I’ve been trying to please everyone in the world since I can remember.
I had a shy phase, and a bossy phase (they both still come out now and then at random).
I can be chatty, outgoing, and fearless.
I can be quiet, disciplined, and organized.
I might radiate a child-like enthusiasm, a hippie‘s chill, or a sizzling sarcasm.
My attitude and vibe are almost always a product of what I’m doing and who I’m with. Who am I, really?
I don’t think I really know... something in the middle of it all?! Cue a Jim-style look to the camera with a sideways smirk and shrug. :/
I honestly DON’T KNOW what type of person I am, or through what medium I serve the world best. I am not the best and not the worst at most things. Every decision I make is some interpretation of “what will make everyone in this room most comfortable with me?” That’s why I’m more of an over thinker and less of a bold decider.
Maybe if you’re on the outside looking in, the middle seems like a nice place, but in my experience, not much gets accomplished in the middle. Maybe it’s all the pandering and hum drum choices. Maybe it’s a lack of specificity. In a culture of extremes, being in the middle of the road is just a way to skate by...never getting tragically crushed and never really fulfilling some grand destiny either.
I intentionally slept through a singing call today, then berated myself for it (even though I very much enjoyed the sleep). I then showed up to a massive non union call at Pearl Studios, where they had to typecast because over 400 women were trying to get seen for a short run of Footloose in a coastal Carolina theatre. They lined us up in rows of 20, where we proceeded to show a pirouette and were either kept or sent away. There were no instructions on how many turns or how to land them. One of the producers said to “perform, please.” So, we made our choices. I went with a clean triple, landing softly, both feet out, with a genuine smile. They lingered on my resume, then asked me to do it again. I stayed calm, did the second one exactly the same (I haven’t always pulled triples like that on command, so I surprised myself). Cut.
I could have chalked it up to my look (they DO need high school looking people for this show) or some other thing out of my hands, but of course I let my brain run the gamut of possibilities on why I wasn’t good enough to keep dancing for them. Too boring? Too technical? I wasn’t given feedback, just asked to do it again. Should I have mixed it up the second time? I’ll never know.
Even as I write this, I am boring myself. Complaining about mediocrity might be the least exciting/least productive thing a person can do. But it doesn’t quite feel like I need a Big Gold Medal High Stakes Pep Talk About How Great I Am either.
I think the answer, right in this moment, is acceptance. I can’t be sure, but I think it’s OK that I don’t fit anybody else’s stereotype of ideal. I think it’s OK that I’m not too skinny and not too thick. I think it’s probably fine that my style ranges from boyish to hippie to flashy. I’m right brain AND left brain, calm AND emotional, New York AND Los Angeles (and Canada). I spend so much time looking at everyone around me with as little judgment as possible—logic holds that I should be able to let myself exist...as is.
I think all the trying to get cast gets me down...because I feel simultaneously like I could be anyone but that I might really be no one, and instead of celebrating my uniqueness, I’m scolding myself for not boasting an identity fleshed out according to Hollywood standards.
Enough, Loosh. The Middle isn’t so bad. Any place is better when you accept yourself in it.