I can really relate to this. It’s not always easy to align what we believe with what we do. We are human, we slip, we make mistakes. It happens ALL the time and that’s okay. We pick ourselves up, we learn and we do better tomorrow.
I admit, I am guilty of being irrationally hard on myself for simple little mistakes and sometimes for the quirks that make me, me.
I look at all of these posts on social media and see beautiful people, fit people, rich people, happy people and sometimes, I compare myself.
“Why don’t I look like her?”
“I wish I were as successful as she is.”
“I wish I could do that!”
I would never tell a friend to compare them self to anyone else. So why is it okay when I do it myself? I am reminded not to compare my ‘behind the scenes’ to their ‘highlight reel.’
I am working towards becoming the person that I want to be and that takes time and patience (not yet a virtue of mine). I see a therapist because mental health is just as important as physical health. I honestly believe that everyone could benefit from some time in therapy.
Why are we so afraid of that word? Let’s eradicate the stigma because in this world of social media and false representation, too many of us fall into this trap of comparing. We are creating a culture of constant insecurity and implied inadequacy.
You are wonderful. My pictures, his pictures, her pictures…they don’t matter. You don’t know what led to those photos.
Be careful of what it is that you envy. Take the time to discover who you are and grow into the best version of yourself.
I will be doing the same.
God bless high school teachers.
No, seriously. I think they could use the extra help.
Due to work obligations, I found myself venturing through the halls of a certain high school today, something I haven’t done in close to ten years. (Let’s pause for a moment while I cry about how old I’m getting and how unconscionably horrible this is).
My co-worker and I were at the school to participate in an assembly meant to inspire the students to “dream big” and “be the best they can be” etc (at which they were largely rude and severely lacking in theatre etiquette). The students were ushered into the auditorium through what I swear to be the world’s tiniest hallways. (These are teenagers, not children. Why are the halls so small?? Or am I still so afraid of high school that claustrophobia began to set in?). The halls were SWARMING with teenagers– it was wall to wall hormones and I physically could not get past them. Even in my fancy dress and nice heels, I still felt like the same awkward, gawky little girl I was in high school. Why wouldn’t they let me through??
At some point, I was able to break free of the throng of adolescents and found myself being introduced to the school’s principal. At 27 years old, it still feels like meeting the damn president. The only principal I have never been afraid of was my elementary school principal and that is because he was the sweetest man to ever exist (Rest in peace, Mr. J. You will always be my favorite).
What is it about stepping into a high school that makes me immediately regress into that little girl who never got noticed? I may have been having some trouble deciding on a new career path lately and the idea of becoming a teacher had been tossed around for a bit but after today’s foray, that idea has been thrown out the window and run over by multiple cars. AND buses.
No matter how many existential crises I may have, I will never consider being a teacher again. (Remind me that I said this in two years when I am due for my next break down).
I have always respected teachers. I know that it’s not easy to deal with one child let alone a classroom of 20+. Who doesn’t see that? It takes a special person to be a teacher (part of me thinks you need to be a little crazy to want to surround yourself with that many mini people trying to figure out their lives but hey, to each his own). I give them major credit.
On the bright side, I’ve narrowed my career path down by one!
I am far too hard-headed to take advice from family and friends but how about a stranger and a cookie? The words of a fortune cookie must be heeded and tonight, my favorite Chinese restaurant has struck again. Even before that, the words of a stranger made me stop in my tracks.
As recently divulged in my last blog, I had decided to follow my dreams of entering the entertainment industry. Shortly after writing that blog, I was called upon for an interview. How anti-climactic of me. One moment I say that I’m going to be brave and chase my dreams and the next, I am turning my back on happiness for a chance at a low-paying salary. (The idea of being a struggling artist is scary! Don’t hate.) Shamefully, I ventured to this next interview, doubting myself along the way but then something amazing happened.
The woman who was about to interview me first told me that she was going to ask a few random questions, unrelated to the position at hand. A little confused, I said “Sure, of course.”
-“When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
-“Oh…well…that changed daily.”
-“Great, that’s just what I wanted to hear. So, tell me what you wanted to be.”
-“Well, I used to want to be a doctor, and then a lawyer because that’s what my father wanted me to be. Then I wanted to be a cook and I would play pretend at home. I would dress up as a nurse and a bunch of different things until I realized I just liked putting on costumes and being a bunch of different things. Acting became my focus, which around my senior year of college transitioned to writing.”
-“So do you still write?”
-“I do, I’m working on a few projects.”
-“That’s good. What I want to tell you is this. You are young. Don’t waste your youth on anything that doesn’t fulfill you. If you want to be a writer, there is no shame in taking the waitressing job or the coffee house job so that you have time to pursue your passion. When people ask you where you’d like to be in five years, it seems so far away but time flies. It will go by fast. I don’t want you to look back years from now and have any regrets. This is the time for you to focus on your career; while you’re young. I’m not telling you this because you’re not right for the position, I won’t be taking any of this into account during the hiring process. As a mother, I feel that this is something you need to hear and that your own parents may not be able to tell you. Many people will try to push you in one direction or another, but you need to do what’s right for you.”
Her words rang true. It was all I could do to keep myself from crying. Here was my sign. Well, my second sign. (Sobbing while reading the words of other screenwriters being my first.) I had been praying, asking God to send me a clear-cut sign; an irrefutable sign. I just want to know that I’m doing the right thing. I left that interview feeling better than ever before and I didn’t give a damn if I got the job or not. I heard what I needed to hear.
A few anxiety attacks later (it’s hard to watch your bank account diminish with no definite prospects), and I was faced with an opportunity for another salaried position, this time in Arkansas. I have been thinking about it over the past few days, but I decided that I am being sent these signs for a reason. Moving to Arkansas won’t help me achieve my final goal of being a successful writer, as a matter of fact it will only delay it further. Fear of the unknown has kept me at bay for too long, but as of now I am daring to be bold. The life of a struggling artist, it is. Thanks to tonight’s fortune cookies, (yes I splurged and had two), I can now confidently say that I believe I am doing the right thing.
Cookie #1- There is always a way–if you’re committed.
Cookie #2- The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
Chinese fortune cookies for the win. They came at a time when I really needed advice; advice unburdened by those “looking out for me.” Those extra calories were well worth it.
My advice to all of you? You don’t need a therapist, just order some Chinese take-out and all of your problems will be solved.