Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fear and Loathing

One of my greatest fears is the fear of rejection, so why then, have I chosen the arts as my life path? I was a child actress, then a singer/songwriter, and now a writer. Doh! (Insert image of me slapping my forehead). Rejection is a daily part of life in those careers. I guess you could just call me a glutton for punishment.

Go ahead….say it.

Even when I worked in the corporate world, I was in sales. I worked on commission, had to do cold calls, the whole deal. Why couldn’t I have chosen a nice cozy stable career? Wait. Let me just fantasize about that for a minute. What would it be like if I didn’t have to worry every day whether I was good enough, if I’d ever work again, or if I’d even get paid? Funny, I can’t even conjure up the fantasy of anything different.

Fear of abandonment is my fatal flaw. It threatens to annihilate me, like that one location on the Death Star, where Luke set his missiles and he brings the whole thing down….Okay, I am also a Star Wars geek. One of my favorite quotes from Star Wars that I try to live by is:

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

Pretty awesome, huh? I'm trying to be more Yoda-like these days.

But back to the fear issue. I repeatedly put myself in a position where I am subject to being rejected, and being rejected feels like abandonment by the pack. Let’s face it, we humans are pack animals. Acceptance is crucial to survival. Loners get weird and become outcasts of society, like the Unibomber- or writers.

Maybe I repeat this pathological behavior for the same reason that people go skydiving or bungee jumping. Perhaps it’s what compels people to risk their lives and lose fingers and toes to frostbite climbing Mount Everest. I think that just maybe its because we want to feel that we are bigger than the fear we carry.

Right now, I don’t know that I am. I feel dwarfed by my fear. It stands over me like a big fat bully, threatening to sit on me and squash all the hope out of my very being. (flashing back on a moment from 6th grade where that actually happened. If you’re out there Lewis Seiden, I have not forgotten, and I will be avenged.)

So, in moving on from my terrible disappointment yesterday, I don’t know exactly what direction to head in, but I will try to be bigger than my fear. I will throw my arms wide open and take what comes.

I am embracing uncertainty, because it’s the only thing I know for sure.


  1. mom you've got it all wrong- you're only looking at the negative. there is rejection EVERYWHERE and in every job imaginable- it's just part of life. i get it all day long. i mess things up, i do it wrong, they don't like my ideas. it happens all the time. but you chose a career where you get to be creative, and even better, help people! you will get rejected along the way, as you would with any career you choose, but at least you are doing what you love and what makes you happy. try being rejected and not loving what you do (let me tell you- not fun)

    you have been so good at being positive about what's going on with us- so try to be positive about your own life! besides, success wouldn't be as sweet if you didn't have to work hard to get there...

  2. sigh...I always wondered when roles would start reversing. Good one Cristen...

  3. all I can say is "because it makes you stronger?"

    i love you and you are wonderful. seriously. you're one of the most fully lived and rounded individuals I know. i admire you greatly, and always think about the hardships you've been through in your life that haven't dampened your spirit or creativity. I love that about you.

    you are too awesome for words. :) and yes, even though we don't ever really see it, everything happens for a reason. luv you .. t

  4. i meant to say "see it right away"... but i think you get the point :)


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