One of the most profound truths of my life is this:
I want my life to feel like an adventure.
I want the wind in my hair. I want to do something new and bold and bright every day. I want to test my limits and my boundaries. I want to feel every high and every low; I want the complete human experience.
A second equally profound truth of my life is this:
I am afraid of nearly everything: heights, the unknown, falling of any kind, failure, big bugs, bed bugs, infectious diseases…. Really, anything my thoughts can get a hold of I can be afraid of.
I’ve been fearful since birth. I used to hide in my cubby in pre-school. I also once convinced myself I had rabies (no, I was not bitten by an animal of any kind. I just decided I had rabies…). And my first trip to Disney World resulted in a long-term aversion to anything Mickey Mouse.
So basically what I am saying is that my deepest desire is somewhat in conflict with my basic nature. My love of adventure and individuality and freedom is always in conflict with my desire for safety and security and stability.
My career bridges this gap. More specifically, performing bridges this gap.
When I perform, I am free. I am alive. I willingly embrace the unknown (because you never know what’s going to happen during a live show…) and I do it with my entire being.
Performing has forced me to face my fears. And as I’ve done that, I’ve started to learn that my fears aren’t so scary; the stakes in reality are never nearly as high as the stakes in my mind.
It would have been an easier path for me to ignore my adventurous side, to assume that I didn’t have the temperament for big risks and bold dreams. It would have been easier to assume that the stage wasn’t for me because I would be more comfortable somewhere else.
But something deep down always told me I needed more.
I think we all have a voice that tells us to do things that don’t make sense with who we are or who we’ve been. I know how easy it is to sweep it under the rug, and I’ll admit it’s sometimes hard to make sense of its’ outrageous suggestions. But in my experience, this is the voice that I most need to pay the attention to. It shows me who I want to be and guides me as to how I want to grow.
Performing isn’t scary any more. It’s a rush. It’s an adventure. It lights me up and makes me feel so very alive. It is the foundation of why I do what I do.
And so I say to you: when you are most afraid, keep going. Don’t let your idea of who you are keep you from being who you want to be and living the way you want to live.
This has made all the difference.