I don't know about you, but when I start nearing my next birthday, I usually do two things:
1. I start thinking about all the things I have not accomplished.
2. I figure out a way to celebrate myself.
See, as an artist, I tend to be very good at the extremes. I can be so kind to myself and loving--hold my own hand and skip through a golden field and sing songs of accomplishment. I can also sucker punch myself again and again like that disturbing scene in Fight Club = EXTREME.
I think a lot of us are extreme in the way we talk to ourselves. Unless we are socially inept, then we have learned the basic skills to be funny and caring to others in our presence....and if it is a 2 year old--forget about it--we are like Mary Poppins 24 hours a day! But what about when it comes to you? Just you?
It is harder, isn't it?
I am better at celebrating my life and my milestones then many people I know. Many people do not believe they are worth the money to fly to Paris for a weekend. Many people do not believe that birthdays are important or that their birth on this planet means anything special. These people make me want to help them. They make me want to plan surprise birthday parties or vacations or something help them realize how much they are loved. But, it never works, because something within them just does not believe it, no matter what others outside of themselves try to do.
For my birthdays I have always traveled, because it is my drug of choice. I have gone to the French Riviera and rented a convertible to feel the wind in my hair. Traveled to Buenos Aires, Paris, Ireland, or even just to California so I could walk on a beach. I have seen the world because I know I deserve to see the world.
The last 3 years I have traveled to New York City because my passion (to direct on Broadway one day) has drawn me back to that city many, many times each year.
It is bittersweet.
It is bittersweet because I am always in New York on the day that I am getting "older". And I am always buying a ticket to see the latest TONY award winning play that I have not directed yet. I am not even close. I direct High School musicals. I am Zac Effron's teacher. And while I do sit in the audience taking mental notes on technique and etc, I often let those feelings of regret come sinking in.
I should have done more with my 20s than just travel and ago to school. I should have moved to NYC when I was 19 instead of moving to Paris. I should have started interning on Broadway at 20 instead of dreaming of interning in two years when I am closer to 40 than I have ever been. I should have I should have I should have.
Do you ever feel like that? Do you ever worry that you do not have what it takes because you are comparing yourself to EVERY BODY ELSE?
I say that I have finally found the answer (it only took 34 years!): STAY IN YOUR OWN MOVIE. Focus on your scene. Refine and develop your own script. Stay out of others, especially the dramas (though I have occasionally popped into some Romantic Comedies that I have appreciated). You are the leading lady of your life. You are your own measuring stick. What you have had to go through up to this point was absolutely how life needed to play our for you to go one to accomplish what you dream of accomplishing.
I truly have no doubt that the goals I set are going to come true.
What about you?