Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Moment of Truth

So I know I've taken a few pictures in the last week that I never did get around to posting. Life has just been super crazy for us lately. I'll post pictures again soon, but for right now, you're all subjected to another one of my famous rants. Just because I can. Stop reading now if a lot of words intimidate you.

I had a moment of truth recently that really made me think. And it's inspired me to take on a total life makeover. Do you ever reach a point where you wake up and feel like you're Rip Van Winkle and you've been asleep for twenty years (or so.) I had one of those moments. And it's pretty scary. Let me explain.

My birthday was good, if a little quieter than usual. I guess I'm getting to that age where birthdays aren't really as big a deal as they used to be. I got thinking about that and it made me kind of sad. Somehow it made me realize that in my life I've really been on autopilot recently. I'm tempted to say the last two years but it goes back further than that. I won't get into all of my emotional inner-turmoil about the realizations that I've made. Suffice it to say I'm going to making a few changes.

Some of them drastic. Some of them not so much. All of them motivated by one desire: To have the life that I always dreamed about as a kid.

You know when you're little and you tell people that you want to be a teacher or a doctor or an astronaut. (Seriously, at that age whoever said that they wanted to be an accountant or a clerk or in my case, a project manager?)

My dream was two parts really. But I always saw them as connected somehow. From the time I was little I wanted to be an author. As young as 8 & 9 years old I was always writing stories, plays & novels. I just knew that's what I wanted to do. And it never occurred to me that I couldn't or wouldn't. The other thing was that I loved to be onstage and performing. I remember in my 3rd grade play I desperately wanted the part of the chicken. It was a small part, but for some reason that's what I wanted. It was the only part I auditioned for. I practiced and practiced and was thrilled when I landed it. (I sincerely hope that there aren't any pictures of me in that hideous costume still floating around. That would be mortifying.) When I was 13 I was really introduced to serious theatre by a Scottish drama teacher who was brave enough to believe that 7th & 8th graders could handle Shakespeare. (Yep, my first serious role was Maria in Twelfth Night. Again, not the starring role, but the only one I wanted and auditioned for.)

At such a young age I always pictured myself raising a family while acting part time and writing on the side. I could see it. Mother, Wife, Author, Actress. Loving every minute of it!

But somehow those dreams got lost. In high school I guess, when people frequently told me that it's nearly impossible to support yourself as an actor and that most authors had to have a real job because writing didn't pay the bills. So I gave up on those dreams. After all, that was the responsible thing to do right? Go to college and get a real job.

Well now I say, to hell with being responsible. I spent years as a project manager, working 8-5 and what did that get me? A lay-off once the real-estate and housing market took a nosedive and a credential (Certified Associate in Project Management from the Project Management Institute) that few companies recognize or care about.

It's time to do what I really want to do. In a way I've got part of it. I am a mom & a wife which I love more than anything else. But I just can't help feeling that I could be doing more. And perhaps should be doing more. God has given me gifts and talents and abilities I'm not really using right now. It's time to put those to work. For Him and for me & my family.

So I'm doing it. I'm dusting off the keyboard and notebooks and picking up my unfinished masterpieces. Why can't I be a published author? Lots of people are. Why not me? And I'm going on an audition for the first time in over a decade. Next month I'll be going for one of my dream roles, Gwendolyn in Oscar Wilde's the Importance of Being Earnest.

I may recieve nothing but rejection letters as an author and there's a good chance I won't get cast in any show, but at least I'll know that I tried. That I went out and did the things I was passionate about. Instead of waiting around watching life passing me by, trying to console the nagging restlessness in my gut by calling it "responsibility."

I said at the beginning this was a total life makeover. It's not just going out and chasing my own childhood dreams, I really am taking on my whole life. Travis and I had previously started tackling our financial situation. (Thank you Dave Ramsey. For those still mired in debt and blaming your current situation on a down economy, read "The Total Money Makeover." It's amazing!) And you all know that I had previously set some pretty high health and fitness goals (run a half marathon next year and a full 26.2 in 2011. Perhaps a triathalon after that.) Those goals are still there and I feel better than ever about them.

What I'm trying to say is that for the first time in years I'm actually excited by my own life. Instead of "waiting" for something to happen, or "hoping" that "someday" things will turn around for us, I'm actually making things happen. And it feels amazing! I'm finding myself with an expanded capacity to do more in a day than I ever thought possible. (And I thought I was busy as project manager. HA!)

I guess the whole point is that I've finally woken up. After nearly two decades of sleepwalking through my life I'm done with doing what society deems as the "responsible" thing. It's time to start doing my own thing! Call me crazy, call me stupid, I don't care. Better yet call me & we'll do lunch and talk all about it!

7 comments:

William said...

Ha! After twenty years you and I at last have something in common. Good luck, I believe in you.

‘S Rioghal Mo Dhream
William E Herrington

Juli said...

Amen sista! I'm with you on that!

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

Wow!!! One daughter chasing her dreams in Hawaii and another Chasing hers in print and on stage! As a mother I couldn't be prouder.

And Just remember, .....
J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Mayers were both rejected MANY times when they sent their manuscripts to publishers. And the list of A-list actors and actresses who were turned down for roles would fill a book. I believe in you! And I love you more!

Guffey Family said...

Travis said that he encourages that you persue Pole Dancing classes. He's just sure that was one of your dreams.

Ryan and Skye Lowry said...

Go Cali go! Remember, people want you to fail. They don't want to hear your dreams and ambition because it reminds them of the one they lost.
Don't let people get you down!

Ron and Jessica said...

Awesome!

reanda said...

Go Cali!! I have recently been having these type of issues myself (I think it's our age!) You are so inspiring. I can't wait to hear how things turn out! You are super!

PS I LOVE THE BOOK!!! I am ready to run!