I recently saw La La Land and it was a great film. I, myself, spent my early adulthood in Los Angeles, living the life of a struggling actress, much like Emma Stone’s character, Mia. She is shown working on a studio backlot (been there), at a cafe (done that), going on auditions for less than desirable roles, pouring her soul out while casting directors ate lunch and stared at their phones (oooh the memories). All the while, knowing that it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right person who sees you for the shining star that you are and gives you your big break (as long as you can tell the difference between someone who is interested in your art and not a date).
Once I signed with my third agent, I thought, this is it! It wasn’t. Then I got a callback for a national Swiffer commercial and I thought, this is it! Nope. After my second audition for Neil Patrick Harris, I was sure, THIS is it! Then I didn’t get the part. However, I did receive a voicemail, informing me that Neil thought I was great, and had it saved on my phone for at least a year.
Seven years in, I decided it was time to move on. It was a process and I had to work through a whole lot of pride. Leaving LA meant I had failed right? I couldn’t say that acting was the only profession I could do for the rest of my life and then go do something else? Right? Well..I was wrong. I was allowed to have different dreams and I didn’t need to know exactly what that new dream would be to make that leap.
Fast forward four years. I discovered my “new dream” and get to do what I am passionate about almost every day. I have a wonderful husband and a silly, curious toddler. I am joyful.
Sitting through La La Land and reliving those experiences, felt like a conversation with an old boyfriend. There was no big drama, no huge blow out. It just didn’t work out. Maybe one of you moved or maybe the timing wasn’t right. So now when you think of them, you can’t help but wonder, what if? What if I’d stuck it out? It wasn’t really all that bad right? What if I had just stayed one more week? Just went to one more audition?
My ego longs for the chance to be an actor, but my intuitive side knows I made the right choice. I recently listened to the “Lively Show” podcast about ego and intuition. It pointed out that when we follow our intuition, we are more likely to make a choice that benefits the most people possible. When I applied that theory to my professional journey I could see the scenarios playing out. When the ego is driving,I become a wildly successful movie actor and impact people through my craft. In reality, my intuition told me to move on. Listening to that voice has been profoundly rewarding. What I do now empowers people to find their own joy and realize their full potential. It was the right move.
A job or relationship does not have to completely disintegrate and destroy you before you are allowed to leave. Sometimes you are in a great position, but something in your gut is pulling you elsewhere. Logistics are important, planning is important, but don’t let it completely drown out what your inner voice is trying to tell you.
And when that “boyfriend” shows up in the line behind you at the grocery store, smile and appreciate that time in your life for what it was and be thankful it led you to where you are now.