What would your 12 year old self think of who you've become as present day you?

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She would think I'm a failure.

She would look at the world I've created around myself, at where I'm headed and the work that I do, and wonder how I let all my dreams come to pass.

She'd wonder why I gave up. Why I built palaces of aspirations in the sky then let them come crashing back to Earth.

She'd ask why I never won hundreds of awards for acting or got my writing published or bothered learning more than one song on the guitar.

She'd demand to know why I threw away everything she left for me.

She would throw her disappointment in my face and tell me that I should have tried harder.

I'd kneel down.

I'd dust the tears from her cheeks and pull her into my arms.

She'd tell me that hugs are stupid and I'm stupid and that she hates me.

I'd speak softly.

"In a play, a character's motivations and tactics may change many times, but their goals stay the same."

"But this isn't a play! You wanted to be famous and to have money and you always wanted to be on the red carpet-- and that's not what you're doing."

"I wanted to do art. I wanted to read and write and create. I wanted attention for doing my craft well. And do I not have that? Do people not look at what I do, and like it? Do I not have attention for my work? Do I not get to make art?"

"That's different..."

"It isn't. I get to do what I love every single day. I go to class in the theatre and use my breaks to practice the written word and never have I been more satisfied with the work I do. I'm reaching my goals. I just don't think you looked at them closely enough.

“Your world will be full of adversity, and you will find as you grow up that fame is meaningless and money isn't the only goal. You'll stop doing art for external validation and start doing it because you have to. You want to. You need to. That's when you'll get good at it.

“Your goal was always to make art, and it still is. Your motivations— money or fame or for the love of it— are what have changed.

“I'm still you— just slightly less tiny. We’re still characters of the same play, seeking the same goals and fighting the same fights.”

I think if she looked hard enough, she'd be proud of what I've done. She'd see how I've grown, and how I'm stronger and better than I've ever been.

It wouldn't look that way on the outside to her, but inside, it's all new tactics to the same old end.

I'm doing what she set out to do some six years ago. I'm just taking my own route.

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