggle and hardship, never forget there is always a way.