All of my life, for as long as I can possibly remember, I’ve always had an over whelming feeling that I was meant to do big things in life. Like big big. I’ve never known how, or what road will take me there, but I know it’s the one thing I’m suppose to do.
Obviously getting knocked up right out of the gate and becoming a single mom at 20 years old was not plan A for my life. But it’s what happened. I can’t go back and fix my mistakes or change what’s been done. And honestly, I don’t really want to. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than anything and feel amazingly blessed, but it is quite the road block. When you’ve always had a big vision for your life, suddenly feeling as if they’ve all just crumbled to dust doesn’t exactly sit well with you. It’s not something you get over or can convince yourself that you can settle for less.
For the first 8 months of my daughter’s life, I was extremely unhappy. I’ve always loved her more than what seems to even be possible, but my life had just fallen apart. Hit a dead end. To say I was depressed would be an understatement. I had always struggled with severe depression throughout my life. My childhood was beyond unpleasant, and had caused me to suffer from personality disorders. So I was used to dark feelings. It felt like home. It’s happiness I’m not used to and struggle daily to keep up. But the depression I was dealing with after the birth of my daughter was different. It was for different reasons. In a way it was much more painful. This time It was no one’s fault. I couldn’t be angry at the people who had always played a major part in my past depression and pain. It was just something that had happened. And now the one thing I was going to use to get back at the people who tore me down so low, and use to build myself back up, make myself worthy, was lost. My future.
It was as if my future was an hour glass filled with sand. Slowly I was getting to where I wanted to be. I was going to make things happen for myself. It was just a matter of time and steps to take. But when I got pregnant it was as if someone had smashed it against a wall. Leaving it shattered and empty. I was devastated. Suddenly I had nothing. I was no one. I was trapped in this town. In this life. This life of day by day, pay check to pay check, struggle. I made a promise to myself at a young age that I would never let myself be stuck like my mother was. I was never going to let my life slip through my fingers and settle for whatever works.
My mother got married to my father when she was 18 and had me when she was 19, then soon got divorced. When I was 4 she had the twins, Amber and Taylor, with her boyfriend. When I was 7 she had Tabitha, and I was 9 almost 10 when she had Lindsey. By the time she was 29 she had 5 children. She went through an apprenticeship to be a low voltage electrician. I was proud of her because she was working in a male dominated field. I loved that. I was proud to tell people my mother was an electrician. But I knew it wasn’t her ultimate dream to pull cable. But she did it anyway to provide for her family, like a real woman or man. There were two adults in our house, but she was the only one working and providing. The woman. Bringing home the bacon and taking kickboxing classes at night after 8 to 10 hours at work (sometimes longer). That’s enough to earn an immense amount of respect. So, don’t think I say I don’t want to be like my mother because she failed. She didn’t fail at all. She worked hard for our family and did everything in her power for us. That’s all we could have asked for and she delivered. I only say I don’t want to be like her because I know I will never be able to do what she did. Giving up everything she’s ever wanted to raise 5 children. I’m not one of those people who can be happy and satisfied living a boring, normal, “good enough” life. Never. To give in to that would be the equivalent to suicide.
I’ve felt it in my bones since as far back as I can remember, I will not be nobody. I will not live a normal, boring life. I will not be another conformist product of society. I will do what I feel in my gut to do. I will not be held back by anyone or anything. Someday I will have the power to do great things. And I will do them. God has chosen me for something big. And I accept.
After having a baby, being alone, unemployed, a failure, I seemed like such a fool to believe that I could’ve ever gotten out without screwing everything up and being nothing but a piece of trash living in society…conforming. My worst nightmare. I was my worst nightmare. Everything I had promised myself had gone out the window. I was going to struggle for the rest of my life to provide for my child. She would grow up to resent me for it, and never be proud of her mother. I’d be nothing to be proud of. Maybe I was so quick to believe it because I was always told similar things throughout my life by other people. Or maybe I believed it because it was true.
