Throwback Thursday: The Approval of Others

This TBT Blog was originally posted on MySpace on August 31, 2006.

I’ve been blogging for a long, long time.

Enjoy.

Me. Big Bear. Circa 1990s.
Me. Big Bear. Circa 1990s.

August 31, 2006

I’m a pretty confident person.  Not that I don’t get insecure at times.  As my mother says, I hide my insecurities better than most.

I think it’s that ability to hide my vulnerabilities that make people think my feelings can’t be hurt.  I guess it is my own fault. I make it very clear my life is my own and I don’t care what others think — which is true…but there is a caveat. I could care less what total strangers think. That’s why I can go on an audition and not stress about it. The person across the table has no idea who I am…so their judgement of me, while not irrelevent because my getting the job lies in their hands, has nothing to do with me personally.

But I do care what my friends think. Admittedly, I don’t let them know that. My friends find it frustrating that I ask their opinion about things, but seemingly disregard anything they say. “Why do you ask when you’re going to do what you want anyway?” is a question often asked of me.

I ask because I like to know what they think. Granted, by the time I tell someone of my plans, I’ve probably already made my decision. The sociologist in me, however, enjoys knowing how I compare with the rest of my world. It helps me find out more about myself and those I care about. It’s good to know when I share the same opinions of those around me…or when I don’t.

Just because they don’t agree with my take on the situation doesn’t mean I’m going to change my course, however. I’m smart enough to listen…and take…good advice. Yet, my life IS my own…and ultimately, I’m the one that has to live with my decision. I’m perfectly okay with standing alone.

However, even when I stand alone…I still need support. I don’t confuse support with approval. I believe you can still be there for someone without agreeing with what they’re doing. I think it’s a sign of respect for the individual and an acknowledgement that their choices are just that…their choices.

I wrote and starred in a short film that, after almost a year of delays, is finally being finished. I just got a rough cut a few weeks ago…and so only my director and I have seen it. I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of it. I’m one of those actresses that can’t stand to watch herself…and I’m overly critical. But I think because I am also the producer, I was forced to look at it from a different perspective, so I was able to see the good in it and not focus on the negative. Don’t get me wrong…it’s not perfect….which is really hard for the perfectionist in me to deal with. But even with it’s flaws, it’s a good film.

Last night, a friend of mine came over and the subject of the short came up.  He had twenty minutes to spare, so we watched it. He was the first…so I was interested in his reaction. There were some technical issues with the DVD, which was frustrating, but he did laugh in the right places. Afterwards, he complimented the writing and the performance of a friend of mine, whom he had met before. And then he left.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was taken aback. After he was gone, I started questioning everything. Was that it? Was he searching for nice things to say? Was I completely off base and this is probably the most embarrassing and horrific short film ever? I started having visions of trying to get into the Sundance Film Festival offices and trying to take back the DVD that I submitted to them. Suddenly it became a huge mistake to have done this film. When I went to bed I decided I had wasted a lot of time and money because there was no way in hell anyone else was going to see this film ever.

What the fuck?

What the hell happened to me? These feelings of doