In Others’ Words: A Single Regret
When I was in high school, I was involved in drama, both acting and directing plays. It was always challenging to decide whether to try out for a lead part or a secondary role. And directing? That was a whole other kind of fun.
Once I decided which role I wanted, I had to prep, audition, and then wait for the director to post the list announcing who earned what role. I celebrated when I got the role I wanted. Adapted when I didn’t. And then I dove into rehearsals: memorizing my lines, learning my cues, discovering what my costume would look like.
I loved becoming my character — having the chance to be someone else. And the sound of applause from the audience? Nothing else like it.
There have been times since those high school plays when I’ve played the expected part. Sometimes I heaped the expectations on myself and other times the presumption was placed on my shoulders by someone else. I performed … and waited for the virtual applause. Over and over again.
And then I realized that performing is a lousy way to live.
That realization was hard-won, but so worth the fight to drag myself off the stage of pretense.
Acting a part, especially when it’s dictated by approval-driven expectations, destroys individuality. There’s no chance to be yourself. No, it’s all about being who you have to be or who you think others want you to be. You’re saying the right thing, not the honest thing. You’re playing a part, not being yourself.
I don’t want to look back on my life and wish I’d been someone else. I especially don’t want to look back on my life and realize I hadn’t been me, the person God created me to be.
In Your Words: Regrets cut deep into our heart, don’t they? Is there anything you’d change in your life so that you don’t wish you’d been someone else during your lifetime?