I'm a fan of Robin McKinley, a writer of fantasy and reteller of fairy tales. I find myself in her books. She reminds me to see beauty and that being a 'misfit' can be ok in this world.
I think we all have ideas and expectations of how life is to be lived. Sometimes we press our own ideas on others. Sometimes we are crushed under our own expectations for our lives and how we have not met up with them. Sometimes we are filled with the sorrow of dreams not fulfilled.
The process of doing and making has helped me see that there can be more sides to myself and my story than I thought possible. Yet, even in the creative fields we limit what can be and who we can be. We tell each other that there is only one way to make art or get art produced. And that if we don't' do it in the specific timing or manner prescribed we should give up.
I've always been fascinated with stories from other countries. Watching films and TV shows from other cultures reminds me that there are so many ways to tell a story. It stretches the way I see things and what I imagine to be possible.
But like the characters in Robin McKinely's stories, being yourself and expanding what that means takes courage. The way I create art and think about acting doesn't always fit in the main stream ideas of creating or putting together an acting career. But as I listen to the stories in the world and expand my ideas of what it means to be a human and to create stories to put out into the world, it helps me have courage. And it gives me a greater sense of freedom and the realization that there are so many ways to be yourself, to be human, to fill the world with stories.