I’m Proud of You, Kid.

I have cried too much today.

But it’s okay.

You eventually figure out that it’s okay to cry.

So dear younger me, present me, and future me…

It’s currently 4:04 PM on Monday, February 27th, 2017.

Pretty average date. Just a Monday for most. It was going to be an extraordinary day for you (in your head), but it did not go that way.

You auditioned for The Voice today. It was your second audition, and you told yourself it would be your last audition. Just one more try so that you wouldn’t look back and regret it later.

It’s a little rough. Back in October you surrendered your dreams up to God.
“Your will be done” are the words you cringed to say. But all at once you felt a release and freedom as God was redirecting your heart. You were learning that dreams sometimes change, and it’s okay.

Then we had today. The hopefulness of the childhood dream becoming a reality was replaying in your mind. At the end of the day, you somehow managed to remember that you gave your dreams to God and you know that He’s taking you where He needs you to be.

You had it in your mind that dreams don’t come true unless you do something about them, so you did something.

Your first audition was February 23rd, 2016.

“It’s a no, but we want to see you audition again.” the first casting director said.

your second audition was today.

“Sorry, but it’s going to be a no for this season.” the second casting director said.

You were so brave. Despite the nerves.

I know you hate crying in front of people, you barely cry in front of your own family.
I know you tried holding it together as the casting director pulled apart your dream (okay, not really…but that wasn’t a very fun 2 minutes.)

I know life is not going very great right now. I know you try being optimistic. I know you trust God. I know you hold onto dreams and hope. I know it sometimes feels desperate.

I know those tears were the release of a childhood dream, as though 10 year old you was saying, “it’s okay.”

Don’t forget that you’re the kid that stumbles over your orders at restaurants.
You’re the kid that hesitates during conversations because you’re afraid of saying something stupid. You’re the kid that was afraid of the dark.

And you just auditioned for The Voice.

Bravo, kiddo. Bravo.

I know right now season 12 of The Voice is airing and you keep seeing advertisement for it, and it hurts a little. Kind of like when you have a crush on a guy and imagine what’d it be like to be his girlfriend, then you see him with someone else. Ouch.

You’ve only ever wanted two things in your twitter bio.

1) contestant on season 13 of The Voice #TeamAdam (HEY, a girl can dream.)
and 2) New York Times best selling author. #Goals (I dream big, okay?)

So you said that this was your last audition for The Voice, but that doesn’t mean something won’t happen. (You’re still holding out for that second twitter bio option.)
I think there might be the possibility that it’s the last time The Voice sees you, but it’s not the last time Anna Joy tries to pursue her dreams. There’s no chance of you stopping.

I know you had a playlist of songs you’d listen to an imagined you were singing them on The Voice stage. And right now, you don’t want to listen to those songs, even though they’re your favorites.

The hardest part was walking away. They never looked at your application, they never knew your name, your story, where you come from, who you are as an artist.
The hardest part is that by the time you reached home, you know they forgot you.
Because to them you’re just another nobody from nowhere attempting to be a somebody.

As the producer explained “the show business” and how “you have to want it and work hard for it”, you graciously stood there listening to her words even though inside you were breaking a little. And it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to break. Just don’t stay there.

Sometimes books have tear stained pages, sometimes chapters end with no warning.
But it won’t stop the story being written or read.

Maybe life is made up of experiences, not accomplishments. Je ne sais pas.

People only talk about their accomplishments.
We only celebrate the milestones.
But everyday is beautiful and the milestones wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if we hadn’t been building up the anticipation to them during the journey.

Maybe some dreams are better left unlived.
Because they’re not the dreams that would make you happy anyways.

Reality is a stage for new dreams, and dreams are the motivation for a new opportunity.

I know deep down inside college was always your plan b and you never thought you’d be facing graduation with your dreams still being dreams. But we’ll be okay.
I know it’s kind of hard to truly believe it, but I also know you have a head full of dreams that has yet to be discovered.

I know you  believe in not waiting for tomorrow to pursue your dreams.

You believe that you don’t have to be famous to make a difference.
You don’t have to be trending to be relevant.
You don’t have to measure your life by what you gain.
You speak up even when no one is listening until someone listens.
You would be writing even if people didn’t know how to read.
You know you don’t have to “make it” in order to use your platform for extraordinary things. That’s just who you are. So don’t wait, keep going.

I know you’re scared that your life will be ordinary, or that you’ll be stuck.
But something tells me you’re not even close to that being your reality.

We have a lifetime to live and a million adventures to have.

I know you’ll keep singing.
I know you’ll keep writing.
I know you’ll keep working hard.
I know you’ll keep dreaming.

Because that’s what you do.

And I’m proud of you, kid.

And that takes a lot to say, because it’s taken a long time to be happy with myself.
To be confident. To be brave enough to even dare say what my dreams are, let alone pursue them.

So keep being a better person, keep using everyday as a new opportunity to live your dreams. You got this.


16 thoughts on “I’m Proud of You, Kid.

  1. delrowbeatrice says:

    Hey, Anna Joy!
    For a moment there, I almost cried. Because you were so real and so raw and honest. I feel like I heard myself talking at certain parts of this post. I know I’ve never met you, but in my spirit, I know that you’re an extraordinarily amazing person. I can tell. Because I’ve had similar heart-to-heart conversations with God–sometimes with tears streaming down my face. And every time, the fear of not doing something “big” with my life is swallowed up by His extravagant love–which actually makes me more significant than I ever thought I could be. Thank you for being brave enough to write about this. Because in doing so, you just inspired me to keep on lifting up my dreams to Him who knows me more than I know myself.

    Much love,
    Beatrice Joy

    P.S. wasn’t planning on writing you an essay, but I couldn’t help it!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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