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Advice to my Younger Self

*Originally published on April 18, 2018

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Be the person you needed when you were younger?” It’s a motto I try to live by in my everyday life. There are so many pieces of advice I would give to my younger self, but I’ve narrowed it down to the three most important things I needed to hear.

1). Stop trying to change what you look like.

I’ve always been tiny, and I’ve always worked out and eaten properly. The sad truth is, I’ve almost gotten used to people saying, “Oh my gosh, you’re so tiny!” when they first meet me. I’ve been told on many occasions that I would need to gain weight in order to be cast in anything, and I’ve even been asked how much I “really” eat in a day. I’ve never been able to wrap my brain around the idea that somehow the way you look determines the way everyone sees you, regardless of your other attributes. I spent a year and a half changing my workouts and my eating habits in an attempt to change the way I looked. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t worth it. Now, I’ve gotten to a place where I embrace myself the way I am. I have my bad days, like we all do. But, I’ve learned how important it is to love yourself and be confident in your own skin.

2). Feeling things is okay.

I used to hate showing emotions, especially negative ones. For whatever reason, I thought being "cool as a cucumber" every second of every day was the way to go. However, I’ve learned that feeling things so deeply can be rewarding, especially from an acting standpoint. Having that empathy for others is a gift. It’s okay to be happy, sad, angry, or whatever else you might be feeling. Everyone has good days as well as bad days, which is nothing to be ashamed of. Now, I’m an absolute crier (with no shame whatsoever!)

3). What other people think of you is none of your business.

I’ll be honest, I still have a hard time with this one. I find myself caring way too much about what other people think of me, especially people I know. It’s always been hard for me to accept that not everyone will like me, no matter what I do. I’ve gotten to a point where I can say to myself, “If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personal.” I especially have to remind myself of this when I leave an audition, because they really don’t know anything about me other than the few minutes of material they saw. Honestly, this is something I apply to everything I do, acting-related or not. All I can do is do my best in whatever situation I may be put in, and leave it at that.

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