The World on the Other Side
Whatever you do: Do it for you.
April 11, 2022 – Jani Palsamäki
"Grandma, may I ask you something?"
"Of course, Isabella. What is on your mind, my dear?"
"How did you know you wanted to become a veterinarian?"
Grandma followed a lonely seagull in the distance with her gaze before answering.
Isabella dug her fingers into the warm sand, sitting in silence, staring at the waves gently hitting the shore.
"Is something bothering you, my child?" grandma asked softly, knowing the answer already.
"This is the last year of school. Dad wants me to go to the university and study law."
The seagull swooped down towards the surface of the ocean.
Grandma, tracking the diving bird with her eyes, smiled warmly.
"You don't want to go."
It was not a question.
Isabella lifted her gaze and looked at grandma almost apologetically.
"Lawyers do important work. They are respected. They get paid well." Isabella muttered unenthusiastically.
With a splash, the seagull rose towards the sky, a plump fish in its beak.
"Those are all true." grandma agreed tenderly.
A screech of disappointment echoed over the waves as the lucky captive escaped its captor.
"I've lived a long life, Isabella. I went through many a profession. We were young, grandpa and me. We did what we had to to get by. To pay the bills. To pay for the house. But there was no passion in those endeavors."
Grandma turned her gaze to Isabella.
"Until I made the decision." she winked.
"Taking care of animals was and is my passion. The studies took time, of course, meaning I spent the days working and the nights studying. It was hard. And it was the best decision of my life. To finally dedicate my life to something I truly loved."
Isabella sat in silence. Pondering the words.
"I love drawing. Painting. Visualizing otherwordly places." she said longingly.
"I've seen your art, dear. You are talented. Keep drawing. Painting. Creating. Those skills will stay with you all your life. They will open many doors for you. You might not know where those doors will lead yet. That does not matter. Follow your passion. Life is short, Isabella. And it's your life."
Splash. After the umpteenth attempt, the seagull finally escaped with its prey. Always hungry. Never giving up.
Fast forward ten years.
The World on the Other Side launched to critical acclaim, winning all the game of the year awards in the industry.
"The most beautiful game of the generation! The art direction is out of this world!" the gaming press praised.
The sun was setting on the horizon. Isabella's phone rang.
"Isabella" she answered, sliding her fingers in the sand, listening to the waves and the screeches of the seagulls.
"Margetta here! The publications are fighting for a chance to interview the art director. I booked eight meetings for you next week; hope that is ok?".
"That is ok. Everything is ok." she replied warmly.
Isabella stared into the distance.
"I miss you, grandma." she muttered softly, letting the last light of the setting sun caress her face.
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Whatever you do: Do it for you.