I do this thing where I don't take action unless someone else tells me I should.
My friend Emily Thomas said to me in high school, “Hey, are you doing theater in college? You should audition for Pace.”
Really? I wasn't planning on it. All twelve schools I applied to were for journalism and communications, I only performed in my first musical in eleventh grade, I was way behind everyone else. But a year later I auditioned for Pace when I managed to pull together some sheet music, and two years after that I was on Broadway.
The booking manager at The Duplex in NYC, Thomas Honeck, saw me in a show in a festival in NYC and then at New World Stages. He came up to me and said, “You should do your own one woman show at the Duplex.” I thought, really? That sounds hard. How would I even do that. Who would come? Then I wrote and performed my own show three times, sold tons of tickets, and was fulfilled by using my own voice in an entirely new way.
Even last week, I show up to Broadway softball to watch my boyfriend play for Miss Saigon. Every team needs at least two girls or they have to forfeit. One of the girls on the team had to sit out, and they asked me to fill in. REALLY? No I just came here to watch and eat my salad. I don't even have socks on right now.
I don't put my name in the hat because I'm afraid I'll disappoint people. I don't raise my hand and step up to the literal plate because I'm afraid I won't follow through and meet people's expectations.
But then I played. One of the guys on the team said, don't swing on the first pitch. So I swung the bat immediately, and got an RBI. I actually helped. Not even just by being a girl so they could continue playing, but also because I helped someone get back to home base to score.
I'm AFRAID that this FEAR of disappointing people is preventing me from taking action on what I'm really supposed to be doing in my life to reach my full potential. That's like double fear. I'm afraid of my freaking fear. It's so frustrating.
I feel like the people who have told me I should step outside of my comfort zone and who have believed in me are angels guiding me to expand and see that I am worthy of participating. People do value what I have to say and offer, if I just let myself be seen and actually offer it without having to be prompted first. But also, maybe that's why we need each other, community, so we can say to each other, "Hey I recognize you're really good at this. You should go for it."
How do I become one of those people who just goes for it without asking for permission first? Without waiting for someone else's expectation? What about my own expectations for myself? Is that what personal integrity is? Telling yourself you're going to do something and then ACTUALLY doing it?
Even this blog. I've talked about it for months and asked so many opinions. Why don't I just write the damn thing. I'm trying it out. After writing an article a few months ago that got about 3,000 shares (I've reposted it below), all I could think was, what else do I have to say? I hope something that resonates.