If you know me well, then you definitely know that I love trying and experimenting with new things — you never know just what life might throw your way! Of course, I’m not going to suddenly book a trip to a skydiving zone, but given the opportunities presented to me and upon calculating projected risk, I’m one to try something new and completely different … sometimes. For this blog, it’s Acting! And little did I know just how much I would realize about myself, and life, after one of the solo pieces that I performed.
In my school, each senior has to take an art class to fulfill a requirement. Given that I explored music my sophomore year, I decided that it was about time that I traversed the realm of theatre. In my acting class, we write and perform our own pieces, following a specific prompt. We’ll come back to this.
Flashback to the last two years: if you’ve been following my blog since the very beginning, or if we’ve simply been friends for a while, then you know that each year, something tragic has happened mid-January. In 2018, I was sick in the ICU, and in 2019, my mother was one of the hostages during the Nairobi Dusit D2 complex Al Shabaab terrorist attack — both devastating moments for my family and me. And so, like any person, when the same week came this 2020, I was filled with inexplicable dread. Nothing was going to happen, I tried to tell myself, but the realist “always prepared for the worst” self in me couldn’t let me breathe. Simply put, I was an emotional train wreck that week — but of course, no one could know this. It was just any other week.
Back to my Acting class! During that week, we were to perform a piece that we had been working on known as the ‘Me’ Piece. Essentially, as the title of the project alludes, we were to pick a theme, event, dream, you name it, that spoke about our lives, or an aspect of our lives. We were then to theatrically perform this piece.
I had a whole idea, I promise — I had thought it out before class, and was prepared for what I was going to perform. Due to my utmost laziness that weekend, I hadn’t written a detailed script of my performance, but at best, I knew the general flow of my piece, and at worst, I could always improvise, right?
The performance day — the Monday of the week I dreaded (I remember the day because I felt so much better and relieved throughout the rest of the week) — I was jittery. What if I froze? What if I embarrassed myself in front of everyone? I don’t even have an actual script. All I could do at that point was to pray, and I asked God to guide me — whatever happens, happens. Believe it or not, I got on stage, did the first half of my piece, and completely improvised the last half! But my improvisation only reflected my feelings at that moment, which were, in fact, a theme in my life. In brief, my piece was about how while I’m excited about the opportunity that God has presented to me, that has meant that I’ve had to be so far from my family at the moments when I needed them the most. At the end, I even shed a tear on stage, in front of everyone, but it was okay — that was the whole point of the piece: to expose an aspect of ourselves that is not so apparent.
It’s crazy because it actually ended up being a good performance. I was “acting” but not really — that was my life. That was me up there on stage. And because it was so real, everyone loved it — God had come through, as always!
The point of this blog, though, isn’t whether I’m a good actress or not (haha, that’s a story for another day), but rather that, afterwards, I remember going into a deep moment of contemplation and reflection. I wasn’t acting — that was me. And at that moment, I truly understood and embraced how much emotion I still held over the two events that had occurred in the past two years. It took that Acting class to realize just how much trepidation I held that week, and by extension, my whole life. Each day of that week, I remember texting my parents to make sure that everything was okay at home because I just could not stand the thought of anything bad happening to them. As much as I don’t want anything bad to happen to me as well, it’s my family that I care the most about.
Thankfully, nothing happened! Ah! How relieved I was when that week ended, but in sincerity, I carry that fear with me everyday. The sad truth, though, is that we have absolutely no control over what will happen in the future. It’s still something that I’m trying to come to terms with. And so, today, I try to make the most of any moment or meaningful relationship that I have with anyone because you just might not have tomorrow. We’d like to think we do, but we really don’t know. In the case of my family, I guess that one of the ways that I do this is by calling them more often, but there are so many more ways that I, and you, can show the people we love that we love them.
The only reason that I’m afraid to love and let others in is because I’m afraid of losing those that I care about. But, ironically, that is the very reason that I should love with all my heart while I still can.
In the month of love (all kinds of love) and moving forward, then, let’s love with all our hearts! As always, be sure to check out my other blog posts and click here to reach out to me anonymously about anything! And be on the lookout for another blog post soon! 🙂
P.S. The featured image in this blog post was taken a year ago in February when I came home briefly after the terrorist attack. This was at the airport prior to my departure back to school.
– Dashushka ♥