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Week In Review: A New Chapter Begins

 

Well. It has come and it has gone.

This last week marked my last week at the theatre school. The official end of three years. 

Three. Years. 

 

I closed out my shows after a second very successful week of runs. The shows kept getting better and better and were wonderfully received. 

A Flea In Her Ear – George Feydeau

Following the final show we had our graduation ceremony and awards night. 

I shared the stage with an amazing group of artists who I am going to miss dearly. 

I was surprised with being the recipient of a wonderful award – and $500 bursary – for an actor who showed dedication, specifically in regards to the 30 minute one-person show I mentioned performing a couple months ago. I was really proud of that piece of work, so “heartwarming” doesn’t quite do my feelings justice. 

I received a number of beautiful cards, comments, hugs and words of congratulations from friends, teachers, directors and all sorts of amazing people I have had in my life over these past three years. 

My parents and Dan were here for it all. They were here for me. 

…That thought will never fail t0 astound me. 

Homemade bouquet from Dan… finally flowers I can’t kill!

The day after the graduation, I took them outside the city where we spent the day in the fresh air.

Scarborough Bluffs – Lake Ontario

We soaked up the lake breeze and scoped out birds

I took them to my favourite vegan cafe, Tori’s, where we all stocked up on my favorite treats. 

A uniquely shaped cinnamon bun…and a broccoli cream cheese scone

Sunday night we ordered pizza, watched Zootopia, talked, and collapsed in bed. 

 

I know this is an “exciting” time, and lord knows I am the first person to say that when met with any small talk conversation. But if I am going to be 100% honest with you, I’m not feeling much of that excitement at the moment.

I’m actually really surprised by what I’ve been feeling. A year ago – I was so excited for this day. I couldn’t wait to get out into the world. But for the last few weeks, and now that it has officially come…

I feel sad. 

I feel scared.

I feel tired, worried, homesick, scared, sad, scared and…sad?

This wasn’t just your average school program. The amount of hours – 6 days a week, often 10 hours a day – I spent in this building, alongside the same people, doing what I love, is just too much to have it end so suddenly. It’s like I’ve jumped off a cliff into an immediate abyss.  It was hard, tiring and had its fair share of ups and downs, but when it comes down to it, I was doing what I loved each and every day. I was around creatives. I was around people who supported me.  I was constantly working to improve and better my craft. I always had somewhere to go; a structure; a home; a safety. How will I ever have this same feeling again? Will I feel like a lost amoeba? How will I ever again get the opportunity to have the time and space to dedicate myself and do what I love? 

Things were sure easier when I didn’t let myself feel any of these things….  ha.

I guess I’d feel differently if I had had a more positive ending.  ie: if I had been signed by an agent or had a theatre gig lined up. But because neither of those have happened as I – as much as I hate to admit it – expected they would, this ending is filled with more fear than I was armed for. I know jealousy is the thief of joy, but I think “expectation” needs to share the spotlight on that one. 

So right now I’m feeling sad.

….and exhausted. Maybe I’m just tired. I’m really freaking tired. 

I feel so much gratitude for my parents and Dan for being here. Unfortunately I’ve just been too tired and – who knows whatever else – to be able to show it much. But I am. I have an amazing world of support and love around me, and right now I just need to be thankful for this. I need to look back on my time and be grateful and proud for all that I’ve done.  I know that work has been recognized, and I know I recognize it in my self. I just need to get the world to recognize it now, too. Maybe the excitement isn’t there right now. Maybe things are going to feel rocky and unbalanced for the next while as I find my footing. But there are things to be excited for. And I’m sure I’ll feel them soon.

A New Chapter brings a mix of gratitude, sadness and fear. #newbeginnings #chapterclosed… Click To Tweet

I expect things will be returning to somewhat normalcy now. I am excited to get back to other things I enjoy… writing, baking, you guys etc. But before anything, I’m mostly feeling the need for a couple solid days of slowed down, open, me-time. Time to catch up with little life things. Time to just reflect, adjust, plan and think about my goals and motivations to carry me forward. So until then…

Thank you, Meg, for the Week In Review. 

Tell me,

How do you feel when you are beginning a new chapter?

What is something you did last week?

