Do what you love, not what’s easy.

The people we love and the people who’s opinions matter to us won’t always agree with our decisions. As someone who has repeatedly disappointed my parents, I can relate to anyone who has ever gone against what everyone else wanted for them. My parents have always wanted me to be like my brother who always knew what he wanted out of life and knew pretty much what he wanted to do as a career. What they didn’t understand is that I am the complete opposite of him. It has always been hard for my dad to relate to me or to understand many of my life decisions; for example, I had danced my entire childhood and was extremely passionate about it and he couldn’t understand why that was more important than my schoolwork in high school. I was passionated about all the things they couldn’t understand. I loved art and dance and took every opportunity I had to do both of these things. I was always the somewhat rebellious artist of the family and they saw that as something that would hold me back from being truly successful. Every time I heard someone say I needed to change my ways if I wanted to amount to anything, I would only push back harder. I would do everything I could to prove them wrong. Being different and rebellious doesn’t make someone a failure, it makes each and every one of us unique. It makes us different from the other people competing for the same jobs. To this day, my parents still tell me I will never amount to anything if I keep trying to be different, but what they don’t see is that I’m not trying to be different. I’m just not conforming. I don’t agree with all the standards society has put on teenagers and everything our teachers and professors say we need to be. We can be who we want to be. We should always be who we truly are inside. If we don’t grow up with either the freedom or stubbornness to be who we truly are, then eventually the world will be made up of clones. There won’t be a single great man or woman in the entire world. Leonardo Divinci, Michelangelo, Bernini, J.R.R. Tolkein, Martha Graham, Bach, and many other countless artists would never have come to be as great as they were if they were always constrained by standards of society. These great men and women of history have made their marks by completely disregarding society and instead putting their own unique feelings and thoughts into their works. Now they are known worldwide, not only by other artists, but by most educated peoples. These are the people who have influenced me in my life. These are the people I have always strived to follow. I will never follow someone who is just another clone or a pawn of society. I will never give in to what everyone else wants for me. If I fail in anything, it will be because I just wasn’t good enough. When people tell me I can’t do something or that I won’t amount to anything, their words will always be my fuel. Instead of letting them drag me down to their expectations, I will take their criticism and throw it into the fire along with every moment of failure in the past. Failure isn’t a bad thing, it teaches me what I did wrong and how I can be better. I don’t want an easy path to follow. I want the path that is overgrown and ends with a long ascent up a ragged mountainside cliff. I want the path that will take me higher than ever before and that will end in a greater sense of achievement than any of my critics will ever know. Being a clone would be easy; I want a life that will be exciting and challenging.

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