Do you ever just feel like something is supposed to be yours? I bought a guitar the other day. And every time I pick it up it feels like I’m holding the most beautiful thing in the world. I’ve been saying that I want to learn how to play the guitar for months—and then I just decided, while at lunch with a friend, that I was going to go buy one and actually start learning. He went to the store with me and helped me pick it out—this gorgeous red acoustic Fender. And this whole weekend I’ve just been teaching myself chords figuring it out. There’s just something about having your own instrument—this guitar is mine and it’s special and I’m going to play and play until I’m good at it.
I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m done saying “Someday.” What’s wrong with now? I never want to be the type of person that says “someday, someday, someday,” then never actually does anything. I took the first step last year when I started graduate school. Now it’s time to stop putting everything else off. I’m going to learn how to play the guitar, I’m going to learn how to tap dance, I’m going to explore all of the things I’m passionate about.
Last week I was at a little Welcome Back get-together for school when a friend said to me, “It’s amazing. You’ve just come back this year with a brand new sense of confidence.” And I realized that I actually did. It took me a really long time to find it. But it feels nice to have it. Right now, I feel like anything is possible—I’m ready to tackle all the challenges this year has in store for me. Already, I’ve caught myself falling into old traps of self-deprecation and self-doubt—and I’ve let those feelings go. There’s no time for self-pity or negative feelings. I am so lucky to be where I am and I intend to take full advantage of these next two years and learn anything and everything I can.
I’ve been thinking a lot about acting in general lately. I remember when I was a sophomore in college someone convinced me that the only reason I was a good actor was because I hated myself. And for whatever reason, that stuck with me. Acting became this excuse to hide from myself, and I strove to make every character I played as different from myself as I possibly could. I started to believe that people only liked me when I was on a stage, playing a character. And that ultimately led me to a deep dark terrible place. And what I’ve come to discover over the past year or so is this: acting doesn’t have to come from a place of hate. It can come from a place of love. Acting gives me an opportunity to share some of the best parts of myself with others. As my acting teacher has said multiple times already, the more of ourselves we put into a character, the more truthful we can be on a stage. And I’ve learned that you don’t have to be in a state of constant pain and sorrow to be an actor. If I need it, I know where to find it. But I can lead a happy life and love myself and still be a good actor.
This year, I hope to push myself even further to leave my comfort zone—I want to explore different types of characters and really begin to understand exactly what type of artist I want to be. I’m entirely enthusiastic about the upcoming year, for a multitude of reasons. I’m ready to open myself to new experiences and really enjoy life. I feel like every day, I discover new things I’m passionate about. And it’s a great feeling. And I’m going to hold onto it for as long as possible.