A Dream Come True

Anna MaijaThe 22nd of September 2011 was the day when one of my biggest dreams came true.

I had dreamed about coming America to become a successful actress many years since I was a small child.

Actress? I’m aware that it is not the easiest dream – especially for a person who comes from Europe with an accent. People warned me that it would be difficult. I knew that, but I’m still sometimes surprised how much I have had to make sacrifices. I didn’t let those things scare me: I packed my things, left my job, boyfriend, family, friends and took my dream and came to America.

I was born 1st of July 1992 in Espoo, Finland. My mum has blonde hair and blue eyes and she comes from North-Finland. My father, instead, is from warm Senegal and he’s black like the darkest night. The result is that I have dark brown hair and eyes and darker skintone. I have raised and lived all my life with my mum in Finland. Growing up with different background hasn’t always been easy in a small country like Finland. Sometimes I felt that I was a disappointment for my country because I looked so different. Actually I think because I felt so left-out, it made me become a kind of dreamer.

I created a strong dreamworld where I escaped when I felt bad. It helped me to get through tough times.  I created a world where my difference would be a great thing. I saw myself as a successful and powerful woman who could help also other people.  I dreamed that some day I will find a place where I would fit in and make my country proud of me. I also wanted to show people that dreaming and believing in yourself is not stupid. Even though I had some bad experiences, my childhood was mostly filled with good memories.

I have had hobbies all my life: basketball, gymnastics, music theatre, dancing, piano, and horse riding… Soon the only place where I felt the most happy was on the stage. Dance performances and acting in front of the camera became the most positive way for me to express myself. When I’m performing, it all seems right. On stage I can live in the moment, enjoy, feel the adrenalin coming through my body and people seem to accept me. On stage my wildest dreams can come true. I can use my imagination to get into different characters. I have danced since I was 5 years old and when I started to dance on a championship level it became more serious.  Because of various auditions, I got creative feedback and people gave me advice to develop myself more. This is what I love and I want to do – performing.

When I came America, I felt like I was coming home even thought I had never been here before. I fit in! No questions why I am this color, no personal questions of my background. People say that the competition is fierce here in NY but I find people are also more supportive. Even if I would say that I’d like to be an astronaut, people would say, GO FOR IT – YOU CAN DO IT! They don’t focus on the negative, but they stay realistic. They just believe that you can work harder and get better. No one told you to give up. While my friends went sightseeing in NY, I used to sit for days in my room just planning and writing about where I should go and what I have to do to stay in America and make my dreams come true. Every weekend I went to Manhattan as soon as possible and came back to the campus later on at night. Sometimes I feel lonely when my friends go to party and I am just thinking about my future but now I have noticed that my thinking has been pay off. I even got a job offer from a fashion company in New York where I’m also interning at the moment. I feel like a real New Yorker when I am working there. Everyday I get to know really interesting people. I really believe that all the people I have met during this time is for a reason. Some bigger force is guiding me to find my place in this world.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the opportunities America has to offer. I wonder what I am doing? I hope all the sacrifices I have made so far have been worth it. I love my country but I also love America. I have already achieved more big dreams than I could have ever imagined – so why stop dreaming now?

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