c a r l y
okay, picture this...
It's the year 2008. Obama will shortly be elected as the 44th president of the United States. I (Carly) am completely set on my future, my career and who I want to be: a writer. I'm ambitious, curious and energetic. I am also 12 years old.
The mini-me described above was equally (if not more) passionate than most people I know. But as most of us have experienced, at 12 years old, your mental and emotional capacities are still developing. 12-year-old Carly was a fast-paced vortex, whirling through life without care or cause. But at the same time, no one could deny that she was a bundle of pure, unrestricted s o u l.
ThIS is what passion feels like.
Fast forward 11 years (that's over a decade!) and here I am - 23 years old, still whirling through life while anxiously anticipating the future.
As a Gen Z Millennial, I was born amid the most powerful technological spectrum known to the human race (i.e. the digital world). I'm thankful to be a part of such a demanding, impatient, but also, dedicated generation. I can attest that we are pretty badass about our ambitions. However, I grew up paralleling some of the largest social platforms: MySpace, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. This affected me. More times than not, I was fixated on comparing myself to digitalized caricatures than challenging, strengthening and loving myself.
my own worth.
my own direction.
my own sense of authenticity.
Over time, I became my own digital performance indicator. I was constantly analyzing what I couldn't change and comparing my actions to those surrounding me.
The results weren't looking so hot.
I've spent a lot of time traveling - back to my Southern California roots, across multiple states, and even to Sydney, Australia, for six months. I was constantly searching for what I felt was emotionally denied. What I learned as I boarded planes, traveling from place to place, was that I couldn't fix problems elsewhere if I was emotionally denying mySELF. So, I began to search for defining elements as an individual, channeling flaws and all. By observing my own negative and positive experiences, I learned a lot. I learned what is best for me.
There were (and still are) multiple times when I question my ability as a creative, specifically as a mixed-race female entering the "professional world." While I still have a lot to learn, I DO know that I am my best self when I listen to me, first. My body, my first mind, my calling. I know I've changed - sometimes subconsciously - but more importantly, when it was necessary.
This is me. A 23-year-old woman who, at the end of the day, is stepping out into the unknown stratosphere of life to pursue something bigger than herself. It's different, but it's worthwhile.
I think it's time to cue the anomaly.