I dislike migraines. Not that I know anyone who really enjoys them, per say, but I sincerely dislike waking up with one when I need to be at work – and I dislike it even more when they persist throughout the day, fading and reappearing with no regard for its interference with my work. They also tend to lead to nights of either crappy sleep or no sleep at all if I do not immediately come home and nap for several hours (or the entire night). As I’m currently awake at 4am, you may draw your own conclusion as to which situation I’m presently in.
Since I’m up, but not awake enough that I can effectively continue with my white paper for work, I figured blogging would be close enough and might allow my brain to expel enough of the thoughts swirling around in its abyss as to allow me to get *SOME* sleep – or at least just enough that I won’t be a total zombie when I present myself for standup in six hours. That’s the hope at any rate.
Tonight’s mental musings take many forms, but one main theme today is centered around “failure” and the mind numbing fear that is often associated with it, that keeps an individual from taking some action because they are afraid of the consequences. A friend posted the following article yesterday, and although I think it’s a fantastic read, a rather startling thought occurred to me: I’m not actually afraid of failure or rejection.
The article points out that most people would rather live in an unhappy or unbeneficial situation, because they are concerned that the alternative will be worse. They are afraid of falling, of failing and of rejection. I’m not, in the long run.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t *relish* making hard decisions, of being the one to strike out on a different path. Sure, I may put off a hard conversation as long as I can, or delay working on a certain white paper for work (product of having the ability to set my own due dates – as well as supporting products!) But working in the film and television industry from the time I was three years old until just before I moved to the US at the age of twenty-one taught me some invaluable lessons about being rejected time and time again, and while rejection and failure still have an initial sting – they aren’t enough to keep me from making a decision, starting a project, or taking direct action that I deeply believe will lead to a better situation for me in the long run.
I started modeling when I was three, believe or not because my mother wanted me to get over being shy. Yes, take a moment and get over your laughter, I understand how stupid that sounds based on my personality now. Trust me when I say *I* certainly don’t remember a time when I was shy, but you can see it in very, VERY old home movies. My mother figured, based on her own personality that eventually I’d warm up to being in front of the cameras, as well as through performing on stage I would through ballet. As they were both things I would keep up with for the next ten plus years, as much as I am loath to admit it, she was clearly right. (Ugh, it pains me to admit that! :P)
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of being in the industry from such an early age was the fact that I got very used to auditioning – and not being cast. Not necessarily because I lacked in talent – but purely based off my physical looks based on the actors who had been cast as “family members” of the roles I was auditioning for. Trust me, there is nothing harder for a twelve year old to understand that it isn’t about being good enough…nor that you are competing against known quantities in your own city, since you’re often competing against local talent, talent within the province, the country and sometimes both Canada AND the United States – looking at that fact, it’s a wonder *anyone* ever gets cast in more than one damn thing. But that’s another rant for another time.
I remember exactly when I figured all that out, calling my agent (bless those who represent teenagers, the emotional lot) in near hysterics, and telling him I just could not mentally or emotionally take being in the industry any longer. Eventually, he and my mother talked me down and I continued with him for another seven years quite happily – although eventually he had to stop telling me when it was “between you and only one other person.”
No one needs to know constantly when they’ve come in second place. It just sucks.
And yet, when I receive rejection letters now, containing phrases like “choosing to go with another candidate” or something similar, even if it was a job I’d truly been pursing – yes, that immediate sting is still there, but it fades quickly. Clearly, it wasn’t meant to be, so something else, the right thing, is coming in due time. I just need to wait, reflect and be open to looking for opportunities I perhaps had not given just consideration or even recognized as possible opportunities.
Upon reflection of the last ten years of my life, I can honestly say I have tried many things, and while not all of them have ultimately been successes, few have been truly spectacular failures. Even when things have not worked out, I cannot regret them in principal. Regret to me, means I have not learned from the choices I made. Sure, not all of them have been the right ones. But to continue moving forward, to make better choices that will hopefully lead me to a place where I can be happier, I have to both understand why I made those choices and why they were ultimately wrong. To me, to regret is to continue to view those choices with negativity – and ultimately I can use that energy towards something else – something perhaps better.
Maybe I’ll falter, and I’ll probably fall along the way – but I absolutely refuse to not get back up again, once I’ve caught my breath.
I’ve got too much living to do.