A Lesson in Perseverance
I have always been a disciplined person. It is something I wear as a badge of honor. So when I entered a master program where fourteen hours was a regular day, I moved through my first two quarters fairly unscathed. Then I entered a real test of perseverance; perseverance of spirit, effort, balance, and a willingness to thrive. This last notion, thriving, felt new to me. My discipline had taught me to survive, but the idea of thriving felt indulgent. I was prisoner of efficiency, and “getting it right” as quickly as possible. However this type of process often led to mediocre work, and I often felt unsatisfied. Fortunately, my teachers and my classmates, the mirrors of which I could not escape, showed me I was someone who could take up space, and truly be seen. Not because I was nice or a hard worker, but because when I let myself be seen, I honor the actor who has been waiting to thrive for a long time. Roles like Maggie in Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, and Ruth in (w)holeness ignited parts of me that I thought should hide because it was not part of my sunny disposition. They were fiery, demanding, and completely uncensored; basically everything I hoped no one would ever know I had within me. But once that feeling caught flame, there was no putting it out. I am no longer simply willing to thrive, I now expect it.