March 2nd, 2011
When I was 11, I tried out for the role of Dorothy in my school play. I rehearsed, I practiced, I took some singing lessons, and I got the part. Happy ending, right? Well…..about a week later, when rehearsals were about to start, I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. That I had way better things to do with my time than go to rehearsals after school and on Saturday. And so I respectfully declined, giving the part to my understudy (lucky bitch).
That same year, I tried out for a super exclusive dance team. Tryouts were two full days, you had to be able to do well in tap, jazz and ballet. I was among the younger group of girls who tried out. And I made the team. And just as I was needing to accept or decline, I decided that I didn’t want to do it after all. That I had way better things to do with my time than practice dance after school and on the weekends.
When I was 18 years old, I was entered into this writing contest for this extremely exclusive summertime writing program in Los Angeles (big city right outside the suburb where I grew up). I worked on my writing in my creative writing class, knowing that at the end, the teacher would pick two lucky students, two of the best students, to partake in this summer program. At the end of the school year, I was slipped a super secret note under my door and given a secret handshake saying that I was picked for the program. And guess what? I decided not to do it. I had way better things to do with my time during the summer. Like drink. And hang out with my friends.
That same year, I got into UC Berkeley. The school that all my friends were dying to go to, that was the tippy top of the UC’s, that was in a beautiful place and had amazing programs. When I went to visit, I decided that it wasn’t the school for me. Not enough sunshine (just HAPPENED to be cloudy on the day I went), not my kind of city. Too many hippies.
I could go on and on. My life is filled with stories like these.
I’m not a rocket scientist but I do smell some rocket fuel of a pattern here. Big exciting thing that I actively pursue, getting said thing, then turning it down. And then justifying it saying I didn’t actually want it anyway.
Three other similarities…all these things were out of my comfort zone, would take practice and hard work in order to complete, and I was scared of all of them. I was afraid of being embarrassed (Dorothy), or having to work hard (dance team), or driving by myself to a big city (writing program), or being out of my comfort zone (Berkeley, 6 whole hours away from home in a brand new city where I knew no one and nothing was familiar…AND I’d have to work hard).
Now I’m not thinking that I ruined my life because of this, because I love my life now, but I do know that this is a pattern and a problem for me…having fear, and then running in the other direction. I’ve gotten MUCH better about it. My best life is worth more than my fears. But alas, I still bump up against this feeling. Like right now. So here is a video explaining something I’m up to, that’s scary for me.
I’m about to walk some of my talk, babies.
I will leave you now with a quote from our good friend, Jay Z:
“How you get so fly? From not being afraid to fall out the sky.”
Taking the steps to having the life you want can be scary, but when you push through that fear, you get to fly…and who doesn’t want that?? See you fuckers in the sky.
Leave a comment and let me know some of the scarily exciting thing you’e up to! And don’t forget to share this with anyone you think it’ll touch. Awwwwww.
P.s. This is really cool…the coach who challenged me to do this video did a video in response. She OUTS ME! Hahhahha.This is the kind of behind the scenes you guys will be getting from now on.