Definition of Alyssa Rose: an extremely average girl who is trying to make a life that is extraordinary.
When my mother had me in mind, the doctors told her I was a boy. It was apparently hard to distinguish gender with two babies in one uterus. I am an identical twin. The original identity planned for me was supposed to be Alexander. To my mother’s surprise, I became Alyssa Rose pretty quick. It was a name that the Greek’s thought of and it came from the sweet Allyssum Flower; meaning rational and sanity. My twin sister’s name is Charyssa, which means grace and kindness. We were two peas in a pod, but we fought a lot. My mother always had a spot in her heart for Greek culture. All of my family’s names are Greek, but that is the extent in which my mom takes it, besides loving “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.” It was then that I was born, and I came out first, by 3 minutes.
It was filled with toys, crafts, dress-up, friends, and naivety. I was full of innocence and I made life easy on myself by always having the one best friend: my twin. Who else can say they have been with one person exactly like them since birth? I guess a couple people can but nonetheless, I thought it was pretty cool. I have two older sisters as well as my twin who I had convinced myself for years that they weren’t my sisters. My mom told me that I believed Charyssa was my only real sister. People always thought it was weird we were best friends. Apparently most twins hate each other. I didn’t get that. I just didn’t like that our names are so similar and I didn’t want to look alike… ever. But through all of the hardships in my life, through every experience, I can officially say I never went through it alone. We got through boys together (even though we liked all the same ones), gaining friends and losing friends, school and everything. My family has always been extremely close, but Dad is still upset that he was the only boy in the house and had to share a bathroom with five girls. He never really got over it.
My mom was my idol. I wanted to be exactly like her when I grew up. She taught me everything except math. That was dad’s job. She is a hard-worker. She was my science teacher from 5th through 8th grade. She was there with me through everything. Not a lot of girls can say that. She always wants me to do what is right and what is best for me- even though I don’t think those two things match up all the time. I’m very family oriented. I’m pretty sure if God gave me a choice, I would pick them all over again. They were the only thing that ever made me feel unique. I guess being a twin is special but I never got that. I mean she is exactly like me. I felt unique because in a world where fighting with your siblings and parents was cool, I got along with my family. And I still do. I thought we were pretty special for that.
I grew up good and grew up slow but one theme has always stayed with me. I want to grow up. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to grow up. I wanted a husband and a baby and to do things on my own. I wanted to go to the bathroom in a store by myself. I didn’t want to be a kid. People always told me that I would “grow” out of it and I would miss being a kid. I still don’t miss it. I miss the innocence I had but not being a kid. I mostly went through my teens trying to figure out who I was and what i had to offer the world.
I went through many phases. I think everyone starts out with the same phase: kid. Everyone pretty much does the same things and you can’t really distinguish a certain phase, it just “is” in itself. Then the weird stuff happens. 5th grade was when I got acne, my period and my first crush. I decided to cut off all of my long hair because short hair was cool. Looking like a little boy, however, was not. 6th grade was when I heard the phrase “Boy Crazy” which I guess was accurate. I loved boys and they had less drama. 7th grade is when I experimented with hair dye. I had black hair, purple hair, red hair and then brown hair. I started listening to heavy rock music (the bad ones with cuss words. I know- I was a total rebel). This is when I started to learn about bad things and bad people. 7th grade wasn’t a great year. It was also then I learned I hated therapists. 8th grade I only cared about being pretty and popular. I learned how to wear makeup, curl my own hair and for the love of Pete; tweeze my eyebrows. I was growing into a young woman.
Then all hell broke loose in High School. I never dreamed that I would turn into the person to hate high school and never return, but no one does. I wasn’t on the right track when I joined the school band playing clarinet. I didn’t go to the most popular grade school, no one knew me but I already started off bad. I did softball, basketball, and soccer. My grade school friends left me for the most part and I had really no one except Charyssa of course. I got a boyfriend though. Johnny, he was a wrestler. He was goofy and funny and one of my best friends. He started flirting with me by carrying my books for me to my next class. He was perfect. We dated for two years till it all went sour. But we somehow stayed friends. I loved him with all my heart, but I still don’t know what that means. I finished up high school with my first love, first break up, eating lunch alone in a bathroom stall, crying in front of people, getting my first bad grade, making friends and losing friends, and the whole nine yards. I thought my life had ended but my mom said all of that was normal.
