September 3, 2016

BLEEDING ART

Maybe someone wants to be a stripper or maybe someone wants to be President of the United States. All of our dreams are completely valid and it’s ultimately up to the person if they want to pursue them. Not yours.

I’m a very lucky person to have such a stunningly educated family that allows me to be free and learn from my own troubling experiences. I’ve been able to express myself however I wanted, wear whatever I wanted, (mostly) say everything I wanted and most importantly, choose my own future. My career is obviously leading to a creative one, which is so deeply frowned upon by tons and tons of people. Social media has allowed me to follow many successfully creative that I aspire to be like. There are photographers like Steven Klein and Miles Aldridge, or fashion designers like Riccardo Tisci and Victoria Beckham. However, even with the existence of so many successfully artists, creative careers are still extremely discouraged. There are people who’ve actually told me up front that those jobs are jokes. 

Michael and I were exploring the downtown area of our hometown until I noticed I was going to die of a heat exhaustion and decided to go to Starbucks; there’s free cold water so and was also the nearest place. It was a normal and painful walk. Nothing new. Until we arrived at Starbucks. I sat at a table and Michael approached me to ask what to get. “Water,” I said. Before he was able to even move of a foot to order, a woman behind us asked if we could add a contact on her phone. What’s harmful about that? Michael added her contact and we both assumed that would just be the end of it.

No.

No it was not.

She sat at our table and begun talking to us about her life. I personally felt like a therapist, I felt as if in 10 minutes she had poured out her until life in front of us. There’s nothing wrong with that, I guess. I felt bad; she seemed very hurt and damaged. She was tired of her life, in a way. I don’t mind people telling me their stories, I’d never tell anyone. I always feel a responsibly whenever I’m told secrets. Everything was going somewhat smoothly until she decided to bring up our lives. “Que quieres estudar tú?” she asked me. “Escritor,” I replied. It’s what I tell everyone because writing is the base of my work – my foundation. 

There was a look of such disappointment in her eyes. I didn’t understand why, I had barely met this lady at a local Starbucks. She began explaining that it truthfully wasn’t a realistic career. She told both Michael and I. (Michael wants to act.) She explained that those were hobbies, not jobs. In that moment I was ready, I love debates and I love proving people wrong. “El punto de la vida es de vivir feliz a tú manera,” I told her. At this point I was very over it. This lady continued telling me about a school where I’d be able to apply for good paying jobs. I really wasn’t feeling her at that point. I’m not going to become a nurse, lady.

After attempting to crush our dreams, she begun mentioning our sexuality (which is quite evident in both of our personalities), trying to be the utmost respectfully though. I did admire her tone and choice to not bash us. She also began mentioning God, which is already a slippery rode to drive. Michael was completely done with her since the beginning of this all, so at this point he was completely over her. He kept signing at me to shut up so that we’d be able to leave already. Of course I didn’t because I was somewhat interested in this ladies crazy rants. 

She admitted that we looked like good people – pure kids. I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment but I took it as one. “Alejate del sexo y asercate a dios,” she continued saying in attempt to get us to vow to it. I’m a pro-sex type of person. I don’t care if you have sex with 4 or 9 different people in a day. There’s nothing wrong with it. So it was bizarre [to me] how anti-sex she was. People had clearly fucked her over harshly, I guess. While attempting to figuratively not allow us to have sex, she also attempt shoving God down our throat. Which, like I said, is not the best route to a formal conversation. 

Michael at this point was asking his sister to call him as a way of leaving. He was also still signing to me to shut the fuck up. At that point I listened to him and went with the flow. I really wanted to leave because – newsflash – I was still thirsty. I really needed water. She eventually came to her senses and chose to let us go. She shook our hand and, excitingly, told us what a pleasure it was to meet us. Above it all, I truly don’t believe she’s a bad person. I believe that life just really kicked her ass hard and it sucks. I, obviously, don’t know her entire life so I’m judging her based on what she told Michael and I.

In conclusion, the horrible perception of creative careers was the highlight of our conversation. I think it’s what impacted me the most because it wasn’t the first time that someone had express disappointment in my career choice. I’m also not affected by these people because they’re honestly just strangers that I’ll hopefully never see again in my entire life. I just think that people need to be judged less based on what they want to do for the rest of their life. Maybe someone wants to be a stripper or maybe someone wants to be President of the United States. All of our dreams are completely valid and it’s ultimately up to the person if they want to pursue them. Not yours.

Photography by Fernando Reyes
Model Owen Vargas







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