Sunday, April 14, 2013

THESE FOOLISH THINGS...

Sometimes I doubt, and loudly. Sometimes the doubts get so loud, and scary, that it hurts. A few months ago they hit me so hard, I felt like I hit a wall. I really questioned if I should still be pursuing this career. I got up on a Saturday morning, took a shower and wept...for a long time. Thankfully, no one saw me because I'm one ugly crier. I mean like U-G-L-Y. Anyway, after I stopped, I realized I'm not ready to give up. BUT I could no longer continue on the same road I was on. Something had to change. Then I sat down to write (I'm not a big journaler, this blog is as journal-ly as I get. I've had a few diaries as a kid with entries like "I hate so and so, so much, everybody loves her blah, blah, blah". I filled in like three pages, and never wrote in them again. But something told me to write down what it felt like at that moment. Well, it felt like rock-bottom, and here it is, in all it's unedited, depressed gory glory:

     This is what rock-bottom looks like, well what it looks like to me. It’s a Saturday, early afternoon in February. Lying on the kitchen floor using a knife to pry the box of Benadryl that had fallen underneath the oven…Benadryl is expensive, when you are broke, not just broke but severely in debt. Rock-bottom is not knowing if you’ll have enough money to pay your health insurance this month or the next, but rock-bottom is knowing that you can no longer live in the state you are in. So there is a choice to be made, whether to continue on your path, albeit in a new direction, to give it up and try something new, or to end it. A brief dialogue goes on in your mind, and you then know in your heart that the option to end it is no option at all. So what to do? Get serious, because none of us have an infinite amount of time, and I’ve wasted enough minutes, and hours, and days, and months that have added up to years of, I can’t say complete failure because I’ve had some successes, and I’ve had some fun, and I’ve held on to my dreams, but holding on, and doing everything I possibly could do to move them forward...are different things, and I know I haven’t. I’m lazy and I get mad that things haven’t happened for me like other people but how can I? Yes, we may have the same dreams and I may even have more talent but they got up, and fell down and got right back up again the next day, and I got up, went to work and went back to sleep again. It’s not enough.

     I’ve spend my entire life afraid of making a fool of myself. God forbid I make a mistake, or even worse? I make a mistake in front of someone else, some one that I admire, or love, or someone I will never ever see again. I am so afraid to make a mistake, I don’t do a damn thing. You can’t get hurt, or embarrassed, or feel like a fool if you don’t do anything, but you can’t grow, and can’t succeed without a risk, a failure, having someone think that you suck, you’re an ass, you’re not good enough. Someone said if you haven’t failed, you haven’t tried hard enough. I haven’t failed enough. I haven’t done ENOUGH. 

     In my some odd thirty years of life, I have never taken a NYC bus ride by myself, why? Oh, right, because I was afraid that I would do the wrong thing and someone might think I was an idiot, or get annoyed that I didn’t know what I was doing, or shake their head at me. I might make a fool of myself, on the bus, in front of strangers. Holy shit, how bad would that be? (Side note: the me right now writing this blog and re-reading this realizes that this is a ridiculous fear, but it was my fear and I'm putting it out there and owning it. Okay, continuing on.) Well, I took a trip on the bus Friday night and I didn’t know I was supposed to use my metro to purchase a receipt for the bus outside of the bus. So I waited for the bus in the cold, got on the bus expecting to use my metro card and Ouch, I was wrong. Off the bus. So I had to wait for another bus...you know what the worst thing was? Waiting in the fucking cold for another bus. I made a mistake in public, and I didn’t die. 

     And so this is my project, my goal for the next 365 days. I do at least one thing a day for my career (write a line to a song, rewrite a line in a script, write a new line, submit for a project, record a song and put it on my website, go on an EPA audition/open call etc) and then document it here. Maybe it’s a small step one day, or maybe it’ll be a leap, but I can no longer play small, or I will HAVE to give this up. I will pick songs that I feel uncomfortable performing or singing. I’m not only here to perform greatly, but I’m here to learn all I can. I will try to make a fool of myself as much as I can, I will risk, because then I will deserve my just rewards. The time to be a fool in now! 

Reading that back now reminds me of what one of my college professors said of my short stories: Melodramatic! I used to watch a lot of soaps as a kid (yep, digressing again). But it's 100% how I felt at that moment, after questioning giving up my dreams, and then firmly believing, and saying NO, I CANNOT DO THAT TO MYSELF! But reading it now also feels like a wake up call once again, because can I honestly say that I've done one thing every single day since February 2nd, the day of my breakdown breakthrough, nope.  That's partly because the "documenting" I mentioned above lasted all of three days, so I don't know what I did, and when I did what (hmm, could consistency be an issue for me?) And, dear friends, it's also because I'm a lazy broad, probably not entirely sloth-like but who's to judge. However, I've written, and I've put myself out there a little more, and I've been embarrassed, and I've stumbled still, and I try to look people in the eye everyday, hold my head up high, and show up for myself...and I haven't felt like quitting, because I don't want to get off this road, because it's where I'm supposed to be. I AM A FOOL, and I'm kinda okay with it (so far)*.


*Looking forward to sharing the result of a little risk I embarked on today (let's say next blog post shall we?)!

2 comments:

Vanessa S said...

So honest and I'm sure most people can relate to this in one aspect or other. You are fierce and beautiful. Own it! Just focus on your passion and the things that you want, it will take the focus off of yourself. Also, I hate the bus and have literally gotten into fights because I never know what I am doing.

TwynMawrMom said...

Love you, love this. I think part of it is *not* laziness, but rather, perfectionism. I remember the one time I went to a therapist she asked me if I had something that was unfinished that was giving me anxiety - like had I started writing a book or something - and I said no. But then I started to think she said I should be writing a book! But no, what she meant was, perfectionists often can't finish something because they want it to be nothing less than, well, perfect. Luckily I don't have that problem ;) I'm the queen of half-a$$-ing it!! Try it some time ;)