In May of 2010, I somehow came across a program on t.v. by Joyce Meyer. I remember my mom watching her a few years back. She had always annoyed me for some reason. I couldn’t stand her voice. But this time it was different. Something inside of me wanted to listen. It was like my spirit said “Stop, you need to listen to this”. So I did. She was speaking on living a life with purpose. I was listening to her tell everyone to do what is in their hearts and trust God to take care of them. Telling them to not give up, that God has plans so great for their lives if only they’d accept them and follow his plan. She said no one on earth is meant to have a mediocre life. She said it’s never to late. Of course I cannot do it justice, but her sermon immediately brought me to tears. I started sobbing. I’m not a crier. I don’t cry in front of people. I hardly ever cry on movies, and never when people die. But this really hit me hard. I started to think that maybe, just maybe, this goes for me too. Maybe I’m not a lost cause. Maybe there’s hope for me. Maybe I can still do something with my life. Maybe I can still become great.
I felt like a light turned on inside of me and every piece of me wanted to change. Wanted to be better. Just a better person in general. I wanted to be kinder, more understanding, optimistic, positive, happy. I wanted to have joy no matter my circumstance. I was going to try everything I could to be the ultimate me. The Jordan God would want me to be. Someone my family could be proud of. Someone my daughter can look up to and want to be like.
All my hopes and dreams felt like eggs buried deep inside of me, that had suddenly broke open. The light was shining through me and I couldn’t cover it up or hold it back. I wanted everyone to feel what I felt. It was surreal. I was just in the darkest place I had ever been, now I’m in the brightest. I was in awe.
As time went on I still continue to improve myself as much as I can. I know I have a lot to work on, but God’s dealing with me about them, one by one. I think as long as I want to be a good person, I’m on the right track.
But it hasn’t been as easy to keep my confidence high in the department of my dreams and aspirations. At first I was hopeful. My mind set was if God wanted it to be, it would be. So there was nothing to worry about. I was taken care of. But it has dimmed. Which I hate to admit. My dreams are still alive and well. In fact it feels as if they’re burning hole through my soul every second. Eating away at me for every minute that goes by that I don’t fulfill them. By now you can probably suspect that my dreams and goals are not that of the norm. They aren’t. They’re the kind of dreams that are extremely hard to fulfill. And most of the time, left high and dry. If I wasn’t a parent I would have actively gone after them with all my heart. But now, I feel it’s too risky. I feel like I’d be such a fool to even attempt them. Like everyone I know would laugh in my face and think me ignorant and selfish. I feel so compelled to not disappoint more than I already have. So it holds me back. I hear the whispering in my mind telling me what an idiot I am for even having these dreams. And to just get over them and put them behind me, they will never happen. Something inside me wont let them go. As if I will never be happy or live the way I should if I don’t feed them. If I don’t do it, I will be living against my own soul. But the pain of this has gotten so intense that I think about it almost every minute of everyday. And I am too ashamed and embarrassed to tell anyone in my family. Everyone close to me could never get it out of me. When they ask about my dreams or goals, I reply with “I don’t have any”. That kills me. But I feel like I have to say it. Like my real dreams aren’t considered real. Like when they ask me about my dreams I’m suppose to say nursing, teaching or accounting. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll land a great job at an office, selling insurance. Just typing that made me want to vomit and shoot myself at the same time.
When I was 17 I auditioned for an acting and modeling school called Barbizon. I didn’t know that’s what the audition was for, they just said open audition. But I went. It was the first time I had ever auditioned for anything. Before going into the building I was so afraid and nervous that I burst into tears. I went into the Quiznos next door to the building, to use the bathroom to make sure I didn’t look like an emotional wreck. I walked to the bathroom, knocked, no answer, so I opened the door. There was a man sitting on the toilet reaching for toilet paper. I immediately apologized and I’m sure I was blushing. He smiled and said “That’s okay!”. He took it surprisingly well. As if it happens all the time. I was laughing so hard I forgot that I had just been crying my eyes out in fear. Maybe that was God’s way of cheering me up. It worked. We walked up the stairs, and took a seat in a room with tons of other people and their children. A tall, beautiful, well put together woman walked into the room. Her name, Pamela Anderson. No, not thee Pamela Anderson. But she was in the business. Her father worked with the Beach Boys or something. I can’t quite remember because of my nerves inhibiting my attention span, but she had grown up in the business. She brought into the room a successful model who had gone to Barbizon. You could see the pride beaming from her eyes when she spoke about her. I didn’t care for modeling. And frankly, I got an uncomfortable feeling from that well put together woman. But I was going through with this. Since birth (I’m pretty sure), I’ve wanted to act. I wanted more than anything to act in movies. Good movies. This was my chance. I took it.
