I feel like my desire to act is slowly fading.
Why? I don’t know. Maybe I’m enjoying writing too much. Maybe I’m too distracted with other things. Maybe I’ve realised that I might not be as good as I thought.
Whatever the reason, I’m scared and embarrassed.
This is a dream I’ve had since my Year 8 English teacher told me I had ‘set the bar high’ after performing a self-devised monologue from To Kill A Mockingbird (I asked her if I could take the class to the front gates and perform my scene there because I thought it would be truer to Scout’s character objective).
If I leave the dream now, will I disappoint her? Will I disappoint Ms Homfray who told me that I was ‘made for the television’? Will Pete and Soph and Doris and Serhat and Anthony feel like they wasted their time teaching me? Will the palmist start questioning his ability to read the future accurately? Don’t I, don’t we, have an obligation to meet others’ expectations of us? Don’t answer, I know. Of course not. The only obligations we need to meet are our own.
Then why is it so damn hard to give it up?
You see, for me, dreaming is easy. It comes second nature to me. I build castles in the sky as effortlessly as I take breath. I once rammed my car into the back of the car in front of me because I was too busy gazing at an awesome cloud. It is in the demolition of these castles where my struggle lies. Imagine, you’ve built up a story about yourself around these dreams – I’m going to the Big Apple to be an actor! I’m leaving teaching so I can be on stage! – you’ve joined Facebook groups that support this dream, you get tattoos to brand yourself with these dreams. And then, to backspace and find yourself in the middle of blank page with no letters to cushion you…that’s hard. You run the risk of people calling you flighty, hypocritical, all-talk. And that sucks more that cloud-gazing ever could.
I have eight weeks of Stella left. I owe it to my classmates to get my passion back.
I will find a way.
I must find a way.
Don’t think of decisions as being so permanent. ‘Leaving now’ does not mean you can’t ‘join in’ again next time. ‘Fading now’ doesn’t mean that that torch won’t ‘light again’ tomorrow. Allow yourself to flitter and flutter in and out of your dreams, darling, for even the trees have to go into their winter before they can come out with new foliage in the spring. Let this time of winter be one of reassessment, reevaluation. And yes, you may reemerge with new dreams, new ambitions – but isn’t that exciting?! Which flower blooms the same petals each spring?
Don’t fear giving up dreams; giving up self is far more concerning. And that, my dear, can never happen for self is the permanent fixture in the building of your life. Everything else, they’re merely furnishings and can be moved and painted and polished and upholstered. As long as the foundations remain, renovate your little heart out. And the more comfortable you become with your own curiosity, the more you will meet people who are just as avid at home design as you are, and they will not judge you; they will understand that your dream today may not be yours tomorrow and they will never hold it against you. Rather, they will be excited and inspired by you and will go on to make renovations of their own. And what a world that would be.