We were all kids once. Unless you have that Benjamin Button disease, in which case, you do you. But for the rest of us, we had childhoods, and I hope that you played pretend in someway. Maybe, you were a wizard who fought a dastardly dragon or a rebel fighting against the intergalactic empire or someone even more unconventional who defied pop culture archetypes—like you were a good dragon, perhaps? I was always the overpowered superhero or the Pokémon trainer with six legendaries on my team (Allusion to popular video game, TV, and trading card franchise).
And maybe you even took drawing or painting classes or wrote down that imaginary genius into words. You sang songs or accompanied them with music or danced to them. Whatever it was, I hope it was a happy and memorable childhood.
—But your teenage years called, and for most of the people around you, that meant pretending to be a gallant knight became partying at the tavern. Flying a ship up to space to fight the empire meant being recruited to join the corporate empire and look for colleges to look for jobs to look for money. And you may have lost some good friends down this road. While you continued to dress up on Halloween, and turn that costume into cosplay, the costumes everyone else put on were "bros before hoes" t-shirts or business casual outfits. While you continued to write poetry or draw sketches or play board games, those around you didn't know what you would DO with that. "Don't you wanna get a job?" "Don't you wanna get laid?"
But you pursued your dreams. You graduated from high school and continued to create castles from cardboard, your Taj Mahal with crafts from a dollar store (Allusion to George Watsky's poem "Cardboard Castles").
Okay, maybe you didn't literally build castles, but you imagined, you created. You could have gone to university and taken up a major in Graphic Design, Creative Writing, Music, or Theatre. Anything under the sun that was unconventional. You may have taken a more traditional major like Communications or Political Science and added a creative minor. Or maybe you just pursued a degree that will get you a job, but still kept up with your creative dreams on your downtime. Maybe you found a way to combine the practical and the creative and incorporate science and technology into your dreams.
Whatever comes after that, "maybe," it feels great. To stick to your passions and always know that you have something brilliant to come home to. And sometimes it'll be stressful. You'll ask yourself why you even bothered, tell yourself you're not even good at what you do. I'm convinced that hating your work is just as much a dreadful requirement for Writing majors here as Intro to Grammar or Aesthetics and Interpretation. But in the end, you know that even if you won't be published in stores everywhere or you never make it to the Broadway Stage or design that revolutionary new PC game, your work is original. It is interesting. And it is a manifestation of your own unique voice.
This isn't an indictment of people who don't practice any creative talents. In the words of recently passed Robin Williams, "medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life." But don't forget when you have to sustain that life to grow up, but never give up.