In a small room were a few women who are quite well known casting directors, a video camera, and a man controlling it. All the people auditioning had to stand out in the hall, get a piece of paper with lines to a commercial on it. We were to do our best to remember the lines. Then 4 or 5 names would be called to go in at once. I was in the first group to go in. At this point I was pretty sure I was shaking so bad I wasn’t even sure if it was me or an earthquake that no one seemed to notice. But I was also having an amazing adrenaline high. I was excited, nervous, scared, and pumped all at once. We walked in the room, I was the last to go and stand on the X taped on the floor and slate my name and age for the camera. I said I was nervous. The women were nice. They said don’t worry about it. I started to read my lines, I forgot one part and looked down to see the words. I let out a laugh and said “ha, I messed up”, I looked back up at the camera with a smile, then cleared it quickly and finished my lines the best I could. They said “Thank you”, then I left the room to wait for my sisters to get through with theirs. There was a huge screen up in the big room with all the parents, they were watching all the auditions. I didn’t like that, but I didn’t seem to be bothered with it. Once I was in front of the camera, I felt comfortable and didn’t care if they were watching. I felt free and like, myself, oddly enough.
After my sisters finished we had to go speak to one of three people taking down all the names of people who auditioned and asked them a few questions. One woman took all five of us. She looked at our head shots and asked us what we wanted to do. We all said acting. She asked if we would be willing to model. None of us felt like model material, but she looked at us and answered “yes” for us as if we would be foolish to say no. I didn’t want to model. I wasn’t going to. But she could write it on the stupid paper for all I cared. I was high. I don’t know on what exactly, but I was floating somewhere else. After that she said they were going to review all of the auditions on video and choose who they want to do a “call back”, which is where you come in for another audition so they can see if you really have something or not. They gave us a paper with a commercial to practice for if we got a call back. I practiced probably every 5 minutes for about 24 hours. It was a tiny commercial, but I had the lines down. We waited, and waited, and waited. Then the phone rang. None of my sisters were chosen. They said they just had a lot of people at the time with the same look as them. Then, as my mom was speaking to them on the phone, she pointed at me with a huge smile. She got off the phone and said “They want you! And you don’t even have to do a call back! The casting director wrote a big fat YES on your paper!”. I cannot explain to you how I felt in that moment. I felt like I was where I was suppose to be. Like things were right.
After figuring out a payment plan, I was able to start school at Barbizon. I was excited. I didn’t know what to expect. They were to teach us what we need to know, and every month a real agent, looking for “the next big thing” would come in and we were all able to audition for them. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.
Our first class came up, after this was when I started to worry and question the credibility of this school. The acting teacher walked in, seemingly in a not so great mood. He immediately told us, basically, to give up. He was a washed up, unsuccessful actor, who was clearly unhappy about now teaching a class. I’ve always known what a tough business it is. But it didn’t put a dent in my aspirations. But he walked in as if he was trying to tear us all down and force his negativity on us. In my opinion a teacher should be the first to build a student up, teach them everything they need to know so they can have hope. Not strip them of it. It was irritating. Then when he showed his acting skills, I just couldn’t take him seriously. I don’t want to sound mean, but there is a reason he’s an unsuccessful actor. He shouldn’t have been teaching that class. But I was going to take what I can get.
I was surprised at how little effort they put into the acting lessons. There was only one class of acting a month, maybe. They spent all their time, and my parent’s money, trying to force modeling on us. I knew I should have seen this coming since the woman said they want to try to put out more models. That was beyond irritating. All they talked about was how to model, how to walk, how to do your make up, how to get out of a car without people seeing up your dress. Yes, that was a real lesson on the first day. Another thing that really rubbed me the wrong way was the dress code. I understand wanting to be represented in the correct way, but it was to a point where they were trying to produce us, not nurture or talents and help us grow, they wanted to put out a bunch of model drones wearing their title. It angered me that I was forced to pretend to be someone I’m not. I’ve never been able to do that. And I wasn’t going to start now.
