Monday, January 9, 2012

I Stand Alone... In a good way.

It’s difficult for me at times to celebrate my accomplishments, life experiences and the exciting journey’s that I’ve taken over the years. It’s always been, What’s next? What’s the new sparkly thing over there in the corner for me to try?

During such times, I write down my life in bullet points, just as a reminder. This proves especially germane when I’m feeling as if I have nothing worthwhile to show for myself.

My little bullet point exercise came in especially handy this morning, when I got an email from an old friend, and business partner. It was an announcement for her book launch. If one more friend or acquaintance publishes a book, I’m going to cut myself. There’s just so much a person can take. I know all the arguments. Their successes have nothing to do with mine. There’s room for everyone but, come on, sometimes it fuckin’ sucks. I don’t care how spiritual you are (several years of Kabbalah baby) I’m also human.

What I hated the most about the email were the self doubts that surfaced in me. Brief moments of insecurity in my abilities, and irrational questions like, Where’s my book? and What am I doing wrong? There’s something to be said for keeping your eyes on your own paper, burying your head in the sand and getting off of Facebook, so you don’t know what anyone else is doing or PUBLISHING.

There wasn’t a personal note in the email, just a xxoo with the invitation attached. Really? I’ve reached out to her in the past about one thing or another and she has never responded.

How does she ignore my emails and then have the balls to send me an invitation? The last time I heard from her, she invited me to a party promoting her television show. At the time, I was curious, less confident and also thought, you never know who you might meet, so I went.

I had a crazy conversation with Cyndi Lauper, so it wasn’t a complete waste, but when I got home, I took note of how the evening made me feel and I questioned my motives. Why did I go in the first place? Honestly.

I went because in the past, I lived vicariously through others’ successes. I felt important and like a somebody, just by being friends with or working with successful people. (Friend above included) Fucked up, I know. Instead of creating for myself, and taking a chance on my own talents, I stood in the wings, watching other people soak up their moment in the limelight, thinking that I was somehow a part of that light.

This is what I did with this old friend and business partner. When she hired me to write and develop a talk show for her, I was still quite green but excited about our partnership. I saw it as my entree into the world that I had dreamed about while watching, I Love Lucy, in our small two-bedroom apartment in Yonkers, NY.

I followed her around like a little puppy dog, hoping that her world would rub off on me. Bad idea and even worse for the ol’ self esteem.

After a couple of years, we ended our professional relationship. Our personality differences, and work styles, proved to be too frustrating. During one verbal exchange, she called me didactic*. I shouted back, “I don’t think that I am.” With no hard feelings, we went our separate ways. When I got home that night, I looked up didactic in the dictionary. Oops.

That was then and this is now.

After reading her email, I took out my list of bullet points, and got back to work. I stand on my own stage now, with my own spotlight. Needless to say, I won’t be going to the book party.

*DIDACTIC: intended to teach, particularly in having moral instruction as an ulterior motive: in the manner of a teacher, particularly so as to treat someone in a patronizing way.

7 comments:

lbw said...

okay i love this, know the story, am laughing (actually out loud) and feeling your pain all at once!!!
you are the best-est!!!
xoxo

Aimee said...

Things that make you go hmmm... I'm still gonna get published so don't get too upset with me chickie.

Leah Marie said...

I'm really starting to love your blog. Is it weird for a stranger to say that?

I try to be happy for other people who keep succeeding at things that I'm working on. I also sometimes have to try not to punch them in the face.

thegirlfriendmom said...

Thank you ladies for commenting. I know Leslie, sad but true. I don't mind you laughing at my pain. And of course Aimee, get published! Get published! I wasn't referring to everyone!!!

No, Leah Marie, I do not find it weird to say that to a stranger. I'm so glad that you like the blog. Write- don't punch people in the face! But I know what you mean.

Deanna @ The Unnatural Mother said...

Man oh Man. Or Woman. Whatever. I get it. Stand in your own fricking light, it's shining so bright anyway.

Laura@Catharsis said...

I'm glad you're not going. You've grown, and in doing so, outgrown her. Her successes are worth celebrating, sure. But your worth is worth celebrating as well. I know what it's like to sit back and watch others excel seemingly effortlessly. It sucks. Your day is coming if it's not already arrived. Believe it!

thegirlfriendmom said...

Thanks Deanna, I guess it's like living and dying by own light (instead of sword)!

You're a doll, Laura. The truth is I do believe that it's worth celebrating others and I like to think that I do. It's just those 1 or 2 that push your proverbial button. But I'm a big girl now and I've got to fly!