Drabble: Self-Acceptance II
I’m an actor because I can’t survive unless I’m being challenged. Let me tell you, the career path alone is f***ing challenging, but for me the biggest challenge comes from the work itself. I was raised to placate, to say “everything is fine” and not cause a big scene. The best way to do that is to ignore the way you feel. Do not get angry or too excited because that’s not what “good children” do.
I found theater before puberty found me, and thank god for that. I don’t know how I would have managed all of that turmoil if I didn’t have a place to vomit up my feelings for a few hours every week. We parted ways for a few years but when I realized theater was my “one who got away” we got back together. So now here I am, a somewhat adult who’s only ever bottled things up working to perfect a craft that demands I let it all out.
I’ve discovered that I have a lot of feelings and at first it scared me. Stella Adler said “Growth as an actor and growth as a person are synonymous.” which can also translate to “the work you do as an actor will effect who you are as a person.” For a while I was afraid of losing my edge. Without my ability to stay stoic what would happen to me? Would I melt into a blubbering pile of feelings? I’d never openly looked at myself that way. But I am also an ambitious, competitive person. When a teacher finally broke through me to make me understand that my rigidity was hindering the work, I knew I had to brave up and accept that I was just as messy a human being as everyone else. And it’s lead to some seriously life changing revelations:
I love someone who I do not want to love, who does not have the capability of loving me back — and it’s ok. I don’t have to berate myself every time I think of him because it’s, one, exhausting, and, two, out of my hands.
If I’m “too much” for anyone, more likely than not, they’re “not enough” for me. I’m messy and probably a little confusing, but everyone is. I just happen to accept that fact about myself, and anyone who can’t meet that understanding at least halfway can piss off.
I cannot be the “good girl” I was raised me to be because I do not have a gentle spirit. My soul is more like a consuming ball of hot, tumultuous energy and the more I welcome it the bigger it grows.
Oddly enough, in learning to accept my mess I’m discovering the bits of me that are good. Yes, I have a lot of feelings, and I’m loud, and dominating, but the more I accept me the more I can accept others which was the whole point of teaching me to be good in the first place.
I’m learning how to live with my emotions. It’s hard, but that’s why I like it.