Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ya, so, I'm gonna get a little preachy.

With the overwhelming response I got on the last post regarding rejection, it led me to think of this- So many people kept saying, "I don't have the guts" or, "I wish I would have done that" or "It's always been a dream, and not many people are willing to put themselves out there to do something like that"....as if not doing "it" wasn't a choice that they made.

We are given the ability to choose whether or not we acknowledge what we love- but in acknowledging it you open the door to uncomfortable emotions; fear, rejection, nonconformity, confusion, self reflection, disappointment- and often from people you love, who don't understand and among others things, it is a daily exercise of faith- personally and spiritually.

The only thing I ever KNEW was to follow my heart, whether it were practical or not- the mantra to "do what I loved" stuck in my head like a Hallmark card or a cliche written on wind chimes. It never occurred to me to think- "Well, I love music and writing, so, I think I'll try to be an attorney."
It was never even a thought process, simply because it seemed illogical. Illogical to consider being something that I wasn't and ignoring the things that I was in order to not shake the social standard.

We're put on this earth with a blueprint of our personalities, our likes and dislikes. Into adulthood, we develop or recognize passions etc...and then somewhere down the line when you're supposed to choose your career, you're supposed to then call your passion a "hobby"
Completely throwing out your sense of knowing what it is that would be fulfilling to you.

Not having familiar structure stirs fear within people. Everything that doesn't have a point A, B, and C, or 1+1=2 is too risky and then is filed under "dream" in a place in your life that gets very little attention, unless it's a Sunday afternoon or a boozy evening reminiscing about your past regrets. We call things "dreams" in order to make "reality" less disappointing. At some point we surrender to a man made reality that we feel we have no control of, "It's just the way it is." When, in fact, we are the ones who created the rules.

If we didn't have dreamers- we wouldn't have artists.
We wouldn't have musicians.
We wouldn't have actors.
We wouldn't have inventors. We'd all be sitting in the effin' dark.
We wouldn't have writers.
We wouldn't have composers.
We wouldn't have hope.

And what it really boils down to is this- FEAR. If we weren't afraid of upsetting people, weren't afraid of letting ourselves down, weren't afraid of failure, weren't afraid of the unknown, all the people that say "I wish I would've...." probably, would have. Failure, is something we decide, failure, in my mind- is an illusion.

So my question is this-
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU WOULDN'T "FAIL"?

60 comments:

Deutlich said...

I'd start a porn franchise catered to women. . .

sequined said...

If I had been sure I wouldn't fail, I would have pursued dance more strongly my last two years of high school and worked harder for it in college.

Though I can't say I regret the way things turned out. Though my college didn't have a big dance program and due to an injury I wasn't in shape to try out for the dance team, dance is still a major part of my life. It's not my career, but something else I love is. So it's fine by me.

Lisa said...

Smack Anne Geddes around with her camera and redefine child photography.

Alexis said...

What WOULDN'T I do? ;)

Quite a few things (singing, acting, designing) met failure and roadblocks for me and then had to take a backseat to my pursuit of mental health for awhile. It was frustrating, because I had the heart to follow my passions but I didn't have the stability in my head to follow them and really had to get that together. I went to school in an area pretty much devoid of those types of things (including our theatre program which was weak, and our arts program which was nonexistent), which I is the one of the regrets I have of that school, but a lot of things about that school helped save my brain so I have to take that and be happy with it.

However, as I continue with the longest response ever, I have to say that I don't think it's too late for me to go after the things that had to wait in the wings for awhile while I got healthy. I'm finding my way now to do what I really care about and love to do, which is obviously new for me...but it feels great! I should actually be expounding on this in my own blog...I'll say great post and ta-ta for now!

:)

Britt said...

Hm. I think I'm doing what I had always dreamed of. However, I'd probably do more fun things, like photography. Not that I'm worried I'm going to fail..I think I'm more worried about failing what I've always wanted to do, so I focus solely on that. :)

1218Blog said...

This may sound corny but, I'd do just what I'm doing. I have changed careers, looks, lives, more than I care to mention. So I am satisfied where I am now.

On another topic, I went to your myspace page and your music and your voice blew me away. Your song "Truly" is truly amazing. I absolutely love it! I just requested you as a friend.

Felix for Zosia said...

Hi Chelsea, discovered this blog the other day and I really loved your last post, by the way, so will respond to both at once here. I have always tried to follow my interests, without too much second guessing and am in the strange position of coming from a family (musician father, artist mother) where a creative job would have been the one they wanted/expected for me. I never had to battle parental expectation.

