The Girl I Mean to Be Part 2: ‘Why?’ is Now ‘Why Not?’

This summer so far has been one of the most eye-opening of my life. Besides being sort-of on my own and realizing, among other things that money does not grow on trees but that it does multiply if you work a lot, I’ve also gotten to know myself so much better.

That sounds weird- how can you get to know yourself better? But it really is what’s been happening since I graduated. I’ve done some things this summer that I haven’t been proud of, but for the most part, I’ve become a better, stronger, and braver person.

It can be really hard to see these changes in yourself unless something drastic happens that forces you to take action. Most of the things I’ve noticed haven’t been like that. Sure, I’ve been making more decisions completely on my own, because I now have the freedom to do that. Yes, part of those decisions were based on the financial freedom that I do have. And it’s true that I’ve been trying to get myself more financial independence by applying for more jobs. But honestly, these are all things I knew would happen eventually. I’m happy they’re happening this soon, but they definitely would have occurred in the future.

But then there are the bigger things. Things like forcing myself to slow down when it comes to auditions. (I’ve been doing this, and it’s been working. I’m so much more relaxed, so much happier, and so much better when it comes to performing.) Things like noticing how much more mature my writing is, subject wise. It’s deeper, it’s more resonant, and I’m so happy with the directions in which its growing. Things like being hurt by a friend and, instead of stewing about it for months and months, choosing to voice the problem right away and finding out that that’s the right thing to do. The problem was addressed and fixed, something that, had it not been talked about that soon, would never, ever have been mended.

And I’m definitely reaping the benefits of these changes. In a few weeks, I’m moving out of my room in this house and into an apartment with one of my friends and two other people: my first non-school-owned apartment. While I still haven’t gotten a show, the knowledge that I did well at my last few auditions helps me sleep at night, and I’m just a lot less harried when it comes to auditions in general. I’ve been exchanging e-mails with my thesis mentor, a playwright that I highly respect and who has been doing some really exciting things, and without my asking, he offered to read any of my material that I wanted him to read. This is a huge boost in confidence for me, especially since he wants me to enter things into a theatre festival and especially because this month, I am pushing myself to do a playwriting event and am seeing how much better and braver I am as a writer. Where I used to pull back and think, ‘I can’t write that,’ I now think, ‘Why not? ‘and write it. And then there’s the whole friend thing: I was hurt and considered freezing him out, but eventually I realized that our friendship was too important to me to lose. However, I also knew that I was in the right and I had to be brave and stand up for myself while trying to keep our friendship intact. As I mentioned, it worked, and I’m proud of the way I handled it.

I don’t know what it is that’s bringing on all these changes- whether it’s growing up or being on my own or just coming into myself- but I’m very grateful for it.


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