dawn bey: follow your madness

by Dawn Bey

I can’t give you advice as a person who has lived multiple lives or at least made it to the end of mine. But being in my late twenties, I cannot stress how important it has been to find myself in this decade of my life.

Many people love the idea of being young. Even the old tell you how great it is to be young. This fixation on age made me wonder what life was like after 21. Is there one after 21? Yes, just that no one really mentions anything about it. They merely say that you’re an adult so go figure.

One of the most important things I’ve learnt for us in our twenties is that this is an important time to find yourself. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you have to find what you want to be in life but at least know who you are as a person. I spent much of my life before 25 being whoever society told me to be. Fit in with the rest, be nice to people and be the person you want to meet. This sometimes meant that I was a pushover or I tried my best to accommodate everyone at the expense of my happiness. But did I actually know who I was as a person? Not really. I was just one of those really nice people to everyone. I didn’t do it because I wanted people to like me or because I didn’t want to offend anyone. I just was a nice person, that’s all.

In addition to that, I was going through the motions, trying to find and figure out what life would become. Everyone eventually wants the good life with a big house and an awesome family. But being a passionate person myself, I realised I wasn’t honestly going to have any of that if I was merely going to work myself up the ranks like a robot. I needed to know what I wanted to work towards- not just a job title, but something that would get me truly excited about.

But when I entered art school, I really started to wonder about the person I was. Honestly, I couldn’t find that person for a good two years or so till my ex gave me possibly the best advice any ex-boyfriend could ever give me: Live for yourself. It hit me there and then. Maybe I had been living for others the whole time, to make everyone happy and to keep the harmony in society. But did I live for myself? What would that entail, really?

So I sought to find myself over the next six months which coincided with the making of a fashion collection which I would graduate with. I started from zero, thinking about the things that really made me tick. It’s all these nuances that makes us different, which I believe makes us all unique. Social justice, ethics, love of craft and being yourself were issues on my heart that made rage inside with passion. And with that, I slowly found myself looking out for organisations, people and jobs that worked with these themes. They could be remotely be related to my field of fashion but it made me gather new information and bounce off the passion these people had.

And through that, I found myself. The best quote I’ve ever heard, ever, was “Follow your madness and let it set you free.” I saw this on Lone Wolf Magazine but this line wasn’t credited to anyone. Honestly, find yourself. Start with things that make you tick, even if you don’t understand why. The twenties is a time when you discover yourself and when you start to accept your strengths and your flaws. Once you have this foundation, it would make living the rest of your life so much easier and better.

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