January 19, 2013
For the first time in awhile, I dislike being alone. I’m in my corner of the cafeteria right now rather longing for someone to hold me and make me laugh. I’m looking forward to the Disney movie marathon I’m doing with some Thetas later, and I’m even anticipating going to my first Belmont basketball game.
The sun has finally come out, and I feel as though I should be happy and light-hearted, but then again, has that ever been a mood I can maintain? All I can see in front of me are the lists of things I need to get done. Literally hundreds of pages of reading surround me from every side, and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that there’s no way I could double major in music business and English. Then again- I’m so good at English, and putting forth all this effort, although exhausting, comes naturally to me.
Then my mother and I had a horrible conversation this past week where she encouraged me not to lose a grip on my first love of singing just because I’ve been in a writing spell. As she spoke, I sat silently while the old anger and confusion of the past two or three years bubbled up inside of me. I carried that enmity around with me the entire day and then suddenly, I had an Aha! moment.
The question I asked myself in high school was “Who am I?” but what I meant by that was “What do I do?”. I identified myself by what I did: cheerleader, theater kid, singer, and most recently, writer. Whenever that activity was threatened, I lost me.
I should not say “I am a singer” or “I am a writer”; I should say “I am Ashley Alvarado, and I do lots of things.” My senior English teacher said multiple times last year that we are not human doings, but rather human beings. I’m aware now that I’m not a musician, but that doesn’t mean I can’t sing. And my mom reminded me that as soon as I identify myself by an activity, said activity takes on a life of its own, developing from hobby and passion to responsibility and duty. What a terrible weight to put on the things that bring you the most joy.
Now go be.