Wendy or Peter Pan? | Teen Ink

Wendy or Peter Pan?

March 7, 2014
By Vicky11 SILVER, Charlottenlund, Other
Vicky11 SILVER, Charlottenlund, Other
9 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
The wisest men follow their own direction - Euripides

I know a lot of people who claim to have the courage to pursue their dreams, and until recently I have thought myself one of them. I always thought that making the decision to pursue what you love was as simple as being honest with yourself about what you want, what you are good at, what you want to contribute to the world in the short time that you are here. So why is it so damn difficult?

When the choice comes between doing what you love and what you feel like you “ought” to do, does there come a time where your own voice become indistinguishable from the voice of your parents, your school teachers', your friends' ? At what point did we begin to label the voice that shouts of passion, art, beauty as the voice of a child, and begin listening to the voice sounding suspiciously like our parents', convincing ourselves that we want to study something sensible, we want lots of money, we want to compete. When did becoming an adult become the main goal, rather than an inescapable part of life?

In Peter Pan Wendy decided to stay in her grown up world, never following Peter Pan to a world of childish passions. Walking out of the cinema after that movie it seems only sensible that we should nod and agree with her decision; of course she did the right thing, what would she have gained by living in his dream? However what I always wandered was, did Wendy ever look back with a heart full of regret? I always imagined she did. When she was a regal grown up woman, with a husband, children, and sensible carrier I always imagined her going to the window every night and searching for her lost never-land in the sky. Did Peter Pan really make the wrong decision to live in a dream world, or did he, unlike Wendy, block our the boring voice of society and pursue the life that we all secretly dream of?

One reason I discarded the idea of myself as a dancer, artist or writer was the cliché phrase that I had taken to be of my own invention, “ Where will you get the money?” After years of people telling me to be more grown up, I had taken this to be evidence that I was finally questioning childish fancies with real, grownup practical questions. I felt proud. However if this was a good thing, why did I always feel a little empty working diligently on my physics and math, a little jealous of the gypsy dancer on the street, a little too happy when I took a break from calculus to write a poem. When does the word “hobby” give us an excuse not to pursue our little passions with our whole life and heart, in spite of the economic difficulty, in spite of our pride, in spite of our image of our selves as scientists, doctors, lawyers and other professionals shaped to the image of our parents?

I refuse to believe that this is a problem unique to me, even though sometimes it feels like I am totally alone. There are so many who are happy to discard their passions for a life of economic safety, a life of respect, a life the makes them and their parents proud. I admit it to be a noble choice. However what happens to the people who are just a little too restless, a little too passionate, a little to different to fit into this framework, but too middle class, too thirsty for success and too conscious of their parent's ambitions for them, to spend the rest of their life drawing portraits on the streets of Paris. What happens to them? Do they have to spend the rest of their life in the closet, not admitting their true passions towards Plath, Austen and Hepburn? What happens to the people who have had both Coco Chanel and Marie Curie as their role models?

Why has the wish to create something beautiful, say something meaningful, live a life of adventure become so impossible for those brought up by professional parents in an environment where art is for the rich, and the poor have to “make it” in the hard subjects. Am I merely lazy and not hard working enough to enjoy physics and math as much as I ought to? Am I ungrateful for having the opportunity to learn rather than selling shoes at a market in some Russian province?

When did loving calculus and mechanics become so much easier a path in life, than loving poetry and dance. Is it possible to love both? Or perhaps our love for one merely a beard for our secret passion for something else, something less acceptable in a world where being useful is more important than being creative.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Mar. 15 2014 at 4:04 pm
BurrThistle GOLD, Jaipur, Other
10 articles 0 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect

this was AMAZING !!!! I could really relate with it. I'm a closet writer. No one- my friends or my family would understand my passion for writing. In fact, my parents have already asked my think about which Law school i want o go to. That's the choice i get. Anyway, This piece was extremly well-thought out and heart-felt. Loved your train of thought and flow of writing. No wonder  you got that Editor's choice.

Vicky11 SILVER said...
on Mar. 15 2014 at 2:58 am
Vicky11 SILVER, Charlottenlund, Other
9 articles 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
The wisest men follow their own direction - Euripides

I know exactly what you mean! I have the same problem :/ My family grew up poor so I always had to give up my passions to do what was "right" and have a future, even if it's not one that I want. So I really admire you for persuing creative writing :) hope you have a fantastic time at college!

on Mar. 14 2014 at 11:18 am
Triscuits BRONZE, Vinton, Virginia
3 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"She may be tragically beautiful, but I'm beautifully tragic"

Thank you, this has really made me feel a lot better about my college decisions! I constantly receive criticism for wanting a degree in creative writing, the only person encouraging me being my mother. Everyone else always says that it'll be a waste of money because I'll never get a job; however, my mama always says that all that matters is earning enough to take care of yourself. To me, it's more worthwhile to do something I love and be poor rather than something I dread and being rich.

on Mar. 12 2014 at 7:20 pm
SpidersAcrossStars PLATINUM, Hayward, California
36 articles 0 photos 160 comments

Favorite Quote:
For you, a thousand times over.

This really made me think...     Thank you.