Can we talk about failure for a sec? In case you were wondering, I have an epic fear of failure; it's what makes me work so much and throw my whole being into what I do at any given moment. For years, I would kind of 'game the system', and really only dive into things I knew I would be good at, just so I wouldn't have to feel the crush of internal disappointment.
This year, I decided to throw the system a wrench: I was going to do shit I was bad at, and maybe that fear would alleviate. And let me tell you, I FUCKING FAILED. A LOT. Here's my favorite one.
In July, I wrote a scene for a sketch comedy show. It was the first time I had ever done anything like that. I mean, I even looked up how to format a script, and spent hours configuring a Word document with the appropriate margins. Then...I saved and closed the file in a panic. Every time I looked at the desktop icon, my anxiety would hydrate out of my body through my armpits. I let that scene sit there for over a month, wanting to DO SOMETHING with it.
At the beginning of September, I heard on the radio the season opening of the show was the end of September, so I rushed upstairs, did a quick edit of the sketch, printed it out...AND THEN THREW IT ON TOP OF MY DESK WHERE IT WAS BANISHED FOR BEING DUMB.
And it sat there for another 3 weeks. It wasn't until the week of the airing that I willed myself to act on it. I needed to JUMP out of my own skin for five minutes and just get it out there. I looked up the address (Rockefeller Center, natch), popped it in a Priority envelope with a postcard collection, bought the postage, sealed it up, and threw it in the outgoing mail before I could personally object.
I bet you're thinking, WOW. That was AMAZING. And let me tell you...it was until it wasn't. About a month later, I got an envelope back in the mail...the same envelope, Return to Sender - Refused. It was never opened, never seen, and will never bring me an Emmy for BESTEST DEBUT WRITING BY A PERSON WITH SIGNIFICANT DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR AND OPULENCE.
But really though, I'm kind of proud that I smacked my comfort zone a bit, even though it didn't work out. So I'm going to keep being REALLY BAD at a lot of new shit, in the hopes that - in time - I might be a little bit good. After all, I can't let that Emmy acceptance speech go to waste. It's a doozy 💖