She got the best grades in school.
Which got her into the best college.
Which got her a job in her field of study right after graduation.
Which she stayed at for the better part of a decade.
After which, she decided she had enough of.
She packed what she could and sold the rest.
And bought a one-way ticket to the other side of the world.
She spent the rest of her youth never really finding a home,
but she had everything she needed.
She traveled around the globe, going from one country to another,
one culture to another,
eating and drinking the local food,
visiting old ruins and modern marvels;
making new friends and losing track of the old ones.
Her life was now constantly filled with new sights, experiences, and adventures.
She's admired and envied by everyone,
including strangers who hear her tale,
for being so ballsy and daring and seeing the world.
I am not her.
I got good grades in school.
Which got me into a good college.
Which did basically nothing to get me a job in my field of study after graduation.
But I packed what I could anyway and sold the rest.
Not to travel the world.
But to pursue a dream.
I moved to a city I didn't know.
On a path I didn't know.
Actually, fuck the path.
I had to forge my own.
I didn't drift from one place to another.
I didn't stop to see the sights.
Instead, I signed a lease and never left.
I didn't live out of a backpack.
But an apartment in the Valley.
I turned strangers into friends and colleagues.
And questionable, unpaid jobs into paid ones.
And turned those jobs into a career.
I came to a city of millions as an unknown and found a place for myself.
I sought out an industry notorious for being unable to break into.
And I found myself a way in.
I saw an industry of men who can be unrelenting in keeping it a boys club.
And I fought my way in.
But I will never be admired like she is.
No one will ever ask about my tales of a road less traveled.
I won't be called brave for leaving everything behind like she did.
No one will ask to hear my stories.
Because most people don't know this business like we do.
And don't know the things we give up, leave behind, or the struggles we face.
To the outside, we have a job, just like them.
We have an unrelatable job that seems relatable while she lives out a relatable fantasy.
She left everything to pursue a passion and a dream.
So did I.
But her stories will be heard.
While I sit on the sidelines.
No one will know how similar our lives are.
None of them will care about my tale.
But I do.
And that will have to be enough.