My Legacy

I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me…well, me.

I’ve been thinking about how people’s perceptions of me differ from person to person.  I’ve always been one to confront directly as much as I can.  More often than not, whenever I do that, the other person doesn’t communicate and then the birdies chirp in my ear about all the horrible things that the other person has said about me.  What’s been hard for me is to forgive those who have hurt me in the past, especially if they didn’t ask for it.  But forgiveness is something that benefits both.  Living with hate in your heart only hurts yourself.  But as the ever-so-wise Dalai Lama said, it’s important to forgive but never forget.  If you forget the past hurts, then you risk repeating yourself.  So, in turn, I’ll forgive, but never forget, ya know?

I learned early on that if you have a problem with someone, it’s best to directly communicate with that person.  My friends and family and even those on the outside know that if they ever have an issue with me, my door is always open.  I learned from the best.  My mentor is the same way.  I’ve tried to live my life as he does and I try to look at life through his eyes.

I also have to accept that other people have very limited perceptions of me.  I’ve been accused of having the desire to rub elbows with certain famous people in a particular field I am in.  A part of me laughs and the other part makes me shake my head.  Being the entertainment business for so long, I’ve had the privilege of working with people who have high acclaim in the industry, and I’ve also been honored to see my own peers rise up to stardom and fame on their own.  “Rubbing elbows” with well-known people is part of my job.  It’s part of the job of my friends and peers.  It’s a part of my life.  There’s nothing to brag about because I’m not special or exclusive like that.

But if I did have the option to become famous…there’s only one department I want to acclaim fame in, and that would be the theatre.  Either an award-winning producer, playwright, director, or actress.  It’s a tall dream.  It’s a dream that has a long road ahead of me.  But hey, if I become a well-known Shakespearean actress, awesome.  But I don’t desire fame, never cared for it.  I’ve seen what it does to my friends who have become…known.  I’ve seen the transition from local, unknown friend to now everyone knows their name.  Some take it in stride, some don’t.

Maybe this is a poor way to express myself.  But you know what, I’m human.  I can be affected by negativity as much as the next person.  I’ve dealt with gossip about me before and I’ll do it again.  Like I said, I appreciate it if someone just tells me directly that I’m a conviving bitch rather than tell everyone else about it and leaving me in the dark.  If anything, that speaks more volumes about that person’s character than any kind of bad talking they can spew.

The best way to respond to hate is with love.  It’s not going to be easy, and it will be a learning process.  But I’ve learned that the only way to combat negativity and hate is with love.  No need to add fuel to the fire.  But also be aware that sometimes I may not feel like fighting back at all, and moving on and forgetting is a much better option.  I suppose it all depends on how much I want that person to remain in my life, or whether I’ll be running into them again in the future.

But anyway, this post is about my legacy right?  I work with kids and teach them theatre to pay the big bills while acting, writing, dramaturgy, etc. help supplement the rest of my income.  I’m truly blessed to be able to do what I love 24/7.  But working with kids isn’t for everyone.  They drain my life energy.  But there’s a reason why I always get a little weepy every time I’ve had to say goodbye at the end of each term.  I get attached to those little buggers.  Every time a parent approaches me and tells me how much their child has changed positively since they met me, I’m so proud of the child.  I was just a coach, a cheerleader, a helper.  Even with the kids or teens who meet me with tension and animosity, given some time, the walls break down eventually.  I don’t mind if the only memory these kids have of me is “Miss Alex was a crazy chick who taught me drama and who made me laugh.”  I’ve seen the growth in kids and teens from their exposure to the arts that has moved me to tears.

I don’t want fame to be my legacy.  I want to be able to leave a mark on people as a positive person who has helped people.  The reason I love working with kids and teens so much is because I’ve been given a wonderful privilege of changing their lives and making a positive impact on them.  For some kids, I may be the only person who accepts their hugs or their drawings.  I might be the only person to praise them for a job well done.  This translates to teenage life and adult life.  You may be the only person who has given someone a lending ear for their problems.  You may be the only person who has ever shown a person love instead of disgust.  If you want to leave a positive legacy, it starts with you.

You have the ability to change the world and leave a powerful legacy for yourself.

Now, I ask you this:  What kind of legacy do you want to leave?  How do you want people to remember you?

Leave a comment and share if you’d lie.  🙂

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