On The Trap of Glamour And What Really Matters


It’s very easy for me to fall into the trap of glamour.

My whole life I idolized my favorite then-famous actors. I researched them, their lives, how they were discovered, how the magic happened. I schemed and dreamed for years. And I acted on those schemes. I had a five year, ten year, fifteen year plan before I had even taken the SAT, before my peers had even started thinking about colleges.

I had behind-the-scenes interviews with my bathroom mirror when I dreamed of being cast as Luna Lovegood and being the only American in the Harry Potter cast. (Yes, that actually happened. On multiple occasions.)

For the last six months, I’ve been working part-time as a server at a café. I like it, I do, but it’s not something I planned on doing this long. Yesterday, I got offered a temp position at a trendy corporation. Nothing big, just as a call center customer service representative. But for an hour or two I started composing outfits I could wear to my new job, the job where I could wear nice clothes and do my hair how I liked and not get sweaty and gross every time I went to work.

And then the job was taken away. Turns out my trip to New York overlaps with the last two days of training, and they can’t hire me if I’ll miss any training.

Just like that, my little dreams were dashed. Still a server, still part-time, still poor, still sweaty.

But I just remembered, none of that glamour actually makes me happy.

All those red carpet dreams, the clothes and makeup and interviews. The more you have, the more you need. I’ve tried it, on a small scale, and it’s never ending.

It’s never satisfying.

Then I remembered my backpacking trip.

Staying in hostels, skipping showers to have more time to see things, passing around a bottle of cheap wine under the Eiffel Tower in the rain, scaling ruined castles on Loch Ness, watching the swans create ripples in the Bruges canals as the sun shone through the trees and time passed without my notice or care.

Catching buses in Ireland and trains in Switzerland and walking the Champs Elysees at 4 in the morning.

Seeing a folk band play in a local pub in Galway, watching the sun set over Scottish highland countryside, observing fading frescoes on a school building in Pisa.

All of these things gave me more satisfaction and more peace than any pair of heels or red lipstick ever could.

Something worth reminding myself between adventures.

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