I am writing a thesis on dance films at the moment, and thankyou for reminding me that I DO love it, even though it is hard work! :)

And one final point on FEAR... I tutored a subject last year "Contemporary Australian Arts" and one of the readings and lectures was on the topic of what artists earn. It's very sobering for these 17 and 18 year olds just out of school to see in black and white how little they can expect to earn, and face the fact that a second job is almost mandatory for their survival. So I completely am on the same page with you about doing what you love, but it is a really hard thing to do, and you have a great attitude to it. Maybe for some people it's fear of hard work as much as failure, because it is SO much work to keep yourself positive AND financially supported! Snaps to you!

Vanessa said...

I'd do what I'm doing now, try to open a business that caters to healthy food for dogs, BARF to be exact. Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.

brandy said...

Attempt that whole 'eating fire' thing I see circus performers do. I've always thought that would be the ultimate party trick.

Beth said...

I have no idea.

I might be more inclined to risk getting into a relationship. My last one ended extremely badly and with each break up before that I thought "Thats the worst possible way to get dumped" and every subsequent relationship ended in an increasingly shitty way. I wonder if I've perhaps hit the pinnacle...but I'm not strong enough to find out yet.

Katherine said...

I'd paint. Every single day...anything I wanted.

Exposed said...

Interesting post. I almost feel like many of the people who say "I wish I would have..." aren't being true to themselves.

Sure, we may wish for the success others have achieved, but do we also wish for the hard work and rejection that they put in? Or were the reasons that kept you from chasing your dreams valid at the time you made them?

I'm all for chasing dreams, but include their own realities in the process.

Katana said...

I would drag race. Seriously - i'd take the mountain in Tokyo, do the Indie 500 and do the cross-country drag race...

but it's not just gutts when it comes to that. It's money.

PrincessPolly said...

Write a book and get it published. It's weird as I was actually talking about doing this in a blog today - possibly your previous blog inspired me to talk about it. I am determined to do something about it this time though.

just me said...

I'd tell Christian Bale to marry me.

wondy woman said...

I would write and write and write until my hands fell off.

(Love the first answer!)

ablogofherown said...

My problem lies in the fact that I don't know the answer to this question.

and i happen to think that deutlich's idea is fabulous!

A.P. said...

I would apply to grad school with my meager college grades and ask my professors to write recommendations. But I'm scared I won't get in and scared they won't write them.

Princess Pointful said...

I would dust off the acting chops I used to believe in so strongly.

jennifer said...

i would be a writer.
i would live everywhere.
i would buy an art gallery.
i would kiss more often.


i think i will start to gradually do these things, because i'd hate to be a coward.

x

jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pbandrazz said...

I would go to India.

Then Greece.

Then open my own bakery.

Renee said...

Like I mentioned on my own blog, I'd have my own show. And I'm starting to consider culinary school... That's if I don't get accepted to the MFA creative writing program I'm applying to.

Christine said...

oooh...I'd be a concert pianist and spend the rest of my time training to be in the ironman triathlon.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Deautlich- Please do that.

Sequined- Ah you're a dancer! My fellow people! I think being able to say you're doing something you love, but that its jut different is a really good accomplishment.

Lisa-That, is do-able.

Alexis-Of course it isn't too late. We all need those times where we reevalute, rebuild, TAKE CARE of ourselves, etc. Those are essential. And through that time you do find our a lot more about yourself and it only helps with your growth.

Britt- I think its wonderful that you're doing what you've always wanted not many people can say that.

1218blog- again, you and Britt are very lucky- and smart, to be doing what you love. AND THANK YOU, I'm so happy you liked it and listened! I really appreciate it :)

feliz for zosia- Thanks for stopping by! Its absolutely is hard work you're right. and cheers to you for sticking with it.

Vanessa- that is so completely rad. Awesome name.

Brandy- Party trick indeed. Anytime fire is involved you pretty take a party to another level.

Beth- I can understand this. I think a lot of people are that way in relationships, and then out of their aversion to them, it's hard to find a good one worth having.

Katherine-So would I!

Exposed- Good point. And I agree about not being true to themselves.

Katana- Thats badass. I didn't include that in my blog, but yes, I think a lot of what we don't do has to do with money- no doubt.

Princesspolly- Good, do it!! Everyone had a book in them you just have to have the desire to write it and you have that.

justme- Good choice.

