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Sacrifices on the Road Less Traveled

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What causes a person to grow and develop as a human being? One of the things that helps each person come into their own is the sacrifices that they have to make during their life. Sacrifices are one of those things that are kind of a given. At some point in a person’s life they will have to give something up that they didn’t want to. This can come in many different forms whether it is giving up bread because you want to be healthy or giving away your dog because he isn’t allowed at the apartment. Sometimes people make sacrifices in one area of their life in an attempt to try and benefit another area of it. In my case, I sacrificed my normal country girl life in order to accomplish my hopes and dreams of becoming an actress. In this essay I will be discussing the personal sacrifices I have had to make in this crazy journey of moving to Los Angeles and trying to accomplish my dreams of an acting career.


Seeing my dad once a month has been a huge sacrifice. I am originally from South Dakota. My dad, who is a physician, has his own practice set up in my hometown. He has a responsibility to the community as he is one of only three doctors in Rapid City that covers his specialty. Because of this I only get to see him a few days a month. Transitioning from seeing him everyday to seeing him four days a month has not been easy at all. I’ve always been the kind of kid who has a good relationship with my parents. They have supported me in everything I do and are always there for me no matter what. Even though my dad is hundreds of miles away he will still always be my biggest fan and whenever I need support I can still count on him to be there when I dial his number on my phone. I am so fortunate that I am given this opportunity in the first place, but not seeing my dad has been hard. I am sure many people can relate to this. Many kids have to deal with even harder situations where they rarely get to see their father at all. When I think about this it reminds me that I have it so good compared to many people out there. So even though I miss my dad a ton, I remind myself that things could be so much worse. Along with missing my dad, I have had to sacrifice many other things throughout this journey.


I had to give up having an education in a public school. One of the hardest parts of this whole process has been getting used to online school. I am a very social person and it always strikes me odd doing my schoolwork at home. Online school has become a necessity for this busy lifestyle and me. I am constantly having meetings, auditions, acting classes, and voice lessons. My life is absolutely crazy and doesn’t allow for me to follow the normal schedule of a standard high school. This part of that transition has been one of the hardest. I feel like I am missing out on so much. When I log onto facebook I see pictures from my school’s football, volleyball and soccer games and it makes me wish I were there. It’s hard to fully accept where I am when a part of me longs for the normal high school life. I try to think to myself that sometimes it is better to follow the road less traveled, and that helps me keep my spirits up. Another thing that I miss about high school are all the dances. Prom is every girl’s dream and it’s weird to think that I won’t get the standard prom experience; it actually kind of sucks. I went to prom as a sophomore with my friend who was a senior, but it’s not the same as being able to go to prom with a group of my best friends. It’s silly to miss the fact that I won’t have that experience, but it is something I think about nonetheless. I also think about graduation a lot. Graduation is something that is very special and is a turning point in someone’s life. Yes, I will graduate from high school, but it will be completely different than if I went to my school back in South Dakota. When you make changes in your life like I did, you start to think about all the little things that you will miss out on. I know that some kids are completely used to not going to an actual high school, but it is something that is taking me a while to get used to. Sometimes it still hasn’t sunk in completely. Not going to a public high school is just another sacrifice that I have had to make in hopes of accomplishing great things in my personal life.


I miss doing things with all of my buddies. Back in South Dakota I had a few friends who I was super close with. We were practically attached at the hip at all times and we always had the absolute best adventures. We would do some of the most awesome things ever. The things that we would do truly helped shape me as a person. My best friend and I are almost exactly the same. We both love hiking, snowboarding, running, photography and pretty much all other outdoor activities. We would come up with the craziest things to do. One time we decided that we wanted to make a music video. We decided to do a Ke$ha song so we dressed up like Ke$ha and drove all over town filming the most outrageous things. It was so fun and a memory that I really cherish. Later that day we went to our school’s basketball game still dressed like Ke$ha and it was a blast. I miss fun memories like that. I miss hanging out with all of my friends and doing the weirdest things but having the best times. No one can make me laugh harder than they can. They were always ones who would brighten my day and pick me up when I am down. I still keep in contact with my closest friends, but it is hard to remain so close when I am a thousand miles away. I also miss the idea of all the new memories that we could be making if I was still there. All of these things make living in Los Angeles so much harder than it needs to be!


