In my baby book are the observations of my preschool teacher that have haunted me for the last decades: “Bailey is such an actress! She loves to play pretend and dress up!” And I did. And I still do. I love to perform and act. I love to put on a show, even though I hate to sing. I love telling jokes, dancing, or reenacting full movies. (Ask my roommates about that last one). I still even love dressing up for Halloween and Comic con.
And so, I can’t help but wonder if I missed my calling at such an early age. Perhaps I should have went to acting school and made my way to Hollywood by tirelessly waitressing at kitchenettes and dying my hair blond in my apartment’s bathroom. Maybe I should have been a news anchor or a sketch comedy actress. Maybe I should have starred on a Netflix sitcom. Maybe I should have been in more plays at my school, but again, I hated to sing and all we did was musicals.
But that certainly didn’t mean I hated the spotlight. One day, I simply got pulled in a different direction and had to abandon this passion. Some say I grew up, others say I was just interested in other things.
And now, I’m a writer. And I’ve always been a writer; maybe as long as I’ve been an actress. And yet, I feel that slipping away too. I can barely post on this blog everyday, let alone pursue a novel or any of my poetry.
But I had a sobering and completely freeing thought the other day: I survived losing acting as a predominant part of my life. (It still shows up, just not in the way I would expect.) And if writing starts to do the same thing, then I’m prepared for that too. I’ve missed one calling for my life, who is to say I won’t miss more and get more too? I’m an actress and a writer, but I don’t need to be either everyday to be them any day. I just need to love what I do and remember my roots when I need them. And then I can grow new ones.
It’s nice to follow your passion to the ends of the earth. But you shouldn’t jump off the edge for it if you can’t seem to pursue it right now. It’ll wander back into your life on a meandering path, and greet you as an old friend. Perhaps shyly at first, but you’ll warm up. And when you do, you’ll remember why you loved it in the first place.