This is my acceptance speech for the award I received engraved with the phrase, "You've been rejected." To put this in simpler terms, I did not get selected for the position I applied for. It's certainly no Oscar, but it sure shines like one.
This is your proposition to make life's bummers Oscar-winning moments. This won't be awkward.
Remember the one question we were asked as little ones?
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
I wanted to be a teacher, a scientist, a cosmetologist and a fashion designer. While a doctor, police officer, firefighter, psychologist or lawyer are some of the other occupations we listed, no one ever said, "When I grow up I want to be a journalist" — not even me.
Around age five, my teacher recognized my outstanding reading — I have a certificate of proof. At age 11, I looked forward to the days we were required to wear close-toed shoes and foggy old goggles. In high school, A.K.A. the era in which we wanted to own both Justin Bieber's latest album and his side bangs, I was the go-to girl to cut your hair. Right before graduating high school, I penciled in one more goal at the bottom of my lifetime to-do list: Attend Parsons School of Design. The following fall semester at Washington State University, I put myself on the track to potentially certify in the apparel design program.
Given all the initiatives I took in my past to explore the little quirks of every profession I ever wanted to pursue, I guess you can say all I have left to do now is choose what it is I want to do.
Here's the truth:
It's been almost eight years since I read a novel for fun. Today, if you catch my nose between pages, it's probably because I am sniffing the perfume sample in an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. I still don't mind wearing close-toed shoes as long as they add miles to my legs, and click and echo on hardwood floors. I haven't cut my own hair in two years, which means for two years the plastic ties of clothing tags are the only things I severed with my sheers. Speaking of which, I can't remember the last time I snipped through the fabric, or heard the bustling hum of a sewing machine. In fact, I changed my major to be someone in broadcast journalism.
What now? Even though I had all the tools I needed to become a teacher, scientist, hairdresser and fashion designer, I no longer have a desire to become either. What else is left for me to be good at?
It wasn't until recently that I realized my most valuable possession is my voice. That is what I have left for me to become — well, me.
From getting time-outs for talking too much in kindergarten to feeling exhilaration instead of embarrassment after goofing up my first live weather report, I've always known that the expressive bug inside me would never leave. That's something I'm can't wait to live with for the rest of my life, despite the trouble it's put me through.