Updated: Jun 25, 2018
There’s so much to live for. You could be a slam poet, an astronaut, on a beach, reading a comedy novel, in Hawaii, or all at the same time! You can do everything. Let your imagination run wild.
When you’re young and the future is a sprawling mass of opportunities and possibilities, it can be both scary and insanely exhilarating! You don’t know where you are going nor where you will end up, but in a way that is the brilliant thing about it. Everything is open to you. It’s all there to be tried and embraced; rejected or just casually appreciated as you see fit. You can be what you want to be.
Maybe I sound a little naive saying this, and to be honest I would agree with you, but then again...
Yes, life should come with realism: ‘How are you going to fund this?’ ‘When are you going to have the time?’ ‘Are you going to be able to put the effort in?’ ‘Shouldn’t you be planning for your future?’ However, if these are your first thoughts then you’ve missed the point. The idea I am getting at here is that you should never let realism get in the way of your future, specifically by stopping you taking up the opportunities that can help you get where you want to go. Particularly when those opportunities are things you’ve long wanted to do or know you will really enjoy. Realism is a rationale, not a mantra. Remember that what’s realistic for you to achieve can change and, with it, your own personal perception of realism. But to challenge those initial perceptions you have to try things.
Think back to being a young child. Aren’t there always things that you wished you had done when you were given the opportunity back then? Maybe you didn’t do them because you (or your parents) didn’t have the time or the money. Maybe you didn’t do them because you were worried about what other people might think of you. Maybe you were scared of trying; or worse, scared of failing.
The modern world is fast and changing. There are expectations and bills and it is so easy for us to get swept up into the routines of life. However sometimes opportunities arrive and you just have to say ‘F*** it!’ You have to break the cycle, grab the opportunity with both hands and deal with the consequences later.
Say someone says they want to show your work in a month. You say ‘no’ – then nothing happens. But you say ‘yes’ – and maybe you’ll have to work incredibly hard for two days, a week, a month, getting everything ready, but at least now you’ve got something to aim for. You’ve got a deadline.
I for one know that I am useless at getting things done unless I feel pressure or unless I momentarily feel inspired (not something that happens often enough). The hardest bit is usually just getting started. I have to click into a higher mental gear to be able to take the plunge.
I often worry that I will not get something done in the time I have available or that, if I do get it done, it will not be to a standard that I am happy with. These are worries that should always be respected, but they are worries that often should be ignored too. After all you can never know how an opportunity might hold value for you until you have followed through with it. Indeed, other opportunities may present themselves because of the one you’ve just taken on. Things that will help you get to where you want to go.
To paraphrase and probably shamelessly misquote someone (I can’t remember who) ‘opportunities breed opportunities’. In short, claim one and more are likely to follow, all you’ve got to do is say yes.
Come along and join us at Devon's only dedicated youth arts festival. TYPify is going on from the 6th – 8th July at the historic Poltimore House just outside of Exeter.