I have always been the type of person to question everything. Now, I’ve learned to embrace my inquisitive nature. Sometimes, however, when the anxiety and the questioning intertwine I can scare myself a bit. This past week I was driving home from vacation when I started reading the blog of friends brother (It’s really good! Read it here. ) and I started thinking about my future. I’ve always wanted to become an actress. Sure, my interests have changed a bit, but it’s what I always come back to. After reading several blog posts I started questioning my future.
I’ve always wanted to help people. I’ve always thought that I could help other people through acting because so many musicals and plays have helped me through rough times. But a major question started ringing in my head: what if God is calling me to do something major (like the Peace Corps or something similar).
I don’t talk about my religion all that much, but I am a non-denominational Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ and loving all people (no matter what) the way that Jesus would want.
Suddenly I was very afraid of what that call meant. So in my panic of the future, I called a good friend and one of the most spiritual people I know (shout out to Amy!). We went out for coffee and she gave me a bunch of good advice. To sum it down: God made me who I am and gave me my talents (including acting), so in a way, I’m honoring him by pursuing acting as a career. She also called out my wanderlust and gave me the idea of a gap year. During this time I could travel and volunteer around the world. Because I’m graduating a year early I could take my gap year and then apply to college as I was originally planning.
During our coffee hang-outs, Amy shared a quote with me: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Howard Thurman
This quote got me thinking about what makes me come alive. For the most part, it’s theater. When I’m on stage I feel the most alive and it’s an incredible feeling. I also come alive when traveling and trying new things. The more and more I think about it the more I realize that’s all I want from life: to truly come alive.
Taking a gap year doesn’t mean I’m 1) not going to go to college or 2) I’m going study something other than acting in college.
Firstly, I think a gap year will better prepare me for college and give me some real world experience before hand. Secondly, I think a gap year will make me a better actress. I will have seen new things and taken different risks. Also, I think it’ll help me appreciate the theater more and become a better storyteller overall.
My plan for my gap year is to spend the year traveling to developing nations and to volunteer. I’ve recently discovered an organization call IVHQ which helps send volunteers around the world, I have a feeling I’ll be working with them quite a bit.
I’m excited for what my future holds and I’m excited to come alive.