Your Glory Days Will Always be a Part of You – an Open Letter to Retired Artists

Words by Rianna Bernabe

We all know why you’re here, reading this article on your phone or desktop instead of actively participating in your art. But we’re not going to mourn over that because, believe it or not, the artist in you will never die. No matter where you are in life at this very moment, we’re here to celebrate YOU, and all that once was.

Photo from Mike Perfecto (Instagram: @michael_perfecto)

To the dancer who had to stop because his body told him to, the singer who realized his heart was no longer singing to the rhythm, the actor who must cross the threshold in real life—forcing him to leave the stage, the photographer who fell in love with something else beyond his camera lens, and to all kinds of artists out there who had to pause for different reasons.

When will it ever make sense? Should I choose my passion or career? These are the thoughts that won’t leave us alone once we give up something we were so accustomed to doing. The thing is, you have to open your eyes to the unequivocal reality: waiting is a part of the process. We experience this every single day.

We wait for food at a restaurant, wait for our turn at the ticket line at the cinema, we wait for class or work so we can go home, or wait for the gas to fill our cars at the station so we can hit the road and continue to wherever our next destination may be.

But what you need to understand is, the wait makes everything worth it. In fact, it’s all a matter of perspective.

Delayed flight? Or time to read a good book?

Scary transitions and new faces? Or new stories to tell?

Broken dreams? Or the chance of opening new doors?

Paused goals? Or challenges that enable you to be stronger for the day you press play?

Futile workload? Or the ability to realize and establish your work of hands?

Brutal rejections? Or pleasure of eventually finding something better?

These are the things we wait for. And is it not the most wonderful thing in the world to know that we can be proven wrong in every solitary moment that we start to doubt? The beauty of life is that whenever you feel your glory days are coming to an end, you can always choose to begin again by means of a switch in the mindset. Why does waiting always have to come with a negative notion?

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Waiting should rather instill hope, and hope gives us direction to the unknown we call the future. No matter how long ago it was when you left the studio, its doors will always be ready to welcome you back with open arms. It might not be the exact same one, but your love for the arts that was once burning with so much passion, your hunger for excellence with every blood, sweat, and tear shed at practice, as well as your grit and discipline will always be within you and those alone will take you places.

But what happens now? The thought that there is a contingent plan is what makes waiting all the more exciting. It has been said that one doesn’t have to sink to the bottom of the ocean and watch the world as he falls. In this case, retires. We all need oceans to let go, but at the end of the day, it will always be people who will save you. They will be waiting by the shore with uncontainable joy because you finally made it, and your glory days will always be a part of you.

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