When I was younger, elementary school to be exact, I remember being treated as though I wasn’t so bright. There would be a group of students that every so often would leave the classroom and I wondered why so I asked my teacher. Apparently they were “above average” (or something like that) and would take advanced math classes and tests etc. I wanted in so I asked my teacher if I could be a part of that group. I don’t recall exactly what she said but I do remember that she didn’t think I belonged in the group. However, I insisted and was allowed to go. This was the beginning of my journey into being an “honor student.” I had to ask and prove myself. Teachers just didn’t see it in me. From that point forward I was slapped with the label of nerd or geek by classmates.
I’m not going to lie, I struggled in those classes, and worked my a** off. Especially in high school with all the AP courses and me knowing that I wanted to study acting, I just didn’t see the point in proving my intelligence or capabilities to anyone anymore. But that need to prove stuck with me. That seed of doubt planted in me all those years ago, being called stupid by my second grade teacher, has grown to a full blown tree that I’m fighting to chop down.
That turned into being an overachiever, running for class president, cheer leading captain, 1st viola chair in the orchestra, you name it, I wanted to be a part of it. And now with my acting I’ve come back to that little girl that feels the need to prove herself and get the approval of others. When I think about it, it’s really sad that anyone is ever made to feel this way.
I’m participating in a 10 ten actor’s challenge and the activities we have to do have been so revelatory. I’m doing things I used to do, things that I stopped doing for some reason, and it made me realize that I need to get back to that ballsy, why not, bad-ass, I don’t give a shit about what you think, young girl. It made me realize that seeking approval from others is getting in your own way and it’s never a good thing.
I have no clue why I’m suddenly in this phase, because that’s what it is – a dam phase. But I’m grateful for the challenge because I feel as though I’m getting back to me, I’m finding myself again and that is a beautiful and powerful thing.
I think it’s important to define certain things for yourself and go by that. Others will always have their opinions and at the end of the day a standard for one may not be the standard for someone else, or for all.
With all of that being said, I walk in the I know: I know I’m smart, I know I’m talented, I know I’m a good daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend. I know I’m not perfect, and I know I’m a work in process. Slowly progressing, slowing bettering myself, and finding myself.
Remember, your path is yours alone to carve and define for yourself. That is your truth. Your power. Let no one rob you of that.