Today I want to welcome my real life friend Leah to the Momma Dreamer series. Leah and I have been friends since our single days. We’ve been able to share in the excitement of our weddings, and the births of our kids. I have always admired the tenacity with which she pursues her dreams and know you will be encouraged by her story.
Leah blogs at Secretsofmommyhood about her journeys as a first time mom. Make sure to leave her some comment love here and then go back and check out what she’s working on in her neck of the blogosphere :).
For as long as I can remember, I have been a dreamer. From a young age I would dream of what life would be like in the future. I always dreamt I’d be married by the time I was 25, have children, have a great acting career, and win a Tony Award one day. Those were my biggest dreams. Still are.
While I always knew it was possible for my dreams to become reality (all things are possible with God), I didn’t realize that some of my dreams would change and/or need to be slightly altered once other dreams had been fulfilled. My dream of getting married by the time I was 25 came true. My dream of being a mother came true 5 years after that. That’s when I realized my dreams for my acting career would change; that things would go a different route than I had planned…
I fell in love with theater at a young age and my love and passion for it grew and grew with time. I would participate in the school plays and church plays; I got involved with the theater program at our local community center and spent my summers performing shows. I went to college for theater and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater with concentrations in acting and directing. After college I worked as an actor for a year in Pennsylvania. Shortly after that I moved to Chicago to further pursue my goals.
Up until I became pregnant I was active as a member of a theater company, working as an extra in TV and film, doing commercials, working at a medical school as a standardized patient, and teaching theater classes for children. When I became pregnant, things slowed down a bit. I was sick during my pregnancy, had no energy, and became as big as a house. Not conducive to acting. Then, after “G” was born, I took some time off to focus on and care for him. I was able to continue teaching classes since they were only one night a week, but that was all I did for quite some time. Slowly I began going on auditions my agent would set up for me, but I was not going on any theater auditions. Then, my husband was deployed overseas for 8 months, leaving me as a single parent. That meant I could not work as an extra in TV/film due to the very early and/or very late call/end times. Fortunately, I was able to continue teaching classes one night a week due to some fantastic friends who would come over and babysit and I was also able to go on any auditions my agent got for me, but again, theater was not possible.
My husband returned last month from his deployment and my plan is to begin auditioning for theater again beginning next month. I already have my first audition lined up and am thrilled! I am also now able to work as a TV/Film extra again since he will be home and able to take “G” to and from the babysitter. I very much love teaching classes, but felt like a part of me was missing. I terribly missed performing. I know it will still be a challenge to juggle schedules with classes, possible shows, and my husband’s class schedule, but he and I are going to work together to make things work.
For quite a while I felt like I would only be able to teach and wouldn’t be able to perform anymore. It seemed like that’s the direction my life was taking. I was very ready to give up on my dreams but I realized that just because things get tough, it doesn’t mean you should give up. You may have to alter your dreams to fit your current reality, but you can still pursue them, and you should. I’ve also been reminded of a lesson I learned when I was in college: In his devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers writes, (this is paraphrased) “If your dreams and aspirations aren’t being fulfilled right now it’s because God is changing them to be aligned with His plans”. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true. Just because we plan our life to be a certain way, that doesn’t mean that’s how God has planned it. His plan is better than ours and once we learn that and can try to accept it, we’ll be on our way to victory. But, again, just because it’s different doesn’t mean we have to give up on our dreams. Keep pursuing your dream and God will fulfill it in His timing and in His way.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Leah!