I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. -Louisa May Alcott
Back in the Fall of 2018, I came across an opportunity to do something I had never done before. I applied to be an extra in “Little Woman”. I had never been an extra or done anything in film. It was all so new. This experience wasn’t just about being in a film. To me it was so much more. My love for Louisa May Alcott grew as a child and into adulthood. Her story “Little Woman” transcends time and her real life story is remarkable for that era. I have marveled in the story of the 4 March sisters since the first time I read “Little Woman”. Louisa and her family, in particular her father, Amos Bronson Alcott inspired me. Mr. Alcott was a passionate teacher and innovator of his time. He stood up for what he believed in and pushed the barriers of that time for his daughters and also his school.
When I saw the opportunity to apply I thought to myself I’m not going to get it. I kept telling myself this opportunity wouldn’t happen for me. I applied for it anyways. This may not seem like a big deal but truth be told as a mother of little children and a Kindergarten school teacher I rarely have opportunities to do something solely for myself. I was so stuck at the time and felt guilt wanting to take the time to do something that benefited only me. A month and a half later I got an email. It happened. I would have two days on set filming and be surrounded by such amazing talent. I would have an opportunity to live in a story I had read and been fascinated with since childhood.
The two days were amazing as I met so many people who had a strong connection to the story and an admiration of Louisa and her family. The most exhilarating part of it all was that I was doing something for myself. I will never forget the conversations, the dress, the hair, the makeup, the set and the chilly winter night working until 4am.
This Christmas as “Little Woman” hits theaters I am reminded of all of these feelings during this experience. It was never just about just the movie. It was a greater feeling for me. It was a chance to go for something new and unknown. It changed my thinking about some of my life goals I had tucked away on the top shelf while busy focusing on raising my kids and being an educator.
Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success. -Louisa May Alcott
I am beyond fortunate and grateful to be an educator and parent. But truth is they both very selfless jobs. “Little Woman” set me on a trajectory to do things for myself I would have never done before. The demands of parents and educators can be so consuming at times. Take the time and love yourself.
I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday and New Year. My wish for you is to take the time to do what you love, go for it without fear and let go of the guilt of doing things for yourself when you need it.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead. –Louisa May Alcott
Much love to you all…