Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It's funny how these doubts keep growing.

Two weeks ago I launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for this passion project of mine, and just like that, I received two generous contributions.  I was thrilled!  This was going to be a piece of cake.  My friends and family would see how devoted I was to making this happen and click that pink button of support.  And strangers would see the link shared by said friends and family, discover that it's a funny yet worthwhile project, and they too would want to help.  So of course, throughout the day any time my phone 'dinged' (yes, my phone dings) with an email alert, I immediately knew it was another contribution.  And since you are all brilliant people, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you, I was wrong...Nothing.

I tried to tell myself it doesn't matter.  Even if no one else contributes another dime, somehow I would make this film.  But little by little this was just another thing for those negative voices to grab a hold of, make me doubt myself, and then doubt some more, because to me, in that moment, the amount of contributions told the story of what everyone thought of me.  And it wasn't a very good story.  It felt like no one believed in me or my talent; that no one believed in this project; that no one cared.  I was all alone in this world.

Now if you are looking at the paragraph above from a rational, non-emotional and calm perspective you would think I should go straight to a shrink, and looking back right now, from the other side, I can see that it does seem a bit cray.  And though I cannot fully explain it, those feelings felt 100% real. When you are in that dark place of fear and doubt and insecurity, it's relatively easy to go from "Maybe my post isn't reaching everyone I'm trying to reach" to "I guess no one believes in this project" to "I'm completely alone in the world".  And so I broke down and cried my eyes out.

I also failed to mention that earlier that day I held the door for a woman who was on her phone.  She walked right into the overpriced coffee chain, that continuously spells my name incorrectly, without a thank you.  So I, loudly and passive aggressively, said "You're welcome".  She came back out and said "Thank you.  I'm sorry you need to be validated".  I really wanted to call her a few choice names, but by some strange act of God I restrained myself and just said, "No, I'm sorry that you have no manners".  Then I realized that, though she was rude, she was right.  I do need to be validated.  I do need to feel like I matter, that what I do matters, that people like me, that I count, that everyone knows I exist...I can continue, but I'll spare you.  And that's what the lack of contributions was feeding into, my lack of feeling validated.

I wish I could finish this post with an epiphany; that I found the remedy for this need of validation, because I would totally share it with you and make the time you wasted reading this worthwhile, but if you came here for all the answers, I think you now know you came to the wrong place.  I'm struggling right with you (at least I think you might struggle too, if not, please impart some of your wisdom).  Instead, here I sit, with a new recognition and a few realizations:

  1. The entire world does not revolve around me and what I want.  I never thought that I thought it did, but apparently there's a small part of me that thinks it does, or it should.  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but there it is. 
  2. What other people feel about me and my talent should have no affect on how I feel about myself and my talent.  But at times it can feel like that's all that matters.
  3. The amount of "support" I get, or do not get, for this project does not reflect my self-worth, or the worthiness of this film.   
  4. I should probably see a shrink.

I need to work on these things daily (aside from the shrink, because I cannot afford one, so I drink, kid, but really I can't afford one), just stating them doesn't make them a reality in my life.  So the only solution I can think of is to keep going, to continue to do the work because ultimately, that's what's important.  Having doubts does not mean I will stop!  I also know I will hit more walls as I move forward; this is just the first one to climb over.  And most importantly, I still believe "If you build it, they will come", so I'm starting to build this foundation.  I choose to believe the right people will find and support this film, and I will be stronger for the journey.

Now since this film is a comedy with original music, I had an idea to write a witty song for our Indiegogo campaign and luckily I had some extremely talented friends sing along (a few just happen to be in "Composing Life" as well).  I couldn't be more grateful for their time and talents, as well as the opportunity to bring this story to life and the lessons I will continue to learn.  I hope you enjoy. And I hope you continue to climb over your own walls; they need to be climbed!

1 comment:

Vanessa S said...

Don't be embarrassed! I'm sure it was difficult to not have been discouraged by that initial disappointment but you have something special and you will make it work. Look at something like Broad City. They clearly filmed their first episodes with a very low budget and look what it has turned into. Of course, we all need to be validated from time to time but ultimately we have to believe and fight for ourselves. It's a struggle but keep on swimming! If it were easy, everyone would do it. ;)