Reminder: It's Never Too Late to Pursue Your Passions
#ThrowBack! I auditioned for the school musical and landed the lead role. I was in junior high, and I didn't tell my parents my plans to audition -- I figured they would try to talk me out of it so I could focus on my studies. So, I went ahead and auditioned without them knowing. I knew that I needed to be up on stage, acting. I landed the lead as Natalie in All Shook Up. The impact was profound, and I continued to perform in theater up until college.
I stopped for a few reasons: I was told it wasn't practical, I was told it would be impossible to act if I didn't graduate with an acting degree, but most of all, I didn't think I was good enough.
Then, six years later, in 2018, I decided to go out for a musical. I was offered a leading role. Feeling rather smitten with myself, I happily accepted. But a lot of old insecurities (insecurities I thought I put to rest in my late teens) began to resurface.
Saying this musical was a piece of cake would be a lie. I cried multiple times, and there were a few moments I thought about quitting. But when someone told me, "You're about to find out how hard you're willing to work for what you actually want," I knew I had to stick it out.
"You're about to find out how hard you're willing to work for what you actually want."
Those words sat heavily with me. I began to think about the timid but sweet 9-year-old girl with big dreams to become an actress, the one who wrote her mandatory career essay in middle school on acting. The same hopeful girl who would watch the Oscars and think about who she'd thank if she'd be so lucky to receive an award from a community she so admired. Yes, I'm on a different path than I projected at age 9, but I know that I owe it to my 9 year-old self to give it a try. Trying in itself is a huge success.
And so, my sweet friend, here's to not giving up on ourselves. To anyone who is convinced that they can't do something either because they're too old or it's too late, please know that it's never too late. If one story isn't enough to convince you that your dreams are worth it, I'd like to consider this final quote:
Imagine you're on your deathbed and standing around your deathbed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential. The ghosts of the ideas you never acted on. The ghosts of the talents you didn't use. And they're standing around your bed angry, disappointed, and upset. They say, "We came to you because you could have brought us to life," they say, "and now we go to the grave together." So I ask you today. How many ghosts are gonna be around your bed when your time comes?