Long to Stay
December 29, 2021
Max Rodriguez (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
This has been the trickiest, most weird year I have ever had. So many things I used to believe in for my whole life were suddenly not what I expected. I could honestly write a thousand blogs about everything I had to go through when I moved to Canada, but today I just want to share my perspective about my experience growing older, becoming an adult, and experiencing the world as it is for the first time.
Do you remember when you were a kid and wanted to become an astronaut? Maybe you wanted to be a veterinarian because you loved puppies, or maybe you played soccer with your friends every day to be just like your favorite player. Then you probably learned about computers and all you wanted to do was to be a singer, or an actor/actress, or I don’t know, change the world?
My career assessment stopped at this point, I suppose. My whole world was drawing and taking pictures, so that had to be my career, right? An artist. Well it is my career, it’s all I know how to do and the only thing that makes sense at this point in my life, but I had my doubts.
I grew up in the beautiful city of Bogotá, Colombia, but it is not common for people to think that it is a good place to live in. Not many people love or respect my hometown, and for a long time neither did I. My dream was to become a filmmaker in this perfect city called Vancouver. In my last year of high school, I found out I was very good at math and that I loved science. My heart started to long to stay in my small and simple life, and I guess that if school had finished a week after, I wouldn’t be writing this. But my 17-year-old self was drunk with power. She wanted to leave and be surrounded by this big industry’s air, she wanted everyone to know her name, she wanted to be busy and prove a lot of things to a lot of people.
Two years later, after taking my leap of faith, I learned the meaning of the word “burnout.” I was extremely lost, tired and lonely, and I didn’t know who I was anymore. All I could think about was going home, hugingging my mom, doing stupid things with my friends and never hearing the word “Vancouver” ever again. I was so scared, all I knew was that I wanted to get into college, but I didn’t know what to do after it. Wait, are you telling me that my grades are worth nothing? That graduating with honors doesn’t open doors? That all the people who I helped in college are just going to move on without me? Are you telling me that people are not going to give me the jobs I’m applying to? That student loans must be paid?! That I must get groceries every time I run out of food?!?
I couldn’t handle it. I went straight back home, leaving everything behind.
But then I was home . . . and two years had passed without me. My room wasn’t my room anymore, that delicious ice cream I used to eat all the time tasted like butter, my allergies came back and the medications I used to take for them made me sleepy again. Mom was busy with my sister, my friends were hanging out with their new friends, passing cars didn’t stop when I was crossing the street and . . . I realized I wasn’t part of their lives anymore. This wasn’t 2019, it was 2021. I was not the person who left two years ago. My place was in that city I hated because of all the pressure I put myself under . . . all my hard work and burnout would be worthless if I didn’t go back.
Then I started watching a series on Netflix called Maid and I realized that this is what life is about, breaking and building ourselves over and over, until we know how to handle it. Until we learn how to cook our lunch, until we know how to handle rejection, until we figure out how to accept ourselves and our lives. It’s not supposed to be easy . . . it’s supposed to be what it is meant to be. We’re supposed to fall until we learn how to fly, and I guess it’s about living as many experiences as possible so we can share them with people and maybe encourage them to keep going, cause maybe, just maybe . . .
What we need isn’t what we want, and you just must find out by walking a few uncomfortable steps further.
Max Rodriguez is a Colombian and Canadian who is an unstoppable artist with a strong passion for filmmaking.
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