Most of us in our younger years fell in love with the perfect hair, funny interviews, and the overall glitz and glam lifestyle of celebrities. Why want to be normal when you could be Hilary Duff? But alas, there’s only one Hilary Duff, and most of us couldn’t pull off the crimped hair look of the early 2000’s like she could. We were told that the Hilary Duffs of the world were one-in-a-million situations, and that we should aspire to be something more practical, like a doctor or a teacher.
Now, no disrespect to the medical and educational professionals out there, but I never accepted this ‘reality.’ Someone had to be that one-in-a-million, so why not me? Weren’t the people who made it the ones that never took no for an answer? After first seeing the Cheetah Girls, I was obsessed. I was convinced that I was the next big thing that would happen to the pop-rock music scene, and at the ripe age of nine I started writing songs.
Though I kept writing music off and on for five years, I also started drawing outfits for my future celebrity self, which made my dream go from singer-songwriter-drummer to fashion designer. My drawing skills were mediocre, but I was in fifth grade, surely they’d get better (not really).
Aside from a brief stint spent convinced that I wanted to be a marine biologist, I spent most of middle school alternating between fashion designer and singer-songwriter, and as so many celebrities had proven, it clearly wouldn’t be that hard to be both if I was so inclined.
Then came high school and the years of indecision. Finally convinced that I wasn’t talented enough at either singing or designing clothes to really get anywhere with them, I admitted to myself that I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life, so I focused on the here and now. I got a (long distance) boyfriend, I watched a lot of YouTube, I took way too many AP classes, and I led some clubs. After taking a few years off of chasing fame, by the end of grade 12 I had found my new goal: to become a film producer.
This revelation came through influence of my best friend at the time who was getting his degree in cinematography and wanted to be a screenwriter, but I admit it sure felt like it fit. I had enjoyed making youtube videos for a while and I loved the experience a film could take you on if it told the story correctly. I wanted to help people have these experiences. It also didn’t hurt that this was yet another career I could get famous through.
I entered university thinking that I would be a film producer no matter what (and maybe star in a few films myself). This is at least what I told people, though I knew in the back of my mind that I didn’t really have what it takes to be a film producer. More so, I knew that my school’s film production program only took 20 students each year and that I likely wouldn’t be one of them. But I told people this was the dream, and I directed a one act play and I acted in a residence musical and prepared for my future in Hollywood.
Then I didn’t get in. I had my first (of many) quarter-life crisis. I needed to reassess, and that would take years. It wasn’t until the summer before my third year of university that I figured out I want to be an author, and then later that year I realized how much I enjoy what I do with social media. I wanted the two to go hand-in-hand, and I still do. This is my dream.
So even after all of these years, despite knowing the impracticality of it all and that the celebrity life is nowhere near as glamorous as we make it out to be, I’m still chasing a career on the idea of fame. Don’t get me wrong, I do really love what I do with social media, and similarly to the film production dream, I want to write books that mean something to people and impact them the way books of my childhood did. I have a passion for these things. But I also measure my personal success based on fame, and here’s why:
For as long as I can remember, I have been driven on the idea of being successful, and success today looks like fame. I have always had enough of an ego to believe that I can be that one-in-a-million, and I have always wanted people to care about what I have to say. Having that level of fame would mean validating my existence to many, including myself.
I remember being 8 years old and spending hours in the bathroom talking to my reflection as if I was being interviewed. I remember being 10 years old and doing that. I remember being 12 and thinking that I should document my life because someday someone will want to know about it. I remember being 17 and doing that. I’m doing that now at 21.
You may think me foolish, and naive, and even ridiculous. I don’t care. I don’t need this because I want to be rich and have cameras shoved in my face. I wouldn’t do anything for fame. I need a specific kind of fame. I need to be so good at something that people want to know what I have to say. I need to be so good at something that people feel like they, too, can do anything. I have an ego and a drive to be the best at something, because otherwise I feel as though my existence is average and unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. The world will keep on turning whether I’m entirely average or exceptionally remarkable. But if I can change some people while I’m here, then I’ll leave the world a little different.
Why am I writing this? Maybe to justify my silly dreams. Maybe because I want you to read this and realize that whatever it is that you want, it’s okay. Chase it. Do it. Live your life the way you really, truly want to. Become the best. Or don’t, and be happy because you met the love of your life. Cross off every item on your bucket list. Being so good at something that I achieve fame is my form of fulfillment. Choose yours. Don’t let people tell you that you are too small for your big dreams. Seek fulfillment.
And remember: It’s not about how bad you want it, it’s about how hard you’re willing to work for it.
Dream. Think. Work. x.