Today I was singing the words, “Send a wish upon a star. Do the work and you’ll go far,” by brilliant singer/songwriter Sia. These lines got me thinking.
Whether I first came to America with a well thought-out plan, or just by following impulsive craving, from the moment that I arrived until today, I do not regret a single day spent in this place. Coming out here to chase a dream at the cost of living far away from my homeland has changed me forever. Forcing myself out of my natural habitat has opened my eyes to secret life details, that I wouldn’t have otherwise ever noticed if I stayed within my comfort zone. I left a beautiful bubble and saw a new world. Even if I go back now, nothing will be the same again… In a good way, of course.
As I sit at this desk, looking out into this chaotic, yet beautiful New York ant’s nest, I can’t help but thinking, why on Earth would I live here? What am I doing here? Is this who I really am? What does that mean? Who am I?
Well, that’s the million-dollar question for all of us, isn’t it?
I finally finished my internship with a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, I was sad to be leaving a young, savvy environment, which I was only starting to get acquainted with. But on the other hand, this was a happy sadness; I felt I had acquired so much through empirical learning. It was an education based on all sorts of information which entered through every sense, was further analyzed and stored into my “lessons folder”, and engraved in my brain forever. This experience was much different than my classes at Berklee, and therefore I appreciate it in new ways. I got to experience myself as a professional. There were no professors standing in front of me, dictating information.
The professors in this internship were the everyday challenges, the tasks, the fear, the thrill, the questions, the mundane, the bitter frustrations and the sweet satisfactions. All of these factors taught me much more than I would have ever imagined. This is why I think everyone should go through a work experience like this, at least once in their lifetime.
Working for an important company will thicken your skin, make you sharper, quicker and feed you with confidence. And this is not because you will do everything that is told to you correctly, master your field of study after a few months, and prove how amazing you are to everyone, but all the contrary. You will probably fail at tasks, embarrass yourself at least once a week, ask stupid questions, give stupid answers, get corrected, feel frustrated, bored, anxious, and most of all, fear what will become of your career for most part of your time working there. Yes, that’s what it’s all about. Exciting, eh?
All of this to say, and I do not mean to sound masochistic, but I believe you need to know what it feels like to hate your job, fear your future, to feel sad, lonely and discouraged, at least once in a while to keep moving forward. The good-old concept of tension and release. You need tension to obtain release afterwards, and vice versa. You need to linger in the darkness sometimes, to get to appreciate the light when it’s your turn to see it. Otherwise, life would give it all away too easy, and as selfish human beings as we are, we wouldn’t appreciate anything. Not even the sunniest day.
Homesick. That’s the one term that inhabits me when I am in desperate need of self-affirmation. What is home to me? Does it mean Buenos Aires, Boston, Brooklyn, or any physical place for that matter? I have been feeling homesick for so long now, that my definition of home is getting a bit lost in translation. And I believe this is because I am beginning to associate home with a state of mind, and not with a place anymore. The question is not where, but who. In either case, if home were a place, it would be where I find Silvina, my original self. I am home, we all make our own home. And that can be the happiest or saddest statement of this train of thought, depending which half of the glass we are looking at.
Myself, as a human being, as a romantic, brown-eyed dessert-loving, artsy loud girl with an accent. That’s who I am, wherever I am. I am free to choose whoever I wanna be, and therefore wherever I wanna be. I still have the time to choose the life I want to have. We all do.
After such experience, the one thing I can feel confident about is my own self, with all my strengths and weaknesses. Indeed, this is the strongest asset we can all afford to have: ourselves. We are capable of anything just because we are someone. New York, the western civilization’s capital will often times condescendingly ask you, “And, who are you?” When this question is thrown at you, take a deep breath and tell yourself, “I won’t let that question intimidate me, because behind that question there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of!” Whoever is asking in whichever circumstance, you know that the answer is within the question: You are. You are you. You are in order to follow your dreams and to find out who you are everyday, for the rest of your life. And what does that mean? Well, I believe there are as many answers to that as people in the world.
As far as I go, now I know my job for life is to stay true to myself by doing what I love. We should all do what we love. Don’t know what you love, yet? Do as many things as you can, until it hits you. Even if you have to go through a hundred jobs or internships; I promise, it will hit you one day.
It’s been a wonderful ride.
Thank you for reading!
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Silvina Moreno is a singer/songwriter from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied Songwriting and Music Business at Berklee College of Music. She loves to perform and write songs. Her music is a mix of alternative pop in English and Spanish with some Latin rhythms and tango. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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