All my life, I had a strong sense of my identity.
I was the theatre kid. I was the confident, outgoing, shameless girl who would get up and dance in the middle of class. I knew exactly who I was and despite the bullies who tried to bring me down, I was proud of myself. Once I graduated, I went straight into the BAMT Full-Time Industry Course which I was obviously so excited for. As thrilling as it was to be surrounded by fifty other people just like me, I began to lose sight of who I was. I realized that I was no longer ‘the theatre kid’ because everyone was. Though to me, everyone else had a special something about them that made them unique and I could not for the life of me figure out what my special something was.
As silly as it may sound, I stressed long and hard over it. Especially because I was trying to figure out what roles I would suit in a show but I didn’t know who I was to begin with. Over the year, I had my trials and tribulations (like anyone does) that forced me to find out who I am and by the end of the year, I got my sense of identity back but I had found out even more about myself. So if you are feeling lost due to bullying and people telling you that you shouldn’t be how you are, or if you’re having a gap year after school but really don’t have a plan, then I’d like to share some tips with you from my journey.
Journal. Learn how to communicate with yourself. Find out how you feel about particular situations and write it down. You’ll begin to have a clearer mind and have a stronger sense of where you stand.
Find out what your hobbies are. Don’t be sucked into the world of a career. I devoted my childhood to musical theatre and that was always my hobby. However, once I decided to make it my career, I realized I had nothing to do in my downtime. So make sure you’ve got something to do that makes you happy other than stalking your favourite celebrities on Instagram… do something that gets your brain working, your creative juices flowing and your heart pumping!
Say ‘YES’ to everything (so long as it’s safe). Why not? You never know, you might love it. Dive head first (metaphorically) into everything life throws at you. Why have a mediocre life when you can have an extraordinary life?! You’ll learn so much about yourself if you give it your all.
Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Even if you don’t have any common interests at all, if they somehow make you happy, keep them around. Release yourself from any negative energies that may be hindering your sense of identity. If anybody tries to tell you that you shouldn’t laugh like that or you shouldn’t like that subject at school, well then they shouldn’t be your friend.
Take care of your body. Eat healthy, exercise and find time to meditate. It’ll clear your mind, your endorphins will be flowing and you’ll feel a lot more confident in yourself.
For my older Youngharts, you’ve got to face rejection. It hurts. It hurts bad. But it’s where I (and many of my friends) have learnt the most about ourselves. You learn how to pick yourself back up off the ground and keep pushing full steam ahead. So go audition for shows, go for job interviews, go on dates, wear your heart on your sleeve. It’ll be good for you in the long run, I promise.
Be unapologetically you. Don’t be sorry for the choices you make. If you enjoy playing the violin, then play your violin wherever you go. Don’t be sorry just because other people might not like the violin. Embrace your you-ness.
These tips got me from stress city to eventually, a place of self-love. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t conform to society and what they say you should be. Just do whatever makes you happy in the moment and be unapologetically you.
Your Youngharts Ambassador,