Earlier this week, I experienced what I like to call a “two roads” moment...a moment in time where you find yourself standing on your proverbial path, looking through the leaves and the trees to where the parallel path has led. The path, you could have taken had you not chosen the road less traveled.
A few months ago I was given the opportunity to choose between taking a national tour, or finishing up the last semester of my degree. At first, I looked at the decision as a no brainer...stay and complete the degree. I even had a thank-you-but-no-thank-you letter written, ready to be sent, when my dad called me. It was my assumption that because he had been working so hard, along with my mom, for so long to help me pay for school, that they would want me to finish. But after a very deep conversation, I realized I should reconsider.
Long story short, I decided to take the tour.
I was finally able to do what I’d always wanted to do, a touring musical. I had the opportunity to get on stage and perform the way I love to, in hopes of inspiring curiosity and discovery in the lives of the children and families who come to see us. I had the opportunity to travel the country, and take in the small towns, the big cities, and every other destination along the way. I had the chance to work with my best friend (who happens to be on the tour too) on a professional level, a dream we’d both shared for quite some time. So I took it, all the while, secretly wondering how I’d feel the day my friends all graduated.
To be honest, I did much better with it than I had thought I would. There’s actually a point in our show where we sing about how it feels to be in Rome. This is actually one of my favorite moments of the show, favorite song for sure, with lyrics that have meant a lot to me at different times along the way. This time, as I sang ”you’re in a strange new place and yet it feels like home”, I thought of myself, but also about how proud I was of my class. Flashes of future auditions and open calls flooded my thoughts, seeing my friends excited to be starting out their new lives. I saw what I’d been doing for months, and what I could have been doing instead, but I felt great knowing what path I chose. “...when hearts are a glow and life is magnifico, that’s how you know, you’re in Rome.” With the reassurance the song gave me, I had a great show, and really enjoyed living in the moment of it all.
So now I turn back to my path with a smile on my face, proud of my friends, and proud of myself...and I walk on...