“I am still fairly clueless as to what I want to ‘do’ with my life.”

May 26, 2016

A 25 year old male, living hand to mouth whilst trying to make it as an actor in London is probably going to feel that he’s living a constant struggle. In his world, that’s a tough life. If given a fresh perspective by, say, a 52 year old woman who grew up on the street, has 4 children to support — 3 of whom work 30 day stints at a casino to make roughly £50. A woman who is left with little choice than to take out a high interest loan to stock her shop ahead of tourist season and takes no pride in having to practice the persuasive and rather off putting sales techniques that are so commonly encountered in popular holiday spots… Well, lets just say things can always be harder.

My parents separated when I was 13. We were in Southampton at the time but my mother, sister and I moved up to Hereford, closer to family. This move suited me as I was having a pretty tough time at school. I grew up a lot and made most of the friends I still have in Hereford. After a strongly Christian upbringing I lost faith in religion and started to hate how it takes over people’s lives because I saw it as a major factor in my parents separation. It took me some time to reconcile with my utter hatred of faith and the idea of God.

I only really took the time to digest it all when I became vegan, pun intended. Having a strong belief about anything and trying to share it with friends will always result in some level of debate. Rarely confrontational but often heated.

I’ve learnt that practicing equanimity and accepting that each and every person is as correct in their beliefs and opinions as anyone else seems to diffuse any tension.

From an early age I was challenged with adapting to unfamiliar surroundings when my family moved to Hong Kong. Being just 6 years old, I have only vague recollections of our time there. I do know that this experience and a few other occasions where I found myself in a new place, having to make new friends and settle into a new school has made it easier for me to adapt.

Like so many others my age, I am still fairly clueless as to what I want to ‘do’ with my life. I always feel a little awkward when I’m asked my profession because “I’m an actor” carries so much responsibility. Particularly if you’ve not been in anything that anyone has seen.

Travelling broadens your horizons and opens your mind to just how varied the human experience is. “I’m a different person now I’ve seen the world!” A phrase that not many people will freely utter for the fear they’ll be called cliché or pretentious. There most definitely is, however, a growth that occurs within the individual who has chosen to remove themselves from their comforts and familiar surroundings. Often immeasurable and incomparable between each experience, it’s best described as a personal realization. I want to do more to help others and I hope that one day I have stories to tell and grandchildren who will at least feign interest in them.

— Lawrence