“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~Maya Angelou

I sat on a big, cold stone on the beach next to Lake Ontario and watched as the waves lapped upon the shore.

To my right, there were swans and ducks floating on the water. The swans were graceful and beautiful as they glided along the shoreline, and the ducks were being their usual kooky selves.

It always made me laugh to watch them dive underwater, kick their webbed feet in the air, and wag their feathered bums back and forth. They were so natural, so unaware of my presence so…carefree.

I admired them for their untroubled lives and yearned for what they had—the complete and total lack of care for what I thought of them.

To my left in the distance, I saw the CN tower and the surrounding high rises of Toronto. I was in college studying acting for film and television, which had always been my dream.

But now, sitting next to the vast open water under the clear skies and watching as the waves slowly rolled up and receded, breathing in the fresh air, I realized this was the most content and peaceful I’d felt in weeks.

All of my life, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to see my face on the big screen, my name credited in large, bold letters, to be a guest on talk shows and able to meet all of the successful actors I admired.

I wanted to be someone who was noticed, praised, respected, and looked up to. I wanted to be special.

I also loved the craft of acting itself and thought that connecting with other people was so beautiful. But since coming to college four months ago, all I’d really felt was judged.

Rosalind Russell said, “Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly.” That’s exactly how I felt in my program, every day.

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