Two weeks ago I got together with some of my classmates from theatre school. We realized that it's been more than 10 years since we started theatre school, fresh faced and many of us directly from high school with hopes and dreams of being "triple threats". Theatre school was an intense journey of self discovery, growth, perseverance, bravery, resilience and of course acting, singing and dancing. Our original class of 52 dwindled down to 31 by the time we graduated in 2005.
In the 9 years since graduation my classmates have taken many different paths. Some have continued performing, finding their niche onstage or in film and television. Others acted for awhile immediately following school, but then decided to go back to school or found other things they were passionate about. People who once spent 12 hours a day living-breathing-sleeping musical theatre found new loves in yoga, political science, nursing and teaching.
The catalyst for our mini reunion was the news of the death of one of our former classmates, making our night together bittersweet. But together we celebrated her life, reconnected and reflected on all that has happened since our graduation many moons ago. Even with the time that has passed, everyone looked nearly the same and it was wonderful to hear about all that was happening in their lives whether it be stories of their relationships and families, exciting news of their debut EP, tales of working towards being a professional wrestler, travel stories and general life catch up.
I walked away from our night out feeling positive and recharged in spite of the initial sad reason for our gathering It was so nice to see these people I had once known so closely doing well on their various paths and I was struck by one common denominator: happiness.
Everyone's lives were bustling with things that they were excited about and the positive feelings among us were palpable. If you had asked all of us as brand new musical theatre school graduates where we thought we'd be nine years later, I don't think that any of us would have put us exactly where we are today, but that's perfectly okay. In living our lives since 2005 we've experienced a lot on individual paths bringing us to where we stand in 2014, doing things that make us happy. And that's pretty awesome.
There really is something to be said for the power of happiness and finding it in (perhaps unexpected) places.