For the past few months, I have been seriously contemplating the current state of my life and the direction in which it is heading. I'm content with where I am at the moment: living on my own, steadily saving money, working a stable job. But, I wonder, will I be happy to keep things as they are a year or two years from now?


I've always hoped to be the kind of person who could find happiness in all that I have and have that just be enough. But that is not the truth. I've come to learn that I'm much more dynamic than that. I learn quickly, improve quickly, and feel the need to move on quickly - maybe much too quickly. For example, I thoroughly enjoy my job. And over the past few weeks, staffing changes have resulted in a huge shift, forcing a reclassification of job duties. I've been handed more responsibility and, consequently, more growth opportunity. Yes, I'm excited. But more than that, I'm excited to see how I can take this and apply it to something else. Somewhere else.

Working with in theatre, both professionally and as a hobby, has strengthened my belief that I belong in the performing arts. The performing arts, particularly theatre arts, has fueled and inspired me in a way nothing else in my life ever has. But where, exactly, do I fit in? I'm growing into a strong and creative theatre administrator. My past experience has shown me that with the right education and training, I could become a director. And all throughout my life, I've given my heart and soul to performing on stage.

During these last few months, the need to pursue this passion has grown large enough to propel me into action. I know now what I want to do with my life. Or at the very least, what I want to do for the next few years. So what are the tools that I need? Experience, which I'm gaining through my job. Education, which will require a lot of self-discipline, time, and money, all of which I am willing to give. Resolve, which I must build and hold on to. And there are the risks.

Having spent nearly 23 years of my life in the Bay Area, I believe I've finally exhausted all my opportunities. At this point, there is nothing new left for me to discover. And so, I've decided to bid my home farewell.

I'm leaving California.

Granted, there are several parts of this decision that are still pending. Primarily, where I am going from here. This will be determined by where I decide to work. Given that I want to work in the performing arts, my number one choice is New York City. The opportunities there are endless. And it is a place I've always enjoyed visiting. Orlando is another possibility, where I could work for Disney. My parents, who are very supportive of the soul search, suggested Boston or Seattle, places they both would like to visit and places I would least like to live. But I am keeping all my options open.

Timing is another thing to consider. I am planning on staying with my job for a full two years, at the very least, because two years in a theatre company is the minimum experience I need to get my foot in most doors. That being said, I'll be in Oakland until August 2008, if not longer. While I gain that experience, I'll be saving as much money as I can and actively keep my eye out for job openings. I'll also be auditioning for shows in the Bay Area, as well as larger performance opportunities all over the country. Later this summer, I'll be going down to L.A. to audition for the Disney Cruise Line; things like that. I'm going to continue dance lessons, maybe take a few singing lessons, and re-teach myself how to play the piano. I've got an ambitious itinerary for the year ahead.

Never before have I resolved to take such a life-changing action. Until now, the riskiest decisions I have ever made were choosing to go to Cal and auditioning for American Idol on a whim. And both of those turned out successfully. I give myself far less credit than I deserve. I know that now. So that's why I'm leaving.

All my life, I've wanted something big to happen. I can't expect to find my dream if I don't go looking for it. My fear has kept me rooted in one place for my entire life. But the more I think about all the possibilities, the more my curiosity begins to take over. And I'm in a place in my life where all those possibilities are within my reach. I have freedom without responsibility, risk without the detrimental consequence of failure.

It really is the time to take a chance.


Brian said...

I would tell you to come to Seattle, but hell if I'm still going to be here by August 2008. I'm going through the same stuff as you right now, except my job limits me to the West Coast for the most part. If you ever need someone to bitch to, give me a call...

Kris said...

Wow, Gina. I'm at the same time kinda scared for you but also really proud of and happy for you. If anyone I know could do something like this, it'd be you. You'll be missed if/when you leave!