Thursday, May 12, 2011
I could have been something.
I could have been something more. Maybe. You never know. I had talent. I busted out of my small town with my star brightly shining. I was the girl who was leaving Texas, heading to New York City. I could sing, act, and had a lot of dance lessons under my belt (though I've never been a great dancer) and I had supportive family. I actually did pretty well. By the time I was 22 I had a BFA in musical theatre, my equity card and my first important 9 month, eight show-a-week gig. I had a great brownstone apartment on the upper west side and I was head over heels in love with New York City.
But the honest truth here is, that I never loved musical theatre more than anything else. And you have to, I think. You have to love it more than anything in order to take the constant rejection, the long hours and small pay. There was something in life I wanted more. I wanted to be a wife and a mom. I wanted to be like my mama. So I didn't keep my eye on the prize. I followed my heart down a different path and ended up right where I think I should be.
I'm so happy. I'm so happy with my life that it scares me sometimes because I feel like the other shoe is about to drop. I love my life with Michael and the kids here in my small hometown. I wouldn't change it. Ever. Not for anything.
But it's odd. I don't think about my old musical theatre life much, but at times I'm reminded and I feel - odd. Sometimes it just plain hurts. Like when I go see a touring broadway show and I hear a diva singing some awesome song and I just want to get up there and do it too and I know I can't. Or when I watch the Tony's. And I know that I've missed the boat. That path is forever closed to me.
And sometimes I feel diminished. Like when I sing karaoke and know that people would much prefer to hear a fun rock song than the musical theatre ballad I'm singing my heart out on. Or when I run into people here in my small town that I haven't seen since high school and they want to know if I did it. If I made it. And then they wonder why I'm back here in our small town and why I don't perform anymore. Do they think I wasn't good enough? Do they pity me for living my stay-at-home mom life? Suddenly I see myself through their eyes and I think maybe I'm not exciting, or glamorous anymore. I'm just a frumpy housewife with a too high voice.
Ugh. I don't believe that you have to be somebody with money or stardom to be important and I think people who do believe that are pitiful, so why do I care?
My mom says that when I was little I told her that when I grew up I wanted to be an actress, a stay-at-home mom, and to live with her. Well, shoot. I did that. (almost. Does living on the ranch count as living with her?) I realized my childhood dream.
I just wish there wasn't such a stigma attached still to a woman giving up her career to be a wife and mama. And I wish I could still perform in a top quality musical occasionally. Here in San Marcos, in the afternoon so I can get to bed early. With rehearsals in the mornings while the kids are in school. ;)
I know I can't have it all. And the hurt is almost gone these days. I'm glad I didn't take that path. I'm glad I followed my heart. Things are so good here. I love musical theatre and I really love performing. I love taking on the character and singing and being in the spotlight. But I really love being who I am right now MORE. I love being a mom, a wife, a friend, a caregiver, a cook. My life is full and there is not a whole lot more room in it for my old love affair with performing. I do have a little room though. I think it's time for me to go plug in the karaoke machine and sing a few musical theatre ballads. I've got time for a few before I pick the kids up from school. XO, me