It’s hard not having my dogs around. I am such a dog lover. I believe with all of my heart that they are the best animals ever. Dogs are great because they will always be there to listen and be your buddy when no one else is there. I have two dogs back in South Dakota, one is a border collie and the other is a golden retriever. I love these dogs so much. My family is big into outdoors so we would always take our dogs on hikes with us. I could literally see the smile in their eyes when we would take them places with us. I love having dogs around. They make everyone happier and in a better mood. Every time I walked to my car in the morning before school my dogs would always come waddling up to me and greet me with a cute little yelp. That moment would brighten my day for the entire day and leave me smiling. I remember one time my dog Sparky, the border collie, got lost when we were out on a hike on our property. We live on forty acres so we had no idea where she could be. It was starting to get late so we had to head back to our house, but my dad was really worried. He called over one of his friends and they put on headlamps and brought flashlights and they went out on a search for her. It was pitch black so they couldn’t see very well at all, but they called Sparky’s name over and over and they heard her barking. They finally located where the barking was coming from and they found Sparky on a ledge below a thirty-foot cliff that she had fallen off. It was impossible to get her off the ledge without equipment so we had to leave her there overnight. I was scared out of my mind, and I’m sure Sparky was too! The next day my dad called search and rescue and a whole rescue team hiked all over our land until they finally ended up at the cliff. They rappelled down and safely rescued Sparky. I was so glad and thankful to know that she was all right! Our dogs have really become part of our family and I love them so much. They have silly quirks just like people do and they help fulfill my life. Not seeing their smiling faces everyday has been different for me. I certainly don’t like not waking up my happy dogs, but it is another sacrifice that has had to be made.


I have had to sacrifice the small town lifestyle. Back in Rapid City I lived in a relatively small town. We had two high schools, lots of parks, and tons of open space. Back in South Dakota you can drive at the age of fourteen, crazy I know, so I would drive all over town and was able to be very independent. I miss driving around with my music blared and enjoying the scenery. Now that I am in LA my mom drives me everywhere because I can’t quite work up the nerve to handle this traffic yet. The traffic in Rapid City was barely non-existent, but here in LA it is absolutely dreadful! Driving all the way across town when I was back in Rapid City took fifteen minutes tops, here it can take hours if the traffic is bad. Big city living is not as easy as it seems. The lifestyle in South Dakota was just a calmer, more relaxed way of living. I literally lived day to day completely care free. It’s sort of like I was in my own little, safe world. I knew a lot of people in town and I knew how to get my way around like the back of my hand. Los Angeles is a concrete jungle that I don’t think I will ever quite understand. I don’t know anybody and the city is just overwhelming. It’s really hard to just start over on a completely clean slate. Living in a big city is a lot harder than living in a small town in good ol’ South Dakota. I miss the things that I had in Rapid City that I don’t have here. Of course in LA the shopping is a lot better. But, there are tons of things that a big city just can’t offer a girl like me.


Sacrifices are things that everybody is presented with in their lifetime, and they are not easy. It is nearly impossible to get what you want at all times and sometimes in order to grow you need to give things up. I have made the choice to give a lot of things that I love up in hopes to lead a very interesting and different life. I just want my life to be filled with adventure and new things and that is what I am doing right now. Although I have had to make many sacrifices, I have also learned a lot from moving to this big city and that is something that I will treasure forever. Yes, sacrifices are tough, but they have made me such a stronger person and have shaped me into who I am today. Everyone has to make sacrifices; it’s just how you learn from them that helps define you as a person.



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