Thursday, March 21, 2013

Why Growing Pains Are Good

There is an energy emanating from me since my first premiere. I am still excited!

But at first I was nauseous. Then I started crying. I was afraid; afraid I would be horrible. I couldn't even sleep.

As I watched the premiere I winced every time I came on screen, then slowly I tried to see the characters instead of me. Let's face it, that didn't really work. So I basically stopped judging myself and just watched it all unfold.

Here's the deal - the magic of falling into a movie or series dissipates when you remember how many takes it took or what you needed to do to get to a certain moment.

But here's the good news - It's replaced by another form of magic: the internal caterpillar to butterfly kind. I'll take it.

After the premiere, the cast went up for a Q&A and I felt so vulnerable - like I just showed everyone my heart. Why? 

Because I did. 

I didn't expect to feel so vulnerable. As I went up in front of the screen, I had my arms crossed the whole time. I was fidgeting with my clothes. I was wincing on the inside. I think if I could curl up behind someone I would have. This is not my usual "presenter" self. Usually I'm aware that I am going in front of a crowd, and I mentally prepare myself. This was a surprise. So, I cannot expect myself to behave in a usual fashion for a new experience. Once again, I had to remind myself that I needed to be gentle with ME.

Then the whirlwind began... all of that fear and worry was for nothing. 

 People stopped me to talk to me about my performance, congratulate me, and really bless me with so much positive energy that I was a little bewildered.

It was hard to even finish a conversation with my awesome friends and supporters because another wonderful person was there tapping me on the shoulder or pulling me into another conversation. It was completely surreal.

Then I went on Facebook and twitter I got messages from people who didn't get a chance to talk to me but wanted to share their wonderful compliments and even those people who wanted to talk to me about potential roles!!!

Most importantly, my family and close friends told me that they were proud of me. What a word: "PROUD." It makes you beam like a kindergarten kid on stage for the first time. And I did. I'm smiling now as I remember the feeling. Tears well in my eyes at how much that means.

But here's the part I haven't mentioned - how do I feel now? 

Well, I went from feeling really raw, to thinking about how far I have come. I thought about all of the discomfort and happiness, the roller coaster of struggle and joy, all of that glorious change. 

I feel: Happy. Accomplished. Proud of how far I have come. Confident that this is just the beginning.
This is what happens when you chase your dreams. Each baby step leads you closer and closer, then you reach another small goal that you must complete along the way. Then it's time to embrace it, reflect on it, learn from it, and grow into the next phase of the journey.

When you follow your heart you will be vulnerable or uncomfortable... you might feel growing pains. It might make you feel sick at times because you're doing something you care about.  

But that is why growing pains are GOOD! 

That kind of discomfort is how you know you're doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

This little victory is HUGE at this point in my journey and I'm ready for more.