For most of my adult life, I have firmly believed that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it’s the native Floridian in me that came up with the following analogy, but I always remind myself to ride the universe’s waves and whatever wave I get at the time is for my best interest.
Sometimes, it can be challenging to remember that some waves are easier to ride than others. I’m sure we have all experienced this in some form or another this past year. However, at the end of 2020, all the different waves I’ve ridden in my lifetime started to make sense when I received my first “big girl job” at the very same place where my journey began.
Speaking of beginnings, we should probably start there. Picture it, the year was 2007, and I was a budding awkward pre-teen, just eagerly trying to stay afloat in this confusing world. At this time, I wanted nothing more than to be a cheerleader. It looked like such a glamorous life in all of the teen movies that I grew up watching. However, my mom was not too enthusiastic about the idea after presenting the elite girl group’s expenses. To put it bluntly, she shut the idea down real quick. I was as heartbroken as a young girl could be. I went straight to my room and begged the universe to find some way to make me a part of the cheerleading squad.
After school the next day, my mother came bursting into my room waving around an audition notice for some play named Seussical The Musical Jr. at a local community theater called the Delray Beach Playhouse. Being that it had nothing to do with cheerleading, I was not thrilled. However, I decided to give it a shot. I mean, theatre is kind of like a sport. Right?
After putting one hundred percent of my energy into preparing for my Seussical audition, the day had finally come. Once I arrived at the Delray Beach Playhouse, I walked into the theater and was immediately taken away by the charm. I walked to an empty seat and sunk into its red velvetiness. One by one, the director shouted the names of people she wanted to audition next. With every name called, my heartbeat grew faster and heavier. Finally, I hear “Marina Wolfson to the stage.” Gathering all of my courage, I walked up to the stage. The lights were blinding and warm. I took a deep breath and started to sing Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.
As I was singing, I heard an audible gasp from the director. At the time, I thought it was because I did an awful job. Later, I found out that she was in a state of shock that someone so young decided to sing a song from a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. After everyone finished with their audition, the director stepped out of the room to “deliberate.” I was not surprised that I was anxious, but I was shocked that I cared so much about being cast. Seussical the Musical turned from a random show I knew nothing about into something I yearned to be a part of in a matter of days.
Suddenly, I hear the door open and watched the director tape the cast list onto the wall. Without a thought, I raced to that holy grail of a piece of paper and scrutinized the entire sheet for my name until finally, there it was shown. In all of its size twelve, Comic Sans glory: Marina Wolfson as Mrs. Mayor of Whoville. At that exact moment, I was bit by a gigantic theatre bug. It has been fourteen years, and that bug has yet to leave me. I even majored in theatre in college. Everything was smooth sailing until the dreaded 2020 hit.
Imagine, it’s May 2020, and I have just earned my master’s in communications. I am no longer a confused and awkward pre-teen. I am a confused and awkward woman in my mid-twenties. More importantly, it is time for me to get a “big girl job.” How was one supposed to get a job in the middle of a pandemic?
For the next six months, I received one rejection letter after the other. I think for my next audition, I’ll perform the automated rejection letter from Indeed since I’ve memorized it by heart. It felt as though the universe served me a turbulent wave. Instead of trying to ride the wave, it sucked me in, thrashing me underwater and not allowing me to catch my breath. The feeling of worthlessness cloaked me like an atrocious thick blanket. Until at last, a shining light glimmered through all the gloom.
While doom scrolling on Indeed, the words “Delray Beach Playhouse now hiring” smacked me right across the face. I instantly sent my resume through the app and waited fervently to hear back. “Ding, ding!” my phone chirped. The notification read, “Are you available for an interview tomorrow?” Heck yes, I was!
The next day, I drove through a winding suburban neighborhood and eventually reached Lake Ida’s hidden gem, The Delray Beach Playhouse. Walking through the doors made me feel like I was a child again. I was right back where I started so many years ago. I was home. The interview went better than expected, and I succeeded in getting the job on the spot. It was the best feeling I had experienced throughout all of 2020.
As I exited the playhouse, I noticed the magnificent lake that the building sat on. It was a lake that I overlooked as a child. While watching the waves glide over the glistening surface of the lake, something occurred to me. All of the universe’s waves that I rode in my lifetime, whether they were tumultuous or gentle, came to me for a reason. Those experiences helped me arrive at where I am today. Now every day, I tell myself: remember to go with the flow, ride the universe’s waves, and trust the process.