What a Play Taught Me About Happiness

SavannahLessons Learned, New Experiences Leave a Comment

I love plays. I love art. I was born to be a lover and supporter of the arts. One of my favorite things about the arts is how each person who watches the same play, sees the same artwork, hears the same song, or reads the same book leaves that time having learned something completely different than his neighbor, having been spoken to in a different way. Each piece of art tells a different story to different people and in my experience, those who walk away from that story having learned something new, or grown in perspective are the best sorts of people to know. 

My family, like most, takes a big, family vacation to the beach each May. It’s so fun and the perfect time of year to go because, the weather is great and there aren’t a lot of people. Anyway, we have taken this trip every year for the past four years and my best friend’s family comes along with us sometimes. This year was one of those years. Now, my best friend is just as artsy as I am plus more (she can dance and draw; two things which I definitely cannot do); and her family has some of the most talented artists I have ever met. Her family can convince ours to do pretty much anything art related because, we apparently cannot withstand peer pressure. All this to say that we got coaxed into going to The Lost Colony play while we were on vacation (although, it’s not like I was that hard to convince to come).

When Friday night finally arrived, the whole house was buzzing with excitement. I changed my outfits four times that day before I liked what I was wearing. Dinner went by far too slowly as I was sitting on the edge of my seat, teeming with excitement over what was to happen next. My friends and I literally danced out of the restaurant with such joy that people probably thought we were crazy. I’m positive that I mentioned how excited and how thankful for the tickets I was at least a hundred times to anyone who would listen. We got to the venue and I could hardly stand myself. I was skipping around, taking pictures of everything I possibly could, and talking a mile a minute (what else is new). Our seats were the most perfect set of seats I’ve ever seen in my whole life. The middle seats of the middle set of rows in the middle section of the outdoor theater. The combination of being short and near-sighted makes going to events like this an adventure, but I am pleased to say that I could see amazingly the whole time. I was enthralled by every second of the play and may have even cried a little (What can I say? Fake deaths always get me). 

We have a family friend who is in the show this year (and did a great job, might I add). We’ve known him for ages and haven’t seen him in about three years. When I heard he was in the show, I knew we had to meet up and see each other after the show. If you’ve known Austin for any length of time, then you know that he was born to be in theater. From his singing voice, to his acting abilities, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind what his purpose in life is. He’s a true entertainer through and through. But choosing to be in theater as your job is tough. Theater is very competitive, as there are limited positions available and everyone has to be out for blood in order to even be considered for a role. You have to be great at what you do because, good doesn’t always cut it. But, Austin didn’t let that stop him. He knew that his happiness in his career was so much more important than making a lot of money or going into something easy where there are always plenty of jobs. He followed his passion and I admire that.

With my junior year of high school recently coming to a close, thoughts of the future have been weighing heavily on my mind and heart. People are constantly asking me what I’m going to do with my life, where I’m going to go to college, what I’m planning on studying, what my career is going to be, etc. And let me tell y’all that as soon as I know, y’all will too. Up until this trip, I had figured that I would pursue a career in journalism simply because, there is an ever-growing market for journalists and journalists get a pretty big paycheck, as well. But here’s the thing, I don’t want to be a journalist. The news never fails to depress me and plus, the creative liberty that you are allowed to take is minimal to none. My dream job is to be a travel blogger. The thought of traveling the world, experiencing new cultures, and documenting it all, thrills my soul like nothing else. Living out of a suitcase, eating airport food, and taking taxis everywhere is small price to pay for the exciting lifestyle that travel bloggers live. Yes, their job, just like any other, has it’s ups and downs, it’s pros and cons, it’s highs and lows, but I so want to be a part of that journey.

While at this play, I realized that what made all these actors so great at their job is that they followed their dreams and pursued their passions, even though it’s a hard field to be in. They didn’t let uncertainty, judgement, or fears hold them back from chasing their goals. Why should I? Why should I let the uncertainty, fears, and judgement chase me away from my hopes and dreams and achieving my goals? I shouldn’t. Happiness in your career is important. It’s important that you love your job because then your job won’t feel like work. One of my all-time favorite quotes says, “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” There are two things that set my soul on fire in life, and they are Jesus and writing. I’ll be the first person to tell you that I don’t know if it’s part of God’s plan for me to be a travel blogger. I haven’t heard back on that yet, but unless God tells me to do something different, I’ve decided to pursue happiness. Who knows? I could be a missions travel blogger who travels around the world to different places and works with local missionaries and writes about my experiences or I could be something else. God already knows either way and so I’m going to continue to pray and be fearless in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire.

Who would’ve thought that you could learn a deep, life lesson from a play about a lost colony? I certainly wouldn’t have. This experience was definitely one of the strangest yet, most rewarding times I’ve ever had. I always thought that happiness would follow money and security, but if you’re stuck doing something that you don’t love, money and security lose all their value. Christ is the only source of true happiness and I know that writing is part of His plan for my life just as acting is part of Austin’s. I have personally decided to pursue what makes me happy, but you can bet that if Christ tells me something different, then that will be what I pursue. Because what makes Him happy, makes me happy too.

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