He asks me, “what do you want to do when you graduate college?” I give him the truth, “Everything, I want to do everything.”
I used to think this was my problem. That somehow the millennial in me was fed too many fairytales, too many times had I heard “you can be who you want to be.” Because who I want to be is a dancing entrepreneur, a traveling humanitarian, a painting lover called mother and a poet with a rather large urge to debate politics and hike Mount Kilimanjaro. Hell, why stop there? Cue the narcissism, I want more!
While most dream of their future house, I dream of worn shoes, sunburnt foreheads, and the feeling of sand and salt water on my lover’s hands as we cuss at the world for mixing reality with conformity. We can theorize about how to remind everyone what it felt like to have a feverish desire to be alive.
I tend to romanticize life. I make it out to be more than what can be sold, because there are clues inside of me that are sure there is something deeper to this life than what I’ve been told.
I convince myself everyone holds some form of emptiness in them, some space that can’t be filled by a comfortable recliner or a familiar smile in aisle four. I guess it leaves us room to breath in more revolution, to let it circulate next to our lonely, greeting it so for a moment it begins to feel not so alone.
Everyone fills their emptiness differently. I just breathe a lot of new scenes. I greet my lonely with scattered makeshift dreams. I paint my empty spaces to be colors of the places I’ve seen yet some days the chips in my paint show through. It’s the human in me.
But those flakes of human lead me to see through the guise that everything is set, in order, and I have to choose one. They remind me to fill that empty because there is always something more. And that is why I answer with truth. What do I want to do after graduation? What I’ve already been doing, doing everything.
My first spoken word poem performance… Honolulu, Oahu