Monthly Archives: April 2020

Belonging to Yourself Part 1

I refuse to bake so I’ve taken up a new hobby during quarantimes. And, honestly, I should’ve gone with the baking. It’s the hobby my extroverted self hates the most: spending time with myself.

It’s surprisingly easy to ignore yourself. You wouldn’t think it’d be so easy to ignore someone you spend 24/7 with. But I am realizing how little I listen to myself and consider what I want and need. I don’t think we’re trained to do so. I feel like trying to balance being a team player and standing up for myself is like trying to balance constantly tipping scales.

“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.” -Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness

I decided to do this in parts because I am long-winded and could discuss this quote all day. Putting these parts on my blog, but I feel like most people like to read straight from facebook, so here we go, let’s start with an anecdote from school.

When I started the film major, I didn’t know much about anything, so I started asking everyone what positions they were interested. Everyone wanted to be a director. Specifically, the most confident, opinionated people wanted to be directors. I decided early-on that I was not going to compete with that. I didn’t need to be a director, so why bother when such strong personalities were going to beat me out anyway.

I was aspiring to not aspire. I didn’t want to even consider it because “everyone else was doing it.” Trying that hard not to have an ego is just another form of having an ego.

So I did everything else. I did wardrobe and art (props, sets, etc). I was a PA and an AD. I produced. I was on a film set every weekend. I took every screenwriting class I could. I knew my stuff wouldn’t get made because all the director’s wrote their own scripts too. I refused to have my emphasis be producing because it’s not my favorite, but I produced two capstone films anyway because I got talked into it. I was also a producer at a couple on-campus jobs. Anything but directing.

Then I did get to direct my last semester at work. And, well, I really loved it. And I don’t even think I suck at it. Turns out understanding every other job can make you a good director, but more on that later.

At that point, I hadn’t taken a single directing class. Why was I so stubborn? So to catch up, I ordered directing books and studied what I could and all that. There are always ways to catch up, but the moral of the story is I missed out because of my own pride. And because I let what other people were doing determine what I would or wouldn’t do.

More than that, I just assumed there were things that weren’t an option for me. That they were meant for other people, but not for me.

I wish I could say, over five years after graduating from school that I’m much smarter. But it’s a subconscious habit I actively have to break.

I refer to Mindy Kaling’s book/motto Why Not Me? all the time. I have to train myself to say, “Why not me?” almost every day. Not because I want to do every single thing, but because I know I need to thoughtfully consider options as a possibility instead of just writing it, and myself, off.

I have supportive people in my life and I’ve had people I keep bringing up in therapy. But the bottom line is, it’s always myself that decides what I can and can’t do. I can have a whole group text hyping me up and it doesn’t do anything until I decide for myself I can do it.

Why not me? Why not me? Why not me? I’m going to put it on a bracelet. I’m going to stare at the words until they’re all I see when I close my eyes.

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There are more than enough outside forces holding me back, I don’t need to do it to myself. I don’t need to be my own gatekeeper, there are enough gatekeepers when I get past myself. I need to have my own back. Modesty is overrated. I love to hear people say, “I know I can do this and I’m going to do it.”

Do you have your own back? With so many outside pressures, how do you make choices that you know are your own?

P.s. has some great inspiration for self-validation.