When I was a child I dreamt of many things. From acting, singing, drawing and dancing, I wanted to do it all! Just like most children, the world was my oyster and I could see no reason why any of this could be unattainable.
But then I grew older and started to become more aware of how others perceived me and what made me happy in life. I started pushing my wants and needs aside to focus on a more ‘realistic’ way of life and, just like the grades that defined my education, I became critical to the point where I was too anxiously crippled to even attempt to chase those dreams that I had once seen as such a positive goal for my life.
As the years passed my innocent and simple approach to living a life filled with creative ambition seemed to fade into a distant memory. I couldn’t see the point in spending time on something that I could not receive a physical reward from and I had forgotten the simple pleasures of simply doing something for no reason other than to feed my own creativity and happiness. Life got in the way, there was hardly any time in the day to do what society needed of me to squeeze anything else in between. Work, school, friends and family. Simple in it’s own right, but none of it was solely for me. None of it was fulfilling the dreams and hopes that remained locked away in the back of my mind, next to childhood memories of happier times.
It wasn’t until I forced myself to leave these comforts, to stop living the life that felt almost too perfectly laid out for me, that I realised what I had been missing since becoming an ‘adult’. By locking away these passions I had forgotten who I was, I had locked my own uniqueness away. By this time I had packed up my belongings and moved hours away from my home town, distancing myself from loved ones and the life that I had become so accustomed to living. From this distance I noticed the small child inside of me that was screaming for release in every birthday present that I meticulously handmade, and every school assignment that I found any excuse to put in extra work for if I could turn it into an elaborate video, drawing or music piece. These were the parts of me that defined who I was, but because I could find no purpose for them I had laid them to rest for all these years.
So, without my old life to distract me, without worry of others judgment from those who I admired around me, I finally opened up that dusty box of hopes and dreams and spread them all over the internet. It sounds ironic when I explain how a few physical people could make me feel so anxious about my creations, yet I could share them with a global audience online, but the Internet hosts a completely different environment. People here can see your creations, be that drawing, singing, animations, writing, and sure they can judge but they are miles away. They don’t know who you are personally and that makes their judgment less personal and more constructive, which only pushed my creativity even further. On the Internet you cannot help but find inspiration around every corner, through videos and blog posts, people from all around the world doing what they love for no purpose apart from the fact that it simply makes them happy and they want to share this with others. They’re proud of who they are and what they can achieve. They understand that they’re ‘work’ might not appease everyone, it might not meet the expectations of an ‘A*’ grade. But that’s not the point. The point is… Nothing really. That’s the point. Why should we feel the need to constantly impress others if we are already satisfied?
I digress, there is more that the Internet has to offer than just a place to host our uniqueness and creativity. The Internet is able to bring inspiration to others, to make us all realise that it’s okay to let their inner child out. But even better, the Internet makes it easier to achieve our goals through the wonders of global collaboration. Do you want to animate but you can only draw? Do you want to make a film but can’t act? Do you want to sing songs but can’t play an instrument? If you’re brave enough to show your dedication to your dreams online then through the wonders of the Internet, there’s someone, maybe multiple people and amazing communities out there who can help you achieve your goals.
TLDR: I have been singing ever since I was a child, choosing to write songs and poems in every note book that I could find and putting on performances in front of my friends and family every chance that I could get. This filled my life with joy and passion until I was told that this way of life could not last, I could not make a living from it and I would never be able to surpass the competition that would surround me in this industry. My mindset around these passions changed from naive happiness to suddenly being aware that however I spent my time should be supplying me money and a means of living. But that simply isn’t so. I need to supply myself with happiness over anything else (of course money is a factor that we all have to be aware of, however it doesn’t always have to be the driving force).
Through the internet I have found a community of so many wonderful, tight-knit and likeminded people that don’t judge me for spending my time doing what I love for that simple fact. In fact that’s what brought them together, that’s what makes them so unique to me, and that’s what helps me to achieve my hopes, dreams and goals that have been engrained in me ever since I was a child. From sharing what I love and what makes me happy I’ve attracted others who enjoy what I do to offer their talents and passions to for me collaborate with for no other reason than because it would make them happy. That’s beautiful.
The result of this? My first fully produced and edited music video. Yes, it might look silly to some, being dedicated to my favourite childhood game, but that’s irrelevant. I did what I love, I sang and I wrote lyrics. But I collaborated with a most talented and passionate music producer who I am now working on an EP with. I edited and created VFX. But I got to film with an equally talented and passionate videographer who made the video quality so much more crisp than I ever could have achieved on my own. Even better, I reached out to a community online who send me audio and video files of themselves to flesh out the song even more, becoming a harmony within the final song and appearing in the music video itself.
Not a penny spent, not a penny gained, but I’ve never been happier to set the child within me free.