8 years ago…… A long time ago in the city of Orem a young girl had her whole life ahead of her.
I was 20/21 and the world was my oyster. I was doing so well in life. I was working part time, going to school part time, and acting (which is usually the life I lead). I had time for friends and working out and had so many adventures I should write a book about them.
I don’t know where I went wrong. See, I could have gone in a completely different direction and moved on up in the world.
I wasn’t in debt yet; I had savings and didn’t require a bunch of money for fun.
I was 100 pounds lighter; I would work out at 5 am before school and I don’t think I was really over eating at all.
I had the bestest friends in the world; I’d see at least one of them everyday and text the rest.
I got my second lead in a musical; Ti Moune in Once On This Island.
I was happy, though I had my dramatic moments, and things were going my way.
I don’t exactly know what happened, but I am pretty sure it all ended because I went on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint (Mormons). See, before I got my call (to New York so that was cool) I auditioned for a show, just because, and I got cast in Once Upon a Mattress as one of the princesses. Then I got a call from a theater that pays asking me to do To Kill a Mockingbird. They came up with this plan that I could do the first act of Mattress and drive to the other theater to do the second act of Mockingbird. That was the first time I was actually WANTED for a show. (Yes I know it is because I’m black, but it made me happy anyway).
That year Audra McDonald, my idol, was also going to be in a show at the Orem Hale and I wanted to do the show with her so badly! But I did the “right” thing and went on my mission like a good girl. I ended up only staying for 6 months. I think that the biggest purpose of my mission was to find out I had depression, which I’ve beaten back into submission, so I guess I got a good thing out of it. But 6 months is a long time. I started to gain weight as soon as I was in the Missionary Training Center and when I came home I was an emotional mess, so my acting wasn’t improving like it should have.
I did still get cast. I’m usually in 3-4 shows a year if it is a good year. But I wasn’t improving and I was getting fatter all the time, so that screwed with my self confidence. Basically, I was having a perfect life before my mission and then afterwards things fell apart. My friendships started to drift away, I started to get into debt, I wasn’t excelling in school, and I was getting fatter and loved myself less.
Now, I am in an okay place. I am back to moving up in the acting world, I have been hitting the gym and watching what I eat for a week now and have lost a couple pounds, the friends I have are real and good for me, and I should graduate next Spring.
But I can’t help but wonder…..where would I be in life if I hadn’t gone on my mission? Would I be a regular at the Hale theaters, getting paid for every show? Would I be at my goal weight and working out like a fiend? Would I be popular and talented and living on my own? Would I’s and What if’s don’t change anything, but sometimes you can’t help looking back and wondering…