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that great consciousness of life

When I was younger, I thought I would eventually develop into the type of person that loves adventure, and road trips, and getting out into the world and finding myself or whatever. As it turns out, I'm not going to write the next On The Road. I don't even drive. I'm a homebody through and through. And, most importantly, I had already found myself, so an adventure to do so sounds pointless and tiresome.

But I'm not completely dormant either. I still want to see the world, and meet interesting people, and that's the part of this childhood fantasy that I can't let go of, because it's become a part of myself. I didn't realize this until I was in New York this summer. 

I had never thought of myself as independent or courageous. I was always insular, introspective, quiet, and I thought being independent and courageous were traits reserved for people who were loud and combative and charismatic. But my roommate this summer told me that it was brave to take this job, brave to meet with all the editors I was meeting with, brave to take the subway by myself. She said that my life was something out of Gatsby, which made me laugh.

I'm no Gatsby, but I know what I want and what I need to do to get it. I honestly think that's probably why sailing across the world to find myself just isn't an attractive idea to me (even disregarding the classism present in that statement). I've never been at a loss for what to do.

That's not to say that I haven't switched career paths. I went from wanting to be a novelist to wanting to be a museum curator before finally settling on journalism. And I'm still open to possibilities, and I'm granting myself the freedom to change my mind. But when I wanted to be a novelist, I was going to win the Nobel Prize. And when I wanted to be a curator, I was going to be a curator at the Met. And I still fully plan on one day being an editor for The New York Times.

Does my talent match my ambition? No. But it's important to me to have these far-fetched goals and treat them as though they're within my grasp. That's been what drives me. That's my life-changing road trip. Shoot for the moon, right?

I think some people are the opposite. They are creatively fueled by the not-knowing, the uncertainty. It's not like I think I'm brilliant or too good for that sort of thing. It's just that unpredictability and spontaneity like that gives me anxiety, so I have to have these prestigious goals that I convince myself are concrete. 

I've also always had a strong sense of style and clung to that for comfort. Bonne Chance Collections, who made the beautiful dress I'm wearing in these photos (which was modeled after the dress the main character wears in the film adaptation of Children on Their Birthdays), has been one of my favorite brands for about 6 years which is actually mind-blowing. Anyway, regarding style, I've never had much urge to experiment, because if it ain't broke y'know?


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