Being accepted by your peers is something everyone looks for, subconsciously and consciously. We strive to find a group of people who accept us for who we are, regardless of the baggage that we carry. Some people are more accepting of this than others. CYT was the first place where no one cared about my baggage.
In first grade I was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive and involuntary movements and vocal noises. For the next few years my social life changed. With every movement (or tic) I made, my friends were there to respond with unnecessary comments. They started putting distance between myself and them. This was hard for me to comprehend. To my young mind, I was still the same person, just a little different. As a result I turned from God and hid from the world.
In fifth grade my mom brought me to see CYT Fredericksburg’s production of “The Music Man.” I was instantly captivated by every aspect of the show. The very moment the show was over, I turned to my mom and said “That is what I want to do.” I then auditioned for CYT Fredericksburg’s first production of A Christmas Carol. Since then, I have had the opportunity to perform in 10 shows and work backstage for 2.
During that time, my Tourette’s became less noticeable and a lot more controllable, and my parents say that I have become more positive and confident in who I am (becoming.) A testament to my claim is CYT Fredericksburg’s production of, Fiddler on the Roof, where I will be playing the role of Tzeitel. This will be my first time playing a lead role.
Compared to where I was when I started CYT, this is a huge milestone for me. I now have pride, confidence, and I am no longer hiding in the shadows of my Tourette’s, but rather embracing it and using it as a way to show others that anything is possible. The most important thing I have learned from being apart of the CYT family is how to be comfortable in my own skin.
Every student/parent/staff member/etc. at CYT welcomed me with open arms the very moment I walked into the audition room. They sang with me when I sang, danced with me when I danced, and prayed with me when I prayed. They taught me that God made every person in His image, and to be ashamed of myself, is to be ashamed of His creation. Because of CYT, I am proud of who I am, and proud of who God created me to be.
Do you have a CYT story to share? Submit it here!
*DISCLAIMER: Though, all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2016 My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Regional Winner.