Tonight, my friend Lauren wrote a very kind thing on my Facebook wall:
“I was pondering the other day how I don’t think you realize what you do that other people simply can’t. Not like physically (ok, fine, that too), but you have this emotional drive to find projects you love (sequins, hair, cats, etc) and you’re not afraid to do them, run towards them, and attack them. I don’t think you understand quite how rare that is. You are, in so many ways, fearless.”
Lately I feel I have certainly been tested emotionally and mentally with things happening in my life. My job was once very solid and basically my dream job. Unfortunately, right now, the company’s future has been awaiting clarity. Many of us are left with little to do. I realized recently that not having enough to do was making me very unhappy. Not being able to add value to a company that I really believe in is hard, and made me start to question whether I was doing the right thing in my life. A “quarter life crisis”, if you will.
Auditions for shows are always difficult mentally for me, and I’ve had a few of those in the last few months. I place so much value on myself whether I get into a show or not, and truthfully it’s never really about me. It’s always about the show as a whole, and who shows up. It’s hard not to get upset that for one audition I look too old, for another I’m too young, or maybe I showed up as a wild card and the company had already precast the show unofficially. I can tell myself these things over and over, but it never quite makes the defeat of not getting cast much easier.
I feel like I have been floating — so much is good in my life, but I’ve been searching for what my future holds. It is so important to me to be happy in my work as well as non-work. I haven’t felt satisfied.
I had a good conversation with another friend on Saturday in which I told her about my latest struggles. She was very supportive and ultimately challenged me “to be brave”. I have really taken that to heart and Lauren’s comment made me think about it even more this evening.
For most of my life I wasn’t brave, I felt anything but fearless. I believe my anxiety disorder has affected my life since I was a kid, and only as an adult having to deal with full blown attacks did I take charge. Being on medication and doing therapy have literally changed my life. I look into my past and my childhood with some clarity knowing that I likely was having undiagnosed panic episodes during times of stress. Things as simple as getting off an escalator used to shoot anxiety through my body, and I only realize it now with the absense of panic.
Lauren’s comment made me cry when I read it. I think because since I was diagnosed with anxiety, one of my goals has been to BE brave, to BE fearless, to look my life right in the eyes and do whatever it takes to be happy. That means trying new things, embracing the things that drive me forward, and discontinuing the things and relationships that are negative. Life is too short to waste on things or people who bring you down.
My job might be frustrating right now, but I’m working through it. Ultimately, I really care about the company, the product, and the people. And I’m not afraid of what the future holds; I have been confused and frustrated, but never afraid. I am certain in the next 8 weeks I will figure out what is right for me. Or maybe not. But I’m not afraid of what happens.