I bet Pony Boy wore Converse All Stars

It’s funny how things just come up in your mind in times that make hardly any sense for an intelligent thought to arise. Mostly because it was a metaphor about shoes, but I love a good metaphor, and I love shoes. 

I’m not bringing my black high top vans to the UK with me, I’m bringing my black high top converse. This, from an outside viewpoint would virtually place each pair of shoes at the same level. Stay with me here, I wasn’t sure of this at first either. Both pairs black and white, with similar style; who cares which one you value more, right? Right.

Except, many of us started off as one or the other. Either when you were a young kid you had a trusty pair of vans or you rocked the All Stars; I know, because I only ever had those simple but lovely, Chuck Taylor’s. Vans are super trendy now, and converse are kind of trending slowly behind. 

converse n vans

My trip to Spain was really not modeled around what I had previously envisioned. But for the record, I didn’t really have a previous envision. I wanted to pursue the Spanish language for a chance to translate in a sociological manner. I knew by staying in America I wouldn’t be able to really commit to it, I needed to go there I thought. But, the only reason I really was going in fact was to become fluent, to use my second language for a more profitable career, a translator. I only had extrinsic motivation for this. I never really had the passion inside that I had wished would be present while learning Spanish.  I hated the subject in high school and for some odd reason I tested into advanced classes in college? So clearly, I can do this…. Except I was literally not prepared what so ever for Spain linguistically.

That isn’t the point, what is the point was my blatant disregard for the time and care it takes to learn a second language at our ages. I thought it would be easy honestly, and in the correct environments it probably is. In Sevilla, I took too many things to heart every day,  I didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of a class of strangers. The anxiety lessened after I moved living arrangements, and there, I was able to progress a great deal farther than I thought was possible. I had realized just how time consuming it would be for me to perfect my Spanish to the level of sociological translation. I decided I didn’t want to pursue this type of career any longer, because I found I didn’t want to commit to that either. Reflectively, I found I work best at my own pace for my mind and my heart with regard to language acquisition. Yes, I’m pulling that card! I don’t care. What has always taken care of my mind and my heart has been writing. I felt beat down every day, even when I did okay speaking Spanish or overcoming anxious feelings. I wrote constantly, confining in my words just like I did when I realized their strength.


I know that translation is a more lucrative and safer career choice for me. I am aware being a writer of whatever happens upon me is kind of not a 9-5 type of stability. But why not? Why not take a chance? Before I sign some contract to end up working for a company where there is essentially nothing I think is of real progressional substance. I don’t want to be bound! I know, wild card Taryn, up and at it again. But, a lot of people do make it, and a lot of people make it work. 

So even though the trend is to wear vans and go to college to get a good job, I’m going back to my old converse that feel like the Taryn who follows her heart.

make it happen

Vans was founded in Costa Mesa, California in 1966, and in 1908 Converse began in Malden, Massachusetts. To me this makes sense, I came from Massachusetts, my roots are in a Chuck Taylor style of living. Everyone I knew growing up had their favorite and maybe only pair of Converse All Stars. In fifth grade I wore a collared 5 color, vertically striped button up for picture day. It was so cool, everyone thought it was weird but that’s who I am and I love that person a lot. Through losing yourself, often you leave with a little piece of the real you in the process. 

I’m going to be changing my wonderful major around to something a bit more wonderful. Bringing it back to the real me, the writer. Thankfully, I have the freedom to change out some classes because of the interdisciplinary mindset of my program. 

After my next semester in Edinburgh, I will be returning to Plymouth State in the pursuit and motivation to foresee a more journalistic future. I’m so thankful for everything I have gone through up until this point. If I hadn’t wanted to be a Spanish translator, it wouldn’t have brought me to Spain and if I hadn’t come to Spain I wouldn’t have fell absolutely in love with the culture and their beautiful language. I still desire to continue learning Spanish, just this time at my own pace, and how I now know with what works best for me. I feel like that’s pretty hard to argue against; the best way for anyone to learn a second language outside of childhood acquisition is with what works best for them. There is a part of our brains that allows surpluses of creative thought and permits little embarrassment complex’s to occur. This can be classified as our younger and more creative and imaginative years. Once this area shrinks with age, another area becomes larger. This next portion of our mind contains ego, where we are now in competition with each other yet at the same time, also trying to figure out what the other is thinking. That is the game I play with myself, what are they thinking? Now, I have basically overcome this mindless banter, it’s not about anyone else other than me in this. Either you are going to let it eat you alive every day or you’re going to break through it. 

creative kid

I am conscious that my time in Spain has allowed me to realize the road I have always wanted to explore. I never had the confidence to believe that I could be a freelance writer, but throughout my adventures on the other side of the Atlantic, I am also conscious of the fact I can do anything I put my mind to. Anyone has the ability.

My entire philosophy around learning does not necessarily revolve around getting “AH-HA” moments through shoe analyzation. But, it does concern the real importance of finding something that lights your soul on fire and never giving it up. We can not let the fires that flicker inside all of us to be dimmed or stomped out  by the ideology, that we MUST to do any certain thing in a certain order to be successful.

les traveled

Don’t let capitalism, or your dad, or your fake friends or the media or what anyone tells you steer you in the direction of an unfulfilling career. If you can dream it, you can really do it, and if you find you can’t do it, create it. Create the world you envision for yourself because no one stands in your way more than yourself. No one told me to bring my vans to Spain, and no one told me to strive to become a translator.  I convinced myself those were two things I wanted that would support me because that’s what society said.

I challenge everyone to look introspectively and really think about what that thing is, that ignites your soul like nothing else. Find it, and never stop trying to sustain it’s flame.

Stay true to you & “stay golden, Pony Boy.”

follow your heart

Taryn Xx

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