When I was in elementary school I used to watch Steve Irwin on the Animal Planet every chance I had. I made a notebook and started writing notes from his show like “Komodo Dragons. Eat meat. Have very big jaws.”
When I was in middle school I told everyone I wanted to be a TV Chef like you see on The Food Network. Alton Brown was my idol. To prepare for my future career, I spent most of my weekends cooking and baking with my dad.
In high school, I told everyone I was going to be an author. But I didn’t write that much. I just knew that when I did, I liked how I felt afterward.
Towards the end of high school, I became more comfortable telling people “I don’t know”. Because I really didn’t. I wanted to be so many things. Chef. Animal activist. Author. Artist. Business owner. Everyone seemed to be under the general assumption that we can just be one thing, maybe two if we’re lucky. And then we do that thing for the rest of our lives.
When I decided against applying to a traditional university, it seemed like everyone was disappointed in me. For a while, the thought of that stung, but then I let it blaze my trail. I traveled to places I’d always wanted to go. I met people who led lives totally unlike anything I’d ever seen before. My eyes were opened and they would never close again.
Now the only thing I want to be is content. I want to be happy, healthy, energized, kind, and passionate about life. These are adjectives I try to live by.
What I want to do is a different story. I want to make art that makes people feel alive again. I want to write stories that make people introspect. I want to create businesses that make a difference in this world. That’s why I do something new every day. That’s why I chose Praxis. This week I’m learning how to draw sketch art from an Udemy course. Next week I’m writing book reviews and brainstorming ways to improve the pre-program experience for Praxis participants. And the week after that? I can’t wait to see what other value I put into the world and for myself. All I know is that if I keep painting small strokes every day, I will eventually form the big picture.
This is how I break the mold and live a distinct life.
Originally published at juliannacarbonare.com.