 

 

 

 

30 COMMENTS

  1. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 24th Apr 17

    Congratulations Cora! What an honor to receive such an award that is more than deserved, I’m sure. And Dan’s flowers are awesome – what a thoughtful notion. I need flowers I can’t kill :/ I think it’s normal to be sad and nervous about what’s next – it seems that you had a great group of teachers, classmates and support system, so leaving that would evoke feelings of fear in the unknown. But hopefully the award showed you that you stand out and you have so many people who believe in you. Enjoy some days of rest!
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Tuck Fest, A Wedding and lots of Weekend EatsMy Profile

  2. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 24th Apr 17

    So many congratulations, Cora! I think what you are feeling is TOTALLY normal. It is like the aftermath of the wedding and honeymoon but as if you were then going back to dating, lol. Give yourself some time to process, but really and truly celebrate what you have accomplished, loved, and how you have progressed!

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Thanks, Suz <3

  3. Jamie@TheMomGene | 24th Apr 17

    Oooohhhh man, I feel you on this. I don’t handle transitions well, big leaps of big cliffs into bigger unknowns. I’m better in the thick of it than the end. I think all of your feelings are completely understandable. You’ve just done an amazing thing…which means its over. The amazing thing is over and you’re not sure what is coming next. But hope and rest are important here. Fear will be there and sadness for what has passed, but you chose this path with deliberation because something in your core called you to it, which means it will unravel as it should in its own time. No matter what, you have followed the course your heart and rational mind charted a long time ago and for good reason.
    Jamie@TheMomGene recently posted…Infertility Awareness Week and Virtual WalkMy Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Just what I needed to hear. Thank you, Jamie.

  4. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 24th Apr 17

    Congratulations lovely! On completing the program, on winning the award which was so deserved. You are an amazing young woman and all the feelings you’re experiencing right now are totally normal. It’s not unusual to feel a sense of let down and sadness after a big chapter comes to a close. As exciting as it was going through it, it’s easy to feel vacant once it’s done. Keep leaning on Dan and your family and I say take advantage of your free time status to do some things you love, maybe even travel. You’ll have very few occasions in your life with such an open window of time. Seize that opportunity.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: Positives of the Plague (#80)My Profile

  5. Abigail T | 24th Apr 17

    Congrats!! That’s a huge accomplishment. I hope you have a renewed sense of joy. That’s something I’ve struggled with: finding joy in the sadness, pain, dreariness of life. Hope you have a nice break and are able to treat yourself.

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      I’m trying to find the joy. It comes in little flints. Something I need to make more of a conscious priority. Thank you for the reminder Abigail <3

  6. Juli@1000lovelythings | 24th Apr 17

    Huge congratulations on everything! Graduating, winning that award, completing the last shows…
    I can completely understand how you are feeling right now. After graduating university and coming back home from London I felt so lost. I had no job lined up and even though I was moving in with my now husband in our first own apartment I felt like I was stagnating or even regressing. It wasn’t exciting. It was nerve-wrecking! I too was expecting to find a good job quickly. And that wasn’t the case. But now even when it sounds cliché I am completely convinced that YOUR opportunity, the one that’s your right next step, just isn’t on your radar yet.
    Take as much ‘me time’ as you can! And take things as they come. I agree with Meg. Maybe go on a trip and take the time to explore life without being limited by obligations. You don’t get many chances like that!
    P.S. This unkillable bouquet from Dan is the most heartwarming thing I have seen lately <3
    Juli@1000lovelythings recently posted…Getting things done vs. Doing thingsMy Profile

  7. Kat | 24th Apr 17

    Wow – what an emotional rollercoaster you must be on right now! First off, congrats on that award and the graduation itself. You truly have worked so dang hard and should be so proud of yourself! I know that I am 🙂
    As for being sad, scared and worried about what the future might hold for you – YOU’VE GOT THIS GIRL. The “real” world is intimidating – I get it. TRUST me, I do. However something that I’ve learned lately is that growth and change never occurs when we are inside our comfort zones. We need to continute to push forward, moving our feet even just the slightest bit each day, in order to chase our dreams and reach our ultimate goals. So take a deep breathe, take some “me” time to gather your thoughts and then get back to it. You’ve got this <3
    Kat recently posted…Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake with Lemon GlazeMy Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      You’ve been the ultimate inspiration for all this lately love. You’ve been taking life by the horns and going for what you deserve. “….and then get back to it.” YES. I needed someone to say this.

