Rewind 3 years.
Please let me see a deer, please let me see a deer. I do this to myself, you see. I set myself up for impending doom and dismantling off the track, by challenging the universe. Today, as I was driving home to finish up the final 4 hours of packing, I proposed to the universe, “If I see a deer, then I’m doing the right thing!”. After a few hundred meters
and a little bit of panic setting in, I amended my proposal to the sighting of ANY wildlife. A bird would do. I think I saw a crow fly by a few kilometers back? THEN lo and behold, there at the side of the road, grazing on a patch of crisp autumn grass, my answer stood proudly in the sun. I saw my deer. And I cheered.
Fast-forward 2 months.
I’m packing and sitting in a precarious yoga position as I type on my computer that is sitting on the floor of my office. You see I can’t pack up the computer until the very end because I, without fail, will require the consult of the trusty search engine, Google. The first Google task today? “How to get double-sided tape off a wall.” I was surprised to see that using a hairdryer might work. So picture me, with a thousand other more important things to accomplish before my tenants move in, in T-4 hours, sitting with my hair dryer pointed at one of 25 little squares of double-sided tape, hanging on for dear life. Is this another metaphorical moment? Hanging on…. OFF damn tape, OFF!
This was the start of the journey that has taken me to where I am today. 3 years ago, at the age of 35, I left a full time teaching position, with a very comfortable salary, rented out my house, sold all my belonging with the largest yard sale known to man (who needs a couch anyways!) and I loaded up one truckload of necessities, which included just enough space for my 100 lb dog named Jackson. Toronto was the city that was awaiting me with open arms while I blindly but hopefully delved into the pursuit of my acting career – a dream I harbored deep in my heart since I was old enough to play my Kleenex box elastic band guitar for pennies in my living room. I had always dreamed of being a leading lady and it was time.
Today, I am happy to say that I have survived 2 years of living below the poverty level in my bank account, but at the Fortune 500 level of success in my heart. I have studied the art of acting, the art of living, the art of loving. I have written. Words. Songs. I have worked. I have failed. I have bloomed and I have shriveled. My heart has been broken and mended dozens of times. I’ve had my head in a toilet from sickness and for the earning of minimum wages. I have inspired and have been inspired. I have envied. I have excluded. I have fled. I have embraced. I have volunteered. I have grown. I have learned deeper meanings of courage and sacrifice. I have learned how to ask for help. I have learned that I’m not alone. Oh, and, I have worked as an actress, but it is by far the smallest of all my personal successes over the past 3 years.
Last week, I told my school board that I was not returning. With the release of that safety net came the sadness of letting go of my kids. My students. And with that, came a realization of the yearning for my own children. Well, I better get on that because one day I’m going to want to share this journey with my own child. And when my baby is in a rush to grow up, I will proudly tell her that one of the women I was designed to be was only born at the ripe age of 35 and she’s still growing.
Am I the leading lady I set out to be? You bet I am. I cast myself… as the leading lady of my life.