this is so familiar

I knew this guy that wanted to be an actor. He took some big chances in his early twenties, and made some big changes to study acting.

Right as he was starting this he had a job at a grocery store. He told me it was easy to fall into believing that this grocery store job would be the rest of his life.

“A grocery store? Your job for the rest of your LIFE? are you kidding me?”

“That’s how the people there see it.”

It was familiar. It was just enough to scrape together a comfortable life.

He wanted more than the produce section, though. He leaped out of that pond.

I’m long past my early twenties now. I get it, I get what those grocery store careerists were about. Many environments become that way.

Something that starts out as an “okay for now” place can take on a “this is just how it’s done” cast, and the next thing you know it’s just how you have been doing it. How you are doing it. How you will be doing it now and ever and unto ages of ages.

Familiar is what happens when you stop trying. Or it also happens when you try to make a shoe fit. Settling for the less scary road.

Because it’s what people do.

But it wasn’t for my actor friend.

And I have *thought* I was the same way. Strive! More! reach! Never settle!

But I find myself falling into the comfortable and familiar, telling myself it is just how these things are done.

That’s not what I want.

I want to do more. I want to be better than the norm.

which means I have to try. I have to get up every morning and TRY.

I have to also figure out a practical way to try in increments that match my stride.

Because it’s a long road. A long unfamiliar road.

Most popular! I want your vote!

On my WonderWeekly, I wrote about the lure and sparkle of gold stars. We want approval. We crave recognition.

But how much does it really give us? It’s a sort of subtraction stew. The more you get the more you want.

At what point do we…oh, *I* get over it? i’m trying to get over it.

But I see it in other people and I realize what a trap it is.

This scenario happens so often:

Hey, Jane! I like your hair.

You do? I don’t really like it. Do you think it’s okay?


Ashley, your house is beautiful! Thank you for having us over.

No, it’s not. I think your house is so much better.

I have started to respond to these ladies, “Do you want me to agree with you? Do you want me to tell you that you are right, that your hair/house/project is crap? Why are you arguing with me? Are you calling me a liar?”

Women seem especially susceptible to this error.

We want to be voted in by the WHOLE group as homecoming queen.

We want to be recognized, stand out of the crowd, and be pointed out as special and extraordinary.

But I’m discovering that the only person who counts when deciding who is special is the self.  I have to tell myself what I have permission to do. I have to tell myself that my hair looks good, and that I have the right to ask for that particular day off or even that salary in the job interview

It counts far more than when someone else give it to me. When I recognize myself, that’s when the gears engage and I can get things rolling.

I dont’ want to be dependent on someone else to believe in myself. It’s time for me to get over that.

I like being appreciated. Who doesnt’ love a compliment? But I have to have my motivation engine inside me, not located somewhere I can’t always get to.