  8. Miss Polkadot | 24th Apr 17

    Okay first off: congratulations! You. did. It. And not just that but with special honours [dedicated – they really couldn’t have picked a better winner there because yours shines through whenever you talk about acting]. Which I hope shows you once again how special – as in: amazing and talented – you are. Like I said in my mail we both are in fields where finding a job requires not just talent but a good dose of luck, too.
    Similarly to you, I felt overwhelmed by suddenly being “on my own” or at least not in a group of likeminded people/friends anymore after graduation. While I did end up securing an internship that started pretty soon afterwards, in hindsight it wasn’t for the best. Really not … Maybe destiny actually means well with you for freeing up some time to relax a bit after those strenuous final weeks, find mental clarity and then move on into the job waiting for you somewhere out there.
    Dan’s bouquet is amazing and actually more thoughtful than ‘just’ getting regular flowers as he had to set aside time to make it. He’s definitely a keeper!
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Do you mind your macros [too much]?My Profile

  9. Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday | 24th Apr 17

    SO proud of you and happy for you, and completely expecting to feel the way you feel now in 7 months (end of undergrad). Scary when what you’ve known for so long ends. But you’re on a pretty freaking cool path, and I have faith that as long as you take care of yourself and do what you love, you’ll be alright. ❤️
    Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Five Friday Favorites 04/21/17My Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Thanks, Ellie. I’m trying to have trust and not push things to make them happen.

  10. Ellie Pell | 24th Apr 17

    We talk soon yes?

    …I’ve told you congratulations and how amazing you are. I feel the same way after a big race. I am in this state of exhausted happy/sad weird feeling. It’s the epitome of bittersweet.

    I think you deserve a trip to Syracuse NY to visit moiiiiiiiiii!
    Ellie Pell recently posted…New Video: First Update of 2017My Profile

  11. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 24th Apr 17

    First of all, congratulations! You look beautiful and happy in those photos and you deserve the recognition! I know what you mean about that happy/sad/melancholy feeling of ending normalcy and starting who knows what. I am excited for you to see what’s next and I know some great things are coming your way. Feel free to celebrate your graduation with a trip to Philadelphia 😀
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…7 Gluten Free/ Vegetarian BreakfastsMy Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Thanks, Heather!! My next trip is 100% a road trip through the states. Maybe when there is a little baby girl to also visit!?

  12. Casey the College Celiac | 24th Apr 17

    Oh my gosh girly. Wish I could be there to give you a huge hug! First off, let me say that you look absolutely GORGEOUS in Victorian clothing/hair. Also, those paper roses? Be still my heart!

    And I TOTALLY understand your mixed emotions. I have a few months until I move to Minnesota (in July). I only know one person in all of Minnesota (an awesome blogger I’ve never met in person). It’ll be my first time to have my own apartment. I’ll be teaching a college class before I even turn 22. So to say I’m terrified, anxious and uneasy is an understatement.

    What I keep telling myself? If I wasn’t terrified, I wouldn’t be pushing myself outside my comfort zone enough. If I wasn’t worried, I wouldn’t be challenging myself to the point of major personal growth.

    Hang in there and keep kickin’ life’s ass! Good to have you back on the blogosphere – I missed your posts! <3
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…Veggie-Loaded Blueberry Pie Smoothie Bowl (Gluten Free, Vegan)My Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      So much new stuff ahead for you!! You never cease to impress and amaze me. Scary… yes… terrifying? Nope. You got this girl.

  13. Emily Swanson | 25th Apr 17

    I know exactly what you mean by feeling worried and sad about the next chapter, because it’s the unknown. The more I’ve gotten older, the more i’ve realized that the future is in God’s hands, and that I need to just walk each day and not worry about tomorrow. I LOVE that you got to do this Cora; it really seems to bring you alive and let you exercise your gifts in tremendous ways. It’s been fun seeing how you’ve navigated, learned, and grown in the past year and more. Thank you for bringing us along. SOme day I would love to see you perform.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Why Promoting the ‘Thin’ Ideal Isn’t Healthy (Podcast)My Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Thank you Emily. This warmed my heart. I don’t know what’s ahead… and because of that I’m very scared. My past few years have been so wonderful and such a safety blanket. Now I’m without my blanket but need to keep moving forward with even more confidence.

