For so long, I stretched myself in different directions of art, music, and academia - in hopes to find my identity, voice, and platform. However, my fears and insecurities towered over the big dreams that accompanied my passions.
At the end of my soulsearching arrived a platform - made, fit and knitted just for me:
An artist-activist in this generation that thirsts for creativity, but thrives with injustice.
I know I haven't reached my final destination yet, but I have taken my first steps into my life destiny.
Here are some lessons I learned along the way:
1) Recognize the tools in your hand
What gift or talent do you hold in your hand? What trait about you makes you feel alive? What can you spend hours doing and still stay engaged? How do people around you identity you?
Maybe the gifts and talents aren't so clear. Maybe you only see a pebble-sized something in your hand. But that something is what makes you so unique. Claim it as yours - and watch it grow and multiply!
2) Identity your passion
What stirs, breaks, frustrates your heart? What kind of people? Issue? Nation?
My heart breaks for injustice, specifically for the issue of human trafficking. It is an engine for why how I steward my gifts. It adds meaning and purpose to work I produce, places I go to, and people I interact with.
3) Don't underestimate the value of small steps
In the past few years, I would hear over and over again: "stay faithful with the little to be trusted with the bigger things." This advice is not cliche. It is true and golden!
My current destination birthed from a place of much perseverance, pain, and determination. These steps directed me to where I am now, and molded me into who I have become today.
Keep going and choose to see the invisible light at the end of the road. You will get there eventually. And your sacrifices will make the final reward taste so much sweeter.
Remember that nothing is wasted. Every seed you plant will bear its fruit in perfect timing.
4) Walk with a like-minded community
One of the greatest confirmations of my platform came through finding a community of people who not only share my passions, but also support, pray, and walk with me through the journey.
For so long, I thought I can do it all by myself or that I am alone in this journey as an artactivist. Then I began meeting people, who shared dreams I thought only I dreamt of, ideas I thought were exclusive to me, and issues I thought only I burned for.
I realized that my dreams weren't for myself, but to fulfill with a family of dreamers.
Get rid of jealousy and comparison. Hold hands with the people next to you, and watch your dreams come to life beyond your wildest imaginations.
Walking with a like-minded community adds another dimension and life to your platform.
5) Exercise your platform
This is the best part of the journey: doing what you love with the people you love!
Now you know your gifts and passions - and are surrounded by people rooting for you and walking with you. It's time to soar higher! There is truly no limit for someone who is launched into their destiny.
There is always more to be discovered, and I am never going to know unless I keep using, exercising, and honing my gifts.
"An artactivist, that's me."
I want to fight issues of injustice that breaks my heart with my tools of art and media.
I feel so alive, doing what I am made to do with the people who are also walking in their destiny. The wholeness and joy I feel on a daily basis is so liberating yet refreshing.
So, what does that platform look like for you?
Your voice was given to be heard. Your story exists to be shared.
Find a platform, and speak your voice. Whatever it is - your pain, your gifts, your victory and joy - there is someone out there who needs to hear the words and experiences you thought were exclusive to you.
PIEANA is my newfound platform - to share the stories of my passions and people I walk with.
Excited for this new journey!