It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This…

It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This…

No one tells you what life will really be like when you grow older. Perhaps because no one really knows your journey – even I didn’t know my journey when I was many, many years younger. All I had was an idea – an ambitious dream. I was going to be an actor. Not just an actor, but a working actor. I trained, I learned, and I worked hard to achieve my goal.

Truthfully? I spent 17 years of my life trying to establish myself as a working actor, but it was not to be. I did win roles, but not often enough nor consistent enough to eek out a living on an actor’s pay. I therefore worked several jobs days/weeks/months in a row just to support my ambitious dream, and I exhausted myself in the process. I made countless sacrifices, giving up so much for so little. I grew tired, frustrated, and depressed. No matter the training, connections, or experience, I just couldn’t make my dream succeed. It did not come to fruition.

Sometimes that can be the hardest reality to accept. Despite how hard I tried and how much I sacrificed, my dream did not come true – not the way I had imagined it would. Does it mean that I failed? Sometimes it feels that way. Sometimes I feel like I failed myself and all those who supported and loved me. They believed in me. They encouraged me. They were so proud of me. I let them all down. I didn’t achieve the level of success I had so hoped to achieve and they so believed I deserved. It is difficult to come to peace with that. It is difficult to carry that burden. Yet, it is a truth that so many of us encounter. We are scared to let go of past pursuits and broken dreams because it signifies failure. But does it, really? And did we really fail?

Now, a little bit older and somewhat wiser, I actually believe it should be the journey taken that signifies our success. Perhaps finding peace in letting go isn’t achieved by looking at what you did not accomplish, but rather what you did. Perhaps to feel content within your journey you must recognize the worth of that journey by acknowledging the experiences you lived and the person you became as a result of your pursuits. Is it failure to experience personal growth and allowing yourself to evolve and change? No. We must remember that travelling down one path means having the courage to dare upon a new one – an unexpected one – not necessarily better but perhaps more befitting with who we are and what we truly want for ourselves. Sometimes letting go is the true success. And sometimes, failure isn’t failure at all.

I am contented to know that I have not failed because I had the courage to live it all – the ups, the downs, and the messy in-betweens. I had the courage to travel the paths laid before me, whether I chose them or they chose me. It has been my journey to traverse; and I know that my journey has helped shape me into the person I am today. I take nothing for granted – and I am utterly grateful for another day to revel in new experiences. Where my journey takes me, what I will achieve, and how I will continue to grow is a mystery yet to be unveiled to me.

So be proud of your journey. You have not failed, you have had the courage to live. Your journey is unique – it’s all yours to live – and it’s magical.

Even if it wasn’t supposed to be like this…

It Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This…Published by Crystal Joy Hall

Featured Image by Pixabay

  • Gordon Hall

    For years and years I kept saying you were not a failure for all the reasons you just outlined, plus some you didn’t. I am glad you can now look back and be proud of all you accomplished. I know I could not be any prouder of you. You tried. You did your best. You persevered. You found love, a partner and have a wonderful son. You beat cancer twice. You are awesome.

    November 16, 2021 at 12:48 PM
  • I wanted to be a chemistry professor. I realised at the end of my PhD that it would be a long road and sadly incompatible with having a family – maybe not true today but 15 yrs ago I looked around and the female lectures I saw were either without family or partner or had children but worked part-time without real success or respect from their peers. I didn’t want to make either of those compromises. So I work in software, I feel like it’s a waste of my PhD because I don’t use any knowledge I gathered during those years of study. However, I do use skills – research, time management, data analysis.
    I’m glad to read that your perspective has altered over the years and you’ve found pride in your journey. Xx

    November 22, 2021 at 3:21 AM

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