  14. Kate | 25th Apr 17

    I am so dang proud of you. From the very beginning- taking life by the horns and starting this program and then finishing out so strong. You are an incredible force.
    Like everyone mentioned, these feelings are pretty normal. The unknown can be so scary and it’s tempting to crave what we know. I have a lot of those same feelings right now, but I pray you will not let fear hold you back. This transitioning period can be just as life-giving as anything else. I am personally looking forward to time for clearing my head.

    Love to you <3
    Kate recently posted…“You did it”My Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Thanks, Kate. I’m excited to see where your transition phase takes you. May we both go out there with grace, patience and confidence.

  15. chasetheredgrape | 25th Apr 17

    Congratulations Cora! And even bigger congrats on the award! You are such a hard working and inspiring person and no matter what happens you should feel super proud of the past 3 years 🙂
    However the best thing you can do right now is feel all the emotions you are feeling. When I finished my degree my plan was to become a teacher… But I didn’t get accepted into my post grad teacher training (they were only taking 8 people that year). I had wanted to be a teacher since I was 10 so I was lost, in limbo and didn’t know what my future was going to hold. But I embraced the time, I gained new experiences from small jobs and volunteer work. I grew and the ‘unknown’ allowed me to realise that I don’t always have to know my future. I just knew I had folk around me to love me and support me no matter what. And I know you do too with your family and Dan. The unknown isn’t exciting, it’s bloody scary! But that’s ok!

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Baha “The unknown isn’t exciting, it’s bloody scary!”….. yeup. But you know what, it helps to just accept that. It makes it a bit easier to live each day through its unknowns. As always – what you’ve learned from your own experiences continue to inspire and teach me.

  16. danielle | 26th Apr 17

    What a remarkable chapter that was!!! Imagine all the memories and stories in the future when you look back. It’s quite awesome all that you’ve done and experienced, and I’m just a peanut in the gallery. Well done.
    I love starting new chapters. Something about the opportunity to write a new story just excites me. What will your new story, new chapter be? Oh that just gives me happy shivers. Anxiety as well but mostly happiness.
    I’m starting a new chapter as well.. I’ll be going back to work full-time starting next week. I’m slowly going to stop my fitness teaching and just focus on the job and then of course being a mom and partner. That’s more than enough. My current chapter needs to end. I’ve checked all the things and more that I wanted to do, now ti’s time to make a new list to check off 🙂
    Happy writing my friend!

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      “Anxiety as well but mostly happiness.” —-> Hahahaha. Truth.
      You are starting a new chapter! I love reading how you know that this is the right time; that you lived your last chapter to its fullest and now its ready to turn it over to something new. I hope you are excited. I’m excited for you to learn and experience this new part of yourself.

  17. Kaylee | 27th Apr 17

    Ohmygoodness, congratulations congratulations congratulations all around! You deserve it Cora. I hope you recognize that too. 💕 How sweet of Dan to make those flowers for you! Also, I was just going to ask you (before scrolling down and reading more) how you were feeling with this transition. First of all, glad to hear you are feeling your feelings and not pushing them down. That takes a lot of courage.

    I think my increased anxiousness as of late is partially a result of my looming graduation. Even though I’ll be continuing with my studies for a master’s, I am still filled with subconscious worry. I think there’s also this sense of regret as I my college experience was not as I had originally expected (oh yes, I fall into that expectations trap too often as well). I read something yesterday on liminal space–the in-between time–that I could relate to and thought you might enjoy reading up on to: https://inaliminalspace.org/about-us/what-is-a-liminal-space/

    On a lighter note, holy cow. A BROCCOLI CREAM CHEESE SCONE?! I need that in my life. Right now.
    Kaylee recently posted…Week in Review: (Kinda) Short & (Sorta) SweetMy Profile

    • Cora | 1st May 17

      Can’t wait to read that article. I have the feelings its perfect timing.
      Your looming worries make complete sense – they are what I’ve been experiencing over the last couple months! All I can say is – they won’t go away – so don’t try to force them, and don’t feel bad for having them. Know they are there, and then work past them, not letting them stop you from your goals for even a moment.

      We need to have a scone date.

  18. androidbestpcgames.com | 30th Aug 17

    However, there’s still much from the past that needs to be revealed, and therein lies the first obstacle Kevin Williamson’s new chapter has to overcome.

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