God blessed me with a pretty amazing life. There isn't much I have to complain about or that causes me to struggle. For that I am eternally grateful. Nonetheless, being dealt an amazing set of cards does not guarantee that there won't be obstacles that get in the way. And obstacles can look really small from a distance.

The distance would turn out to be ten months of time.

Last September I was blessed with the honor of making the Tremaine Performance Company. I had dreamt of making this team for five years and, in all reality, never thought this dream would come true. My confidence soared when I saw my name on the list of team members. Little did I know that I would soon be searching for the reason.

The year turned bad. My confidence, although not a new struggle, went from an all-time high to an all-time low. I questioned everything. I couldn't stop comparing myself to all the "perfect" people on the team. I couldn't forgive myself for not being one of the "perfect" people. I created a model in my head of the "perfect" Tremaine Assistant and I could've stand myself for not being her. Every time a Tremaine weekend was coming up I would spend the week before nervously worrying about the weekend. By the night before I would be in tears. When the Friday rehearsal would roll around I'd spend the whole time by myself comparing myself to everyone else and taking every correction personally. I made a total of about four friends during the entire season because I didn't think I was "good" enough to speak to the others. Finally, when the director announced that we had to re-audition to be on the team again, I decided there was no way I could make it again and that I would not participate in the try-out.

But God is good. All the time! That's the only way I can explain what happened. I began to realize that there is a reason for everything. I started seeing myself as one piece of the team instead of an individual separate from them. I figured out that I had been chosen for that team and that I would be letting people down (myself included) if I just gave up without trying again. And I cringed at the thought of not continuing on a journey that had been hand-picked for me.

You see, there will always be obstacles. This was just one I will face. If I had not auditioned, this challenge would have been over. But another would be lurking around the corner to teach me the very same lesson I was trying to avoid.

July approached quickly and with it the obstacle that at once seemed small was growing bigger and bigger with each passing day, then hour, then minute. But my mindset had changed and by now I knew the audition was something I had to do. I decided I would go out there and dance because that is what I love to do.

And it was fun!

I danced with all those "perfect" people for about 12 days after that. I made friends with a lot of those "perfect" people after that and I enjoyed my time on the team. I took pride is the things I learned and forgave myself for the things I'm still learning after that. And I haven't cried one tear since.

I'm finally happy. REALLY HAPPY. And I don't plan on letting comparison steal my joy any more. (You can hold me accountable if I do. And I'll do the same for you.)

                                            Written by Smith


22- Bon Iver

Too Late- M83

The Light That Never Fails- Andra Day