As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to be something or someone different. I couldn’t and sometimes still can’t stand the sight of my own reflection in the mirror. I have large eyes, an odd face, I’m missing a tooth, my hair is strange. These are the things that run through my head at any given moment depending on how I’m feeling, what I have going on.
When I was a kid I lived inside the fantasy world between my ears. Dreaming up stories, dance routines, or any other dream sequences I could come up with. I didn’t understand this to be creativity. I simply bought into the idea that I was a raging lunatic and as I got older I would shudder with embarrassment when my mind would drift toward these bombastic scenarios. I’d smother them as soon as they’re arise and thank god no one could visit the inside of my head because it was a scary scary place.
Eventually, the creative side won and I became a writer/theatre artist. This brought me no greater peace really. The self doubt that years of attacking my creativity as if it were a disease had done a number on my ability to believe that my ideas were valid much less good. It took my life falling completely apart and ultimately me having to work on my self or die for me to even begin to see anything of true value in the work I do. I’m grateful for my new perspective, but as of now it is fleeting. My creative process is often me doing battle with the demons inside my head to get anything on the page.
My ability to believe in the work I do begins and ends with me, because no matter how many accolades, right ons, or I feel you’s I get. They are not enough to sustain me at my foundation. My mistake has been believing in some tiny part inside that “fans” and their well wishes and love would give me the validation I need to believe in me even though the lives of celebrities prove other wise.
I’ve had to consciously realize (again) that my creativity will not save me. It is an extension of me. The things that happen as a part of the work I do have NOTHING to do with who I am as a person. How I struggle to remember this when things don’t go the way they were planned with a show, or when I get a rejection about a submission, or when I don’t hear back about that one thing I wanted to do. I am a tiny and insecure thing at time with an ego as fragile as sugared glass.
This is the fight I fight everyday. Today I have to honestly say I’m losing, tomorrow may bring better news. Some days I get really tired. Today is one of those days. Tomorrow I’ll be back with claws, and the teeth I have left bared. All I ever wanted to be is something great, even though that greatness implies a destination that will never come. The greatness is in the fight. God please me remember that.
Before you prepare your inspiring response to this, I’ll let you know that I don’t need it. I’m not in some funk that I need to be lifted out of. These are just feelings and they will pass. I feel no need to wallow in them. I’m writing this in the hopes that someone reading this will know that they’re not alone. We can survive and grow past the way we feel. Knowing this is something truly great.