In school it was so simple.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
A doctor, a police officer, a ballet dancer?
I wanted to be an actor.
I did my drama classes, I was in school productions, I did a double major minor in theatre arts at college and was weighing up which tertiary institute I should apply for based on it’s acting degree.
I hung out with a lot of theatre types and most were much older than me. I did stage managing and played small roles (occasionally large roles) in local productions.
I noticed that a lot of these people although very fine actors, struggled so hard. Even with experience, talent, the “right look” there are so many obstacles. There was an excellent actor of around fifty whose work I admired greatly, he had studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic arts and was just such a wonderful epitome of an actor. He returned from overseas and had nowhere to go so he crashed on the couch in the group house I lived in. This unnerved me a bit. I was nineteen. He was nearly fifty, a talented, qualified, passionate and relatively successful stage actor but he was couch surfing still.
I gave up acting shortly after. Having spent nearly all my spare time and devoted my life to it since I was about six, I just gave it up and never went back.
I knew that the struggle I would have would be disproportionate to the rewards and the love of it was withering up, turning me into a vain and selfish individual so acting was gone. I greatly admire those who have had the courage of their convictions and talent to continue pursuing it but I am only envious in as much as they have such passion for something.
I studied natural therapies at two different institutions but didn’t complete the degrees, I have started an arts degree when I didn’t know what to do. I worked in hospitality, childcare, land management and restoration, for the last six years I have run an automotive based business with my husband and I am weary of it.
I am studying a diploma of counselling and would dearly love to use it in a professional capacity but even this vision morphs and shifts as time passes …
People are always saying you should pursue your dreams but what if you aren’t sure where your talents, passions and gifts lie? What then? Even when you get third-party perspective and people tell you should do a thing how do you know what is worth doing?
I am a married, thirty-four-year-old business owner and mother of (nearly) four and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
My problem isn’t having the courage to follow my dreams, it is having a cohesive dream.
I know I am not alone.
There are many others who want to find their gift to the world and use it in a meaningful fashion.
I know that it is a delightful place of privilege that allows our minds to fret over such things and yet we find that our souls are restless.
What shall we do?