|When I was younger, I was never perceived as a "uniquely talented" individual. Maybe it's because I have always focused on what's expected of me, namely academics, rather than pursuing new passions. Growing up, I consistently avoided any risk, which lead to me becoming too secure within my own comfort zone. I recall running straight home from school, and burying my heart into my favorite novel, completely secluding myself from everything. I would get caught up in these fictional stories describing utopian universes, forbidden romances, and extravagant adventures that I forgot about my own, real-life to live directly in front of me. Instead of embracing it, I allowed every opportunity to slip away. Consequently, I became somewhat more self-aware of my "problem" and selected a new pastime.
Beginning in seventh grade, I became devoted to the theater universe. The memory of my first audition and shoving my hands into my pockets to prevent them from shaking remains preeminent in my mind. That tryout scored my first lead role. After the utter shock escaped me, I realized that day I found my calling; I discovered what I was phenomenal at. Throughout my last two years of middle school, I was privileged to play three additional leading roles. In the end, I made incredible friends and memories during my course in the program. This ultimately motivated the decision to put down the books for a little while and continue theater in high school. The first time I ever performed at my new school, I was called "boring and ordinary." At the time, this remark engendered a lack of motivation and spiraled me into a period of uncertainty. How could I have gone from phenomenal to completely forgettable? This was the first time someone had told me that I wasn't accomplished enough. As time passed, I was given time to reflect, and after doing so, I am grateful that I received the type of judgment that I did.
Because of that critique, that rejection, I could take a step back to reevaluate myself as a performer. Seeing that I was awarded a lead role after my first audition back in middle school, I become accustomed to these opportunities being handed to me. I no longer challenged myself to improve, seeing that I was never told, nor did I want to. Overall, this brought numerous factors to light, but one was more prominent than the others. I needed to re-envision my mindset and understand the measures required to enhance my abilities in this art. The beautiful part about this experience is that I identified how to take everything with a grain a salt, like criticism, and use it to better myself as an individual; it has taken almost four years to understand that truth. I have learned to encompass the rejection, owning to the fact that everything in life occurs for a purpose. Today, as I encounter new obstacles, I view them as a chance to prosper, explore new passions, and perhaps even revisit some forgotten ones.