Losing Myself

I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively grounded and strong person. I knew myself really well and I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I had so much passion, so much drive. And it seemed like if I really put my mind to it, I could do anything I wanted to. My mom always told me so, so there was no reason to disbelieve it.

But, now, I don’t know anymore.

Despite the fact that I am studying English writing, there was always a part inside of me that had something else in mind. In my heart and soul, I am a dancer and a singer and an actor. I dreamed about it when I was asleep and thought about it all the time I was awake. I was born a performer and no matter what else I set up as a backup plan, it was ALWAYS my intention to pursue a career in that. Sure, it wouldn’t be easy. Sure, I had to be practical about it. But I spent all of middle school and high school immersing myself into that world.

To help prepare, I performed in and worked in over 24 theatre productions in less than 6 years, at least half of those being musicals. In high school, I held the positions of representative, vice president, and president in my division of the International Thespian Society. I was at the rank of International Thespian by the time I graduated. I joined every choir I could afford to at my school. I got 5 credits just in advanced choir and show choir. I spent a semester conducting and singing with Women’s Ensemble. 2 years in a row, I wasn’t enrolled in the class but I learned the Advanced Choir’s music outside of school and performed in the concerts with them. I went to 2 years of DoDEA Honors Choir. I learned a new musical instrument and continued practicing the ones I already knew. I auditioned to be the vocalist for the Jazz Band every single year. I taught myself new styles of dance- hip hop and jazz. I choreographed for all the choirs. I helped choreograph for the musicals. I spent all my extra time investing and improving in my passion and it was a labor of love. Every hour I spent practicing was a step closer to achieving my dreams. Every social outing I missed was necessary collateral in the grand scheme of things.

Moving forward, I was ready to continue preparing myself to pursue this career in college. I was going to audition for the productions, participate in more acting classes, get some formal training in classical dance. I was ready to move forward with this passion even while I was getting a degree in something sturdier. However, what I expected least was to get a knee injury which would keep me off my feet (for the most part). I am going on 4 months since I first got injured and have gotten no closer to being able to dance again or stand/walk for more than an hour. I keep pushing myself to my limit with my exercises. I try to ignore the pain but it’s too strong. I couldn’t stand long enough to perform, let alone dance.

And trust me, I’ve tried. Today I tried to get up and do some very basic dance moves. I was sitting down after a minute of dancing because my knee had shooting and stabbing pain. I tried pushing how long I can stand; my knee buckled underneath me. The only thing I can still do at all is sing and play my instruments. I can’t even perform that unless I am sitting.

So, what now? I seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole, lost my way. How do I get back to where I once was? How long will it take me to get where I am going? Do I even have a chance anymore? I’ve lost myself and I really don’t know where to go from here.

4 thoughts

  1. Just keep working towards it. Even if you feel you aren’t as good as you used to be. I know it’s gonna feel odd and maybe somewhat painful at first, but if you just keep working towards it, and if it’s truly what you want. You’ll get better again 🙂 and then once you get back to where you once were, keep practicing, and you’ll keep getting better and you’ll reach the levels you truly desire, I know you can do it

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    1. You are so sweet Andrew. Thank you for the kind words and support. Trust me, I haven’t given up quite yet. Even with re-injuring my knee, I still have that drive inside of me. It’s just gonna be a bit harder to get back to that point for now.

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  2. It is never too late to follow your dreams and sometimes the ones that we work the hardest for are worth the most in the end. I know it is difficult when you encounter hurdles and things that take you off your path, willingly or not, but you are strong smart and capable. And when you are really having a hard time – think about the olympic swimmer who just broke her back because of an unfortunate freak accident and is find ways to swim again despite being paralyzed. Or of the female surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack who went on to win many surfing awards. I know that it won’t be easy and there will be days when it is harder than others, but you can STILL do whatever you set your mind to….and I know, cause I’m your mother and I still say so.

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    1. Thank you mom. You really have been helpful throughout all of this. I know it’s hard to watch me going through this, but you haven’t questioned being there for one second. I love you and thanks for the support. Trust me, I’m not giving up quite yet.

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