Tuesday, July 17, 2012

With Full Force

Understand, I am always trying to figure out what I am meant to be doing with my time. Now, don’t misunderstand me. It dawned on me a few years ago as Sydney was preparing to leave for college, when we were up late talking about my own decisions made at age 18, that all I ever truly wanted, really really wanted in my life was to be a good Mom. Still, I stopped to think about the choices I’d made 20+ years ago. Was I a coward to have dismissed my dream of acting on Broadway’s stages, living in that loft New York City apartment, falling in love with each new leading man? Should I have jumped onto those baby grands at the piano bars and belted out jazzy tunes to those nursing their drinks at little round tables? Was my fall into teaching that calling that I often believe it to be when I am told how I never seem to stop smiling and laughing when I am surrounded by teenagers...when I am told how my eyes light up with mischief and delight as I act and sing in front of impressionable sixteen year olds? And if none of my decisions--to marry my high school sweetheart at age 20, to have three children by the time I was 31, or to dedicate myself to teaching teens--were mistakes, then why do I play with the possibilities of other paths, other choices, other lives I might have led?

I think it is because I know there is more to come...that’s why I am here, typing away at this school borrowed laptop, surrounded by other souls whose own paths have led them to devote a week of their summertime to writing memoir. Because I have thrown myself into the worlds of acting and singing and teaching with the full force of everything I am and everything I know, to then feel it deeply that I am good enough there, in each of those worlds, to be content, to be happy, and to serve others. There are audiences there who have recognized my efforts and who have seen my heart. I’ve moved them. But the desire to live longer and broader than I presently have, to make a positive impression on someone who might never meet me, to inspire another to continue to do good in this world before they leave it, THIS is what I wonder if I can do next.

Understand, I am always trying to figure out what I am meant to be doing with my time. It’s not limitless. I was reminded of that last night. Alisha, a former student, a dear girl, died at the age 26 Sunday night, on the roads of Albany, NY. Ten miles south of where I’d been just two days before. That's much too young to die. Isn't it?! I want to reach the end and know that I lived my life with wonder and with every thing I had to give.


  1. i believe that while acting, and singing, and being a teacher are all things that you are awesomely awesome at being a mom is your true God given gift. I used to be so jealous of Syd when we were little that she had a mom like you! I think seeing how your three kids are now and how lovely they are as people that God put you on this planet to be their mother. (:

  2. You are such a beautiful person Miss Chelsea. THANK YOU for touching my heart and soul with this most precious comment. It made me reach for a tissue. How incredibly lucky I am to have you and your own dear Mom in my life. <3