On Identity and Indecision

Image Credit: nopeople.com

Image Credit: nopeople.com

Hi, my name’s Jessica, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.

I’m just going to go straight out and ask: when you’ve been faced a problem, how often have you heard the advice “just be yourself?”

After thinking this over ad naseum, I’d like to argue that the goal isn’t solely to “be yourself.” The idea, I believe, is to find what you want to be and follow that. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying we should go the Grease route and change ourselves to fit the hip 50’s scene—unless of course, you want to be the next Sandra Dee, in which case I would say be my guest! Live those Broadway dreams! (Or don’t. That’s up to you.)

The point I’m trying to make here is that if you are not sure of who you want to be, “being yourself” is nearly impossible. Dreams and identity are nothing without direction. And that direction needs to come from you. You have to be honest with yourself here.

I’m sure this is, by no means, a revelation. I feel everyone eventually stumbles over these questions at some point or another in their lives.

After all, that’s what happened to me.

I thought I had it all planned out—the perfect career! Then I graduated, and it turns out I had no idea what I wanted. What happens when you’re not sure where you’re going?

Here’s what happened: I like to help people. I wanted to be what people needed, and this basis led into an interest in medicine. And indeed, this still drives my aspirations to this day. But at the same time I’ve found that, after a lot of years invested in music—it’s creation, it’s analysis, that incredible blend of art and science—I’m still going to need that in my life as well.

Now, I’m probably not going to go out and become a composer on a whim. I have neither the training nor the creativity. And, after a long and painful run in the sciences, I will probably not go out and become a master surgeon either.

But after working in both (a long volunteer run in a hospital and performing in various musical groups), I’ve learned that it is the communication and understanding I adore. After all, what is the medical field without its essential empathy? When has music ever failed as a lingua franca? I enjoyed connecting with my young patients in pediatrics as I much as I did sharing the harmonies that completed my choir’s latest piece.

And so, I’ve found that I want to be a bridge. Well, metaphorically speaking. I want to be someone that can help foster understanding. A connection, know what I mean?

At this point, that’s translated into an interest in public health. So I’ve started to gear myself towards that. (And I’m sure I’ll find that musical outlet somewhere.)

So, if you happen to be stuck like me, why not give these questions a spin: What do you need? What do you want to be? How can you get there?

I’d be interested to hear whatever you’d like to share. Many times we can be constrained by our own imaginations. It doesn’t hurt to take a peek at what others might have to offer.

Or, you know, we can geek over our general love of Broadway. I’m cool with that too. Not cool with Broadway? Well, I’m always up for whatever’s on your mind, I’d like a break from mine.

About Jessica Morales

Jessica is the Marketing Director & Publisher of NWYT. With a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and a minor in Music History, she is an avid reader, less frequent writer, and altogether just loves to hear a good story. To that extent, her field of study may have been slightly influenced by a certain movie archaeologist. Read more about her here. See All of Jessica's Posts

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