“Sometimes you have to make a big mistake to figure out how to make things right. Mistakes are painful. But they’re the only way to find out who you really are.” –Grey’s Anatomy
I am no stranger to mistakes. As a human being, who has been on this earth twenty-six years, I’m sure there will be more mistakes to be made, lessons to be learned, pain to be felt, and when all is said and done---I grow. I grow to know more about me…my capabilities and my flaws. Mistakes are a part of life. To loosely quote one of my favorite P!nk songs, I wouldn’t trade any of the pain of my mistakes for what I learned and who I became.
One of my favorite quotes in life was given to me by my dear college professor. I had gone to her because I was seriously considered dropping out of college. I felt that I wasn't talented enough to be in the theatre program. I felt that I was wasting my time. It hurt my heart to literally even think about leaving the theatre—because I loved it so much. I had a passion for it. After she listened to me pour out my heart, she let me know I wasn’t alone. That every actor has one of my “I’m not talented” moments; she told me I would grow to be a better person and actor. She then got out a sticky note and pen and wrote something down. She handed it to me and this is what it said:
“I AM WHO I AM. I HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HERE. I HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE.”
This sticky note stayed on the back of my college dorm room. I said it every single day before leaving for classes. I’ve lost the sticky note, but I have a replacement hanging on the back of my bedroom door. Every once and a while, I glance at it and say it….three simple sentences and seventeen words that have impacted my life more than my dear, sweet college professor will ever know. I became a better person with these words. I became a better actor with these words. Why? I finally had to accept myself for the person and the actor that I was-knowing I could grow in both, but couldn’t change to be like someone else.
I am highly considering getting this quoted tattooed somewhere. I have thought of putting “I AM” on one wrist and “WHO I AM” on another. Not only to signify myself, but to replace my scars with love, hope, and confidence knowing that… I am who I am. I do have a right to be here, right here and now and I have not a single thing to prove to anyone.