I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people. Those days I watched the movie “The Guardian” or the show “ER.” Those days I wanted to grow up and be a Coastguard Rescue Swimmer or a Nurse. My mom then told me I would have to deal with the people that I couldn’t save. I would have to live with the fact that people die and I can’t do anything about it. I still haven’t really gotten over that fact. I still cry when I hear about random people dying on the news. It’s safe to say I gave up on being a doctor and a Coastguard swimmer. I then saw a movie called “Because I Said So,” where the leading lady was a chef. I then wanted to be a chef, too! It was easier, fun and didn’t deal with death. It was perfect. Except two things: I can’t cook and I found out I have an overwhelming fear of the oven.
So, I left high school with not knowing what I wanted to do or be. I dated a guy from the circus for 8 months who taught me there was life outside of a Lutheran School. He was a year older than me and had a tongue ring. Again- perfect. After we broke up, I had a fresh start in college. No one knew me or that I was a band geek. They didn’t know who I dated or that I played sports. I could be whoever I wanted. So I decided to be me.
When I got to college at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, I stayed a good kid. I won’t ever in my life go near drugs thanks to my first boyfriend. He took enough for both of us but I loved him for it. I didn’t drink my entire freshman year, Charyssa did that enough for me too. I was pretty nerdy in the fact that I wanted to learn. I learned that if you skip class, you get bad grades. I learned that staying up all night for a week straight makes you deathly ill. I learned that all-nighters are necessary and amazing. I learned that you can experience so much with a group of people you just met and love them for life. I learned that girls are mean and boys are dumb but you can’t survive this world alone. I learned that 3 missed calls from mom is a very bad thing. I learned that people actually forgive you for stupid things. I learned what real friends are. But then again, that was all normal.
I basically came to the conclusion then that I am the most normal person in the entire world. When I have problems, everyone has already had them. “That’s normal” people told me. I was never exceptionally good at anything. I played every sport but I wasn’t the star and I wasn’t the worst. I got good grades, not the highest or the lowest. I had friends, but not the most popular or a loser. I was pretty but not the best looking and certainly not ugly. I had to accept the fact that I was going to be average on everything. I even convinced myself that that was pretty cool.
It was also that day that I decided I wanted to be an actress. I was watching “The Guardian” for the millionth time, still thinking I could be a rescue swimmer, and realized there was a way that I could. I could be a chef, a doctor, a firefighter, witch, superhero, or even a stripper if I wanted to. I finally came to the conclusion that acting was definitely something I could be good at.
But, I was average at that too. I was good, but people were better than me. In college, it came naturally to me they said, but others were “naturally” better than me too. But I kept my head up because Hollywood needs average people too. The rise of Realism in the 19th century was probably the best thing to ever happen to me. If there was one thing I could be, it was “real” or “really average.” But I learned that I’m really good at writing, public speaking, acting, making friends, and smiling. (Smiling’s my favorite). I learned that through everything, I was good at communicating something. And now I’m a communication major. If I can do anything in this world, it would be communication: finally something I’m above average at.
I found out through this journey of mine that I have something to offer. That I will be important to somebody. I think people forget that a lot. People forget that something they have is special to at least someone. It took me 20 years to figure that out. I finally made myself realize that the future is not anything to be afraid of. Time is not an enemy-its inevitable. Time will happen whether you stop or not. So you better keep moving.
I left UCM because of money and other things which led my mom to pick Lindenwood. She went here and so did my uncle and grandma. They all succeeded so why can’t I? I came with no expectations but I knew I could be an actress and communication major anywhere, even here. Out of everything I learned, I have come to know that I love movies, acting and writing. Its pretty simple. I need to figure out what to write about and how to become an actress and that is how I got here today and that is why I am a Lindenwood student.