Emma Stone - Easy A
I've already said it's not easy to say out loud, to write on paper, to post onto the world wide ever-expanding-dont-do-anything-that-will-get-you-fired web your basic philosophy on life and plans for the future; Despite this there's a quote I love from the Mexican movie 'Amores Perros' that kind of explains it all, you know - Why they'll tell you not to, and why you should anyway.
Susana: 'If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans'
Octavio: 'God can laugh all he wants, I still have my plans'.
Of course God in my context doesn't mean God. 'God' is all those people who will laugh at you and tell you not to, the general universe that seems not to notice you unless you are climbing up the corporate ladder, or falling off it. And it seems I've been making a lot of plans, and hearing a lot of laughter. But that's OK because I'm not in this alone. I am only able to be annoyingly defiant, obnoxiously over-confident and completely opinionated thanks to a lot of good people who I wish to acknowledge here, not least because I think people need to know when they're being awesome but also because these people are on the side of 'Why you should anyway'. I will try and avoid the cheesiness of Oscar-winning speeches and hope it turns out a little more like fan-mail to people who are better than any baby-adopting celebrity out there (Angelina Jolie, I'm looking at you).
My parents, for having four other children to whom they can live vicariously through, easing the pressure on me to fulfill their every unmet dreams of youth - I've been spared from the obligation to become a child prodigy, world-class pianist, a maths and science guru and also, dare I say it - tall. I need to thank them also for nodding, smiling and keeping their knee-jerk reactions at bay when I quit my job and decided to work for free instead. For not deeming me mentally unsound when they repeatedly discovered my aversion to money (somewhat worrying) and my grand plans for my future that were about as far away as you can get from the medical-school-graduate they had planned.
To my friends, who have at times looked a little more confused than my parents. You've been my best critics and unknowingly (through the all too familiar slightly tilted head, eyebrows furrowed with a look that begs the question 'Are you serious?') helped me confront the realities of the challenges I'm going to face head on. For not letting me go off completely into lala land without warning me of the flying monkeys and fake-wizards that lay ahead, and then also - perhaps for lack of being able to restrain me - respectfully allowing me to take off onto my soap box and into my rants of life according to Grace.
A few people I don't know, who have unknowingly influenced me in the past month, the past years, or even the past couple of days through their websites, their stories and their unwavering conviction and vision of how they want the world to be. Chris at The Art of Non-Conformity, Marianne at Zen and the Art of Peace-keeping, Susannah Connaway and too many others to count.
Without these people, I wouldn't have had the courage to shout out loud everything I've been wanting to do but never really thought I could. Now, I'm not blaming you, but other people might - just a heads up.. only kidding! Huge arms-wide-open thanks. God can laugh all he wants, thanks to you, I still have my plans!