All The Things I’m Not
I’m not sure if it’s the close of the current year or the fact that it’s quite possible I could really be going through a mid-life crisis of sorts (all though I’m forty-four so that would mean that if it truly is a “mid-life” thing then I would live to be eighty-eight. Hmmm. I kind of like that, that seems to be an age where you can still be ambulatory but aren’t quite stopping everyone on the street to tell them stories that they really don’t care about, like the first time you chewed gum or something – also, eighty-eight are how many keys there are on a piano which appeals to my musical sensibilities.) At any rate, recently I began to think about all the things I’m not – Don’t Get Me Started!
I was just sitting around the house one day and suddenly my head was filled with thoughts. I can’t remember exactly what precipitated it (is that my age too?) but I remember that when all was said and done I felt better than when I started. That’s right, I had been groomed from an early age to believe that the only thing worth being in this life was famous. Not only because it gave you accolades and money so you could buy your parents a house, your brother that car he always wanted and a host of other things that it seemed as though only the famous people could do (well to me anyway) but because people liked you, envied you, thought you were special.
I think it’s probably true of a lot of people but your life is sometimes more interesting when you look back at it rather than while it’s happening. When I tell people some of the things that I’ve done they look at me rather amazed and for the life of me I just can’t figure out why as it just seemed like the normal progression of things for me. I started out doing theatre at the age of six so if I ended up choreographing for Disneyland, coaching Olympic skaters rink side on performance and directing theatre at a regional theatre and Virginia Opera ,(among other things) it all seemed like a rather logical progression to me. And now that I’ve joined corporate America for the past ten years or so it’s only when I look back on all of the theatrical stuff that makes me think, “Wow, I really did all that?” And then of course the next thought is, “How come I never made it to Broadway? Why am I not still doing theatre today?” Sure there are logical answers, the not having to worry what your next job is going to be, the having health benefits, etc. But there’s more here and I wasn’t afraid to delve.
It started out very simply. I thought, “I’m never going to be tall.” Silly, right? But that’s how it all started and it made me laugh. Then I thought, “I’m never going to be gay thin.” Although I’m at my heaviest in my lifetime, even if I only ate celery the rest of my life I’d never be gay thin or have the body that I’ve always thought I should just have by osmosis – you know, great arms, abs and ass. I’m probably not ever going to make it on Oprah’s couch for an interview on the book I wrote that is an enormous success and on her book of the month club. There are so many things that I’m simply “not” and the more things that I thought of that I was not the more a sense of relief came over me. Strange but that was the feeling.
Why relief? I’m not sure. I think it’s because as I’ve gone through my life I’ve always been someone who had the idea that whatever I was doing right at the moment was just something to make money or do until my “real” life began. Chalk it up to youth or something but I really thought, “Oh, I’m just doing this or that thing for now until I get discovered and get famous and then my life will begin. No really, that’s when it will begin.” Just a simple lie I told myself but one that I kept telling myself over and over for years. So maybe, just maybe the feeling of relief was for finally letting myself accept my life for my life and not waiting for some fantasy to come true all on its own with little to no help from me (other than my amazing talents, of course). Maybe it was that I finally took the time to realize all the things I wasn’t (and wasn’t ever going to be – you know, like tall) were not worth all the time and energy I’d put into thinking about them all these years? That’s where the relief came from, from seeing my life as it is and not beating myself up for the things that I’m not. Sure I still want to be on Broadway and famous but the gift I’m giving myself this year is to not worry about all the things I’m not and begin to have pride and happiness in all the things I am. I highly recommend it. All the things I’m not – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com