Wondy Woman- Then you should! Though...you probably need your hands.

ablogofherown- I thinka lot of people don't know how ot answer that question.

a.p.- You'll never know unless you try...:)

Princess Pointful- Hell yes! Do!

Jennifer- I love the things you'd do. I'd do them too and gradually is better than never.

pbandrazz- first off, I love anyone who bakes. LOVE. And India and Greece are both high priority in my life, I think they're beautiful cultures and landscapes and I MUST VISIT.

Renee- Do both, eventually.

Christine- That is hardcore and I admire you for that. And would you mind playing with me? I need a good pianist. lol.

Nathalie said...

well, my biggest problem right now is to find what is my dream because like you i am a firm believer in " following your dreams " . However, its not easy, sometimes you get stuck into a route not because of fear but just because you didn't know any better. Taking my own example, i wanted to leave Italy and live in Ireland my first priority was to do that and what i was going to study in college was of secondary importance, i ended up studying Marketing, which is the sector i work in at the moment.
It has been about 5 years though that my head is tormented trying to find out what my real passion is, i write about Interior Design in my blog, so you could say that would be my " passion " but am also interested in Graphic Design, Web Design, photography, cooking ...As you can see i like so many things,the fact that there is more then 1 passion is really creating obstacles in my search of finding " my call ". I think of myself as very determined so am sure once i know what am really supposed to do, i will and get it. I am always looking around to new countries to move to... i have always itchy feet so that's in the way as well. I don't commit to more then one years course as i think that could stop me by moving somewhere else. ( although have been saying this for 7 years now ). Anyway, my point is sometimes its difficult to actually find which is your true passion, which " hobby " i am supposed to follow ?
My Dream is ..to find my dream so i can transform it into reality.
Sorry for the rant, your post made me reflect, thanks for sharing this :)
Nattie x

pessimisticredhead said...

I would have stayed a theatre major and moved to NYC.

I love that Susan Tedeschi is playing on your blog.

Also, you've been tagged BUT if you don't want to do it, I still really enjoy your blog and am glad you found mine so I could find yours.

Does that sound vaguely sexual?

Maxie said...

I'd play the lottery. LOL

But for serious, I'd probably do reviews of travel destinations all over the world, then sell them to magazines. That way I would get to pick which destination I got to visit. And take lots of pictures :-) Now that would be awesome.

Or be a personal shopper. I think that'd be amazing.

lspoon said...

In my case I always said, I'll try this later. I always thought I'd do it but then my life took a different path. And I love my path :)

Boxer Girl said...

"We call things "dreams" in order to make "reality" less disappointing." That is an incredibly powerful statement that is sitting in my heart right now. As you know from my blog, I happen to be going through a rough time right now. In my opinion (if anyone is interested), none of us can afford regrets when it's our time to go.
To everyone that is answering your question: don't just put it in the comment section - make it reality - or as Chelsea has made clear, 'choose' it to be reality. Don't waste another minute!

PinkPiddyPaws said...

OMG!! I love this post! Love it, love it..LOVE IT!!

I don't think I like the idea of "knowing I wouldn't fail" simply because it means there is no challenge involved.

That's what helps keep me going. The struggle of it all and the excitement of the challenge.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog Chelsea. I'm REALLY glad you did and that I found you here!

Cheers!!
kitty

Heidi said...

I often think of that question but then the thought of paying for bills and having medical insurance is a reminder as to why I don't do these things full force. Needless to say, FEAR of FAILURE or REJECTION has kept me from doing the following:

*Learning how to write a screenplay for that movie idea I have had in my head for the past 8 years. (just plain fear of rejection for the story idea)

*Writing a book (I have started the basics, but if I will follow through is another story)

*Moving to Thailand to help children learn English. (The assumption that I would have to lean Thai to do this keeps me from even looking into it)

*I would travel abroad by myself (being a woman, the fear of safety keeps me from doing this)

Jess said...

I really like that question, because it made me realize that I have a lot of confidence in myself. There aren't too many things I'd be afraid of failing at outright. There are some things I would probably pursue more ferociously, but that's great.

Michelle said...

this sounds a little silly but i would be able to love someone wholeheartedly. because now, there's always the "fear he (you) won't fall." to quote the lovely joshua radin.

icanseeclearlynow said...

excellent post, chelsea. i am living out my dreams as, among so many other things, a writer, truthseeker, and truthteller.

:)

maria

Sparroweye said...