The first audition came around. We’d had hardly any training. But I was going to go. When I showed up I had to check in at the office. She took one look at me and said I couldn’t audition because I was wearing jeans. I guess they just couldn’t risk someone in jeans carrying their name. So my mom and I rushed around the streets trying to find an open store to find something to buy. The only store open was a thrift store. A maternity thrift store. The only pants I found that weren’t jeans were about 4 sizes too big and an ugly sharp brown that didn’t match my shirt at all. I threw them on and rushed back to get in line.
While standing in line I looked around at all the beautiful people auditioning as well. They were well put together. I was a mess. My confidence was shot. I was wearing maternity pants. I had to leave. So we did. I felt terrible. I felt bad that my mom had taken time out of her day to take me and buy me the ugliest pants ever, and I didn’t even go in. But I knew that if I did go in, it wouldn’t have gone well. I was uncomfortable, self conscious and had given up on the day.
I went to the next class, and the next, and the next. Make up, hair, model walk. Make up, hair, model walk. Make up, hair, model walk, cold reading for auditions, model walk. This wasn’t enough to keep me going. They were forcing me to be something I didn’t want to be. But another audition was coming up and I was going for it. They were talking about the man coming to do our auditions. They said he is one of the nicest people in the business, and that he worked on the movie Scarface. I was going to do this. I had a monologue prepared. I practiced it for days. Finaly the day came. I was one of the first people in line. I was nervous, but prepared and excited. It was my turn. I walked in. He said hello. He was kind. Not in an exceptional kind of way, but you just sensed it from him. I handed him my resume and head shot. He took a look and said “Wow, nice head shot”. I told him I was nervous, he said “whenever you’re ready”. I began. He looked down at my empty resume. He didn’t look up the whole time I was doing my monologue, he just listened. I finished and he said “wow”. He wrote down on my resume all of his opinions of me. He said even though I had said I was nervous, I spoke with a smooth voice and calmness during my monologue. He said I had great talent and he thought I would go far in my career. Then asked the woman outside of the door if he could keep the resumes. He said to stick to my dream, and don’t give up. I agreed than said goodbye. I felt on top of the world, to say the least. He had confirmed everything I had felt. It was real. I could do this.
A few weeks after the audition I started to feel more and more trapped in the “school”. The only good thing to come from it was that audition. And everything I used in the audition was from myself and the grace of God, not anything from that school. It started to weigh on me heavily. I couldn’t stand it. It was a feeling of being done. Like my time there was over. I had nothing left to get from that school. They weren’t helping me except for the auditions. They were wasting my parent’s money. I decided to quit the school. It was the right thing to do. I still feel that same about it. I wouldn’t go back and stay in it if I could. Maybe I would go back and do better in that audition to make him want to be my agent, but I wouldn’t want to be at the school.
After that I got mixed up with a boy. I never thought that I would ever get “mixed up” with a boy. But I did. It was a roller coaster ride down the wrong path. It took me to a very, very dark place. But that story is for another day. Anyways, a year after leaving the school, I got pregnant. Sending me down this confusing, dark, painful road.
To this day my deepest most secret (now not so secret) dream is to be an actress. To be involved in making movies. To act in movies. Good movies. The kind of movies that move people. The kind that mean something. I always hoped that the development of that dream would open doors for my other dreams. The help people all over the world. To do good things. To open people’s eyes to things that need to be seen. To do truly great things.
It’s embarrassing to reveal this. I’m ashamed, I feel foolish and stupid. Childish. But it’s something that’s been killing me inside and it’s time it sees the light. I struggle everyday with leaving these hopes behind and settling down to get a normal job and be a normal person, and a normal mom. It feels unnatural for me. Wrong. But I’m trying. I would like nothing more than to live out my dreams and have everyone support me and back me up the entire way. But I know that’s not realistic.
So today, at this point in my life, I’m lost, confused, alone and in pain. Not that anyone could tell by looking at me. But it is the truth. The truth I’ve been hiding for a very long time. I want to make my family proud, I just don’t know how to do that. So I apply for minimum wage jobs in retail, hoping to get one just so I can get a paycheck. Living a lie. Living against my own soul.
But I guess at the end of the day all that matters is my daughter. Her health, and her happiness. That, I will always make number one. No matter how much pain I’m in, or what I end up doing with my life. I’m lost and confused, yes. But that, I am not confused about. She is my first priority always. I just hope that someday I can find a happy medium, if not go for my dreams and try my hardest to make them come true. A happy medium, that’s good enough.