I sat on the couch in pink plaid pajamas and his rugby striped sweater. My makeup was off. My hair was tucked behind my ears. And I was eating chicken and wild rice soup. In between carrots, I would sit the bowl down and hug my knees to my chest.
It had been a long day.
A rough day. A day where you just feel… lost.
You know the kind. Oh sure it starts off happy enough, walking on sunshine. But before you know it, you see that one thing- that one picture, that one blog post, that one update on twitter- and before you know it, you’re knee deep in the downward spiral I like to call the “I Suck Chronicles.”
A point by point checklist of all the things you haven’t done and all the reasons why you’ll never do them.
Because it feels like everything that could be done, has been done. And by somebody else. It’s like you showed up late for the school play tryouts and all the roles were already taken.
So you make yourself the understudy. You memorize all the lines, you perfect the stage direction. But you don’t dare stand in the spotlight. Because that spot has already been reserved for somebody else.
But here’s the thing. Understudies are forever bound by the lines of someone else. Bound to doing and saying things the way they’re *supposed* to because the script has already been written. And to be honest…it’s exhausting. It’s exhausting trying to be what you think you’re supposed to be. When, let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard enough just to be yourself.
So what I’ve decided is this: I would much rather risk going out and writing my own script, where at least the voice I hear is my own and the lead has not yet been cast, than to spend one more day practicing to become someone else. A script where what I do is not bound by what someone else has or hasn’t already done.
Because even if nobody else ever shows up to see it, at least that’s a story line I believe in.
So to anybody out there who might be feeling like the third understudy to their own lives, what I want to say to you is this: don’t let another day go by like that. Go out and write your own play.
Or heck, just join mine. Because I have plenty of roles to go around. :)