I would have put off marriage and gone for a degree in either marine biology or archeology. But then, I would have never experienced the joys of Tom, Paul, Rob and the adoption of my Kimmie. Life leads us one way, I just followed the crumbs.

emmaenlighted said...

exactly what I'm doing. I'm extremely thankful and lucky to have gotten where I have. I couldn't have done it without a supportive family and great friends. And now my dreams are becoming true beyond what I initially expected for myself :)

Meghan said...

I think the words 'can't' should be erased from the vocabulary...

I love my job 'practical' as it may be, but I would love to throw caution to the the wind and try broadway. Just try.

You're an inspiration, Chelsea.

Lynn said...

I would apply for the magazine internships I know I can't get as a freshman & I would maybe have taken six classes.

maya said...

this and the post beofre are some of the most inspiring things I have read in a long time, or perhaps ever read.
I would start my own magazine and also take up ballet classes.

Nilsa S. said...

I'm late to the game because my mom has been in town all weekend, but I just caught up with your Rejection post and I LOVE IT! You serve as an inspiration for others, that's for sure.

If I knew I wouldn't fail, I'd quit my job and travel for a year. (And here, failure is defined financially!)

La said...

My problem isn't so much a fear of failure as it is a lack of confidence. I would TOTALLY be a rock star if I weren't so afraid.

:)

Banana said...

I am lucky and have parents who have careers doing something they love and are passionate about. I've always believed in doing what you love. Most of your hours are spent working - if you aren't doing somthing you love, or even like, it seems like a miserable way to spend your time.

alyndabear said...

I'd... just get out and live. Without thinking, for a while. I think too much.

So@24 said...

Great posting Chels (can I call you Chels? It gives off the impression that we're life long chums).

This one really hits home. I mean, why else would I have moved down to Los Angeles immediately after college?

Why do most people choose to live here? For the very reason you wrote this post, I'm sure.

Passionista said...

You're absolutely right about the fear. I would be singing, writing, and pursuing my entrepreneurial ideas.

Summer said...

You are my hero for this. As a dancer I tend to appreciate all art as it all relates to what I love. Music, Dance, Art, etc... it's all an expression of ourselves that we are sharing with the world without fear...

Princess Consuela Banana Hammock said...

holy moly. i dont know if i have time to list everything out that i would do.

heres a few:
- marry michael cera
- get my own reality tv show
- be friends with rob & big
- photography
- move out of country

Sparkling Red said...

I believed my parents when they said that I needed to do something other than writing in order to make a decent living. In the end all of my career plans went to dust because I had no passion for any of them. I may as well have done what I wanted! The life I have is pretty good, however. I won't be complaining too much. :-)

each of the two said...

i would, strike that, WILL own my own business.

run my own life.

Airam said...

I want to go skydiving this summer for my 30th. I have a feeling that I'm going to become a scaredy cat, but I do hope that it's one of those things that I look back on and say, "Yup, I had the guts to jump out of a plane."

Virginia said...

One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "Listen to your heart above all other voices," by Marta Kagan (no idea who that is...I think it was on a magnet my roommate used to have). So if I could do ANYTHING? I'd just travel the world. And then write a book about the experience, which would become an instant bestseller (duh) and fund my next trip around the world. And maybe that would inspire some other people to do the same thing.

Ashley said...

I am doing the radio thing right now that I have wanted to do since I was 10. So, I am happy, the fear of failure sits in the back of my head always though.

I have always wanted to live in NYC, but I am scared of leaving my family, their security.

KTS said...

Karaoke, write a book, photography.


great post and great comments!

DG said...

Wow - I would probably open my own wine bar like, today. And be so goddamn happy about it!

ana said...

I wouldn't fail, really? Ah what wouldn't I do? In brief, fix the world, and start with my own world...selfish? yeah maybe....

ChasingParadise said...

I would sing, lady!

I'd move to LA and chase all my star-filled dreams.

Katelin said...

Well said, well said.

I think I would add acting and painting to my repertoire. I have always wanted to do both, but have never had the passion to follow it. If I knew I wouldn't fail, I would definitely do both.

Barbara said...

Thank you for this. I think it has helped decide my latest post on my blog. I really appreciate it.

Dolce said...

I have no idea what I would be doing if failure was not an issue. As a kid I always wanted to wear a suit to work. I love women in power suits (I have no idea why).

In a perfect world I would have won Powerball when I was 23 and owned a home in Italy and Ireland.

Honestly, I don't think my heart has a sign that says "follow me".

 
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