Tuesday, August 11, 2009

When is it time to stop?

I have often wondered when is it time for a person to stop pursuing a dream for their life? For instance, if a person has sent out demo tapes and has been trying to get into the music industry for ten years with no success, is it time for the person to give it a rest? Should he keep trying to put his music out there when there does not seem to be anyone willing to listen? This is something that many people have struggled with and it can be hard to know whether to keep chasing the dream or to just let it go.

As a teenager, I had dreams of wanting to be an actress. This dream takes a lot of time, work, and is subject to other peoples' perceptions. I could be the best actress in the world, but no one is going to see me act if someone else does not believe in my potential. Several factors such as lack of enough financial resources to relocate, a heavy southern accent that can be seen as a negative characteristic by many agents, and my unwillingness to do certain types of scenes, such as nude scenes hindered the progression of my dream. I still have the utmost respect for actors, actresses, and their craft. There is so much more to acting than most people realize. I realized that I could admire acting from afar, but not become an actress myself. Thankfully, I did not waste a lot of money or time in pursuing the dream. If I had, I would not be where I am today in a job that I love doing. Even though I do not get paid nowhere near the kind of money most actresses are paid, I still go to work happy to do my job. I have been told that I am very good with helping my customers and that many look for me when they come to the store. I think that I replaced one dream for another and am happier as a result.
Is there a dream that you are pursuing that someone has tried to talk you out of? Did you ever have a dream that you tried hard to achieve but it just didn't pan out like you had hoped? What would you tell a friend who had been struggling to achieve a dream for a long time? Would you encourage your friend to keep trying or would you advise your friend to throw in the towel?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Should we get involved?

It is easy for us to go through our lives, focusing on ourselves, our families, and our friends. But, it is quite another thing for us to focus on someone outside of our family or friendship circle. One day, I stopped at a store out-of-town to use the restroom before I started my drive back home. The day had been just an ordinary day and I was not expecting anything to change that. That is, until I stepped out of the bathroom stall. There was a woman who was leaning against the corner in the bathroom. She was crying and visibly shaken. She looked up, saw me, and proceeded to tell me a lot of sad, horrible things she had been through. Her brother had died right before her eyes from a fatal gunshot wound. Her parents were killed in a car accident. She had just been laid off from her job. She was living with a very abusive boyfriend who not only beat her, but had almost killed her on one occasion. I told her that she needed to get away from her boyfriend because things could get even worse. She told me she had nowhere else to go and no money to rent or buy a place of her own. She apologized for telling me so much but said she just had to get it off her chest. After that, she told me she had to go because he would be done shopping and would be very upset if he had to wait on her to get to the car. I never saw the woman again as I lived in another town and have no idea what her name was or where she lived. I only know that even though she was a stranger, it broke my heart to think of anyone having to go through what she had went through and be so alone. The only person she had in her life abused her. My questions are could I have done more to help this lady, should I have not listened to her or gotten involved in the first place, or did I help her the best that I could given the circumstances?