Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

When things get hard, I write.

Perhaps it was growing up attending a TAG school, perhaps it was the constant reading as a child. Whatever it was, it seems to be ingrained into my very being that, when life feels difficult, I need to write. When my thoughts feel overwhelming, when my emotions feel like too much to handle, my fingers itch for a pencil (or, in this case, my mother’s laptop because SOMEONE cracked my computer at school…FESS UP, YOU HEATHEN).

When I was 9 years old and mad about the bully in my second grade class, I would write angry little letters in horrible chicken scrawl, hidden away in the overflowing cabinets of my bedside table. When I was in 8th grade, stuck in a new city with no friends and absolutely nothing to do in the peak of the pandemic, I wrote my parents a two-page persuasive essay about my reasons for wanting to raise a service dog. When I was a sophomore in high school, the new kid once again, I filled pages and pages of a leather-bound journal, writing out my (sometimes embarrassing) thoughts for future me to peruse.

I have written dozens of stories: two-acts, short stories, novels left forever abandoned on random google docs. At school, essays are, by far, my favorite assignment. At dinner when I was little, my parents would have to confiscate my journal, as I would hunker down on my stomach underneath the table, scratching out a story about a kid who could fly or a nun or a dog. For me, writing is like breathing.

I have never had trouble finding my words. Maybe that is why I find it so discomforting to be stuck now.

Perhaps I will start here.

I wrote on this blog approximately five months ago. A lot has changed since then – I am about to be 18 (yay! *sob*). I have been accepted into the University of St Andrews in Scotland, where I will be studying come September. And in the 150 days since I posted my first blog, I have had exactly three quarter-life crises. The first was after seeing “Lizzie” at Theatre Three. The second was after seeing “Anne-Tig-Uh-Knee” at Second Thought Theatre. And the last, well, more on that later.

“What were these quarter-life crises about, oh teenager I do not know?” Thanks for asking. I’ll tell you. I have attended Booker T. Washington for the past 3 years of my life, surrounding myself in the arts. I have worked with incredible professionals, seen countless shows. I have helped build sets for plays I acted in, I have written shows that I’ve gotten to see performed, I have tried hard things and sometimes failed. I have fallen in love with theater again and again.

And now, with this whole adventure of my life wide open, I feel paralyzed with all of the things I can do. I can live in Boston or Dallas or Chicago. I can be a doctor, or a pastor, or a therapist, or an actor. I can have three kids or none, marry young or not at all. I have so many options, so many things that I love, that it feels impossible to pick. It is hard to write this because I’m not entirely sure how I feel – I am simultaneously excited and terrified and dreadful and thrilled.

But, in the throes of my first breakdown-over-not-studying-theater-in-college, Mrs. LeBlanc told me something extremely important. She said that life is short, but it is also very long. You can be many things, not just one. So what if I am not getting my BFA right now? Nothing is off the table.

As I wrote in my last blog post, seeing Once at T3 as a seventh grader changed my life. More than five years later, I had the opportunity to see it again at Casa Manana, starring Ian Ferguson as Guy, his reprise after performing the same role at T3 when I saw it. I watched it on Friday, then immediately called my best friend and took her again two days later (thank God for student rush tickets) for their closing show. I sobbed loud tears the entirety of the second act, much to the shock of the old people sitting next to me at the Sunday matinee. Obviously, it was an incredible, breathtaking show, one I will think about for a long time, but I am reminded that this is not a theater review.

Instead, I will explain that, in the middle of grieving the so-called “loss” of theater in my head today, I had a sudden realization. A lot has changed since 7th grade, that is true. I stopped wearing my hair piled completely on one side, started standing up straight instead of bent over like Quasimodo. But what has not changed is my love of theater. I may understand them more now, but the same songs in Once that destroyed me as a child did so again as an almost-adult. My wonder and amazement at the talent I watched was the same. My emotions at observing such a bittersweet show were unchanged despite knowing the ending. Theater is just as important to me now as it was when I first fell in love.

And theater is not going anywhere – it has defied all odds for thousands of years, so I suspect it will survive my 4-year stint in Fife. Seriously, though, I have come to the conclusion that theater will always be a part of my life. The way it is may change overtime, but this love is not disappearing. And what that will mean for me will become apparent later.

So now, I am sitting on the couch, listening to the soft strum of the guitar coming from my phone’s speaker, and I remember the way the young boys sitting next to me chattered excitedly to each other during intermission, and the way that the old couple sitting off to the side of the stage would whoop the loudest at the conclusion of songs, and how, the moment the last chord of Falling Slowly played at the end of the show, the entire audience rushed to their feet, roaring with applause. And the actors, flushed from the adrenaline of a show well done, bowed together one last time with tears in their eyes. And I feel hope.

Until next time,