Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm an optimist, but I'm an optimist who takes her raincoat.

For most of high school, I was little miss sunny outlook and positivity. Problem? Bring it to Siobhan. Besides the listening and the sympathy, she would generally be able to provide you with the way to rationalize, come down from the ledge, and find you the light at the end of the tunnel. Even when bogged down in my own shit, I was generally pretty good at doing my best to provide this service for others - and more often than not, doing it for myself.

As you might have garnered from this anecdote/the title of this blog entry, I am less than stellar at doing that these days. When I have a problem I latch onto it and fixate. I don't wallow - it's not really my style - but a problem sits with me until I am good and ready to let it go. Generally this requires blowing it out of proportion, getting spectacularly mad, and then coming down from the ledge a step at a time.

This process takes a lot of time and emotional energy, and annoys both me and most everyone who has to deal with me while this is happening. And while I've protested on frequent occasions that current me would not be friends with high school me (owing to the aforementioned sunny disposition and relentless positivity), high school me was probably onto something. And okay, yes, the "stay positive at all costs" mentality was generally her way of just pretending everything was fine rather than ACTUALLY coping with anything that went wrong. But about half the time she was pretty good at pinpointing when something was actually not a big deal and subsequently taking immediate action towards fixing it.

So okay, high school me. You're in there somewhere. Let's do this.

Step one: identify the problem. Today, I am pissed off because I overslept, meaning I missed auditions. Additionally, woke up having overslept from dream about both roommates talking to me about their successes, whereas I still moooostly feel like a failure.

Step two: analyze why problem is bothersome: I feel guilty about skipping auditions. I feel lazy because I only have 1 audition lined up this week. I feel pathetic/jealous because my roommate has 4. I feel doubly pathetic/jealous because my roommate has a callback tonight.

Step three: perspective: Ugh this one is the hard part. Okay so the dream means I'm actually NOT confronting the problem all the way - I'm still scared and I still feel like I'm not working hard enough and I'm jealous that the work I AM doing is still going unnoticed while I feel that's not happening for my peers. But I've had some really positive responses to auditions lately. I got called in for a pre-Broadway show, even though I'm non-union. I've been getting callbacks. And I'm IN a show, for Christ's sake, with a good part, going to Europe in three weeks. All this is good. I'll get back on track with six auditions next week, and it's only Wednesday so more things could easily turn up for this week. And I shouldn't feel jealous of my roommate's callback for something I didn't even audition for.

Step four: other good things happening in my life: Well... see, this is where I always fail in this part of the exercise these days. Perspective trips me up and then I get here and I'm like WELL SHIT. But. 1) It's ACTUALLY SPRING. 2) I have time this morning now for grocery shopping/laundry. 3) I've lost 7 pounds (hey, gotta throw it in somewhere). 4) Did I mention it's spring? 5) My throat hurts like a mofo, which means my singing would have been less than stellar today anyway. 6) Again. Spring. (See my last post about LA or this post about winter for reasons that's so prominent).

Okay okay I know how obnoxious that was, but all of I think 5 people read this blog so I don't really feel THAT badly about that.

...The thing about this method - which no, I don't itemize in steps in my head but do run through all of that when I'm actually trying (tune in next week for the litany of reasons Siobhan is CRAZY) - is that it doesn't always work. In spite of myself the big problems are still there. But I have, as it happens, talked myself all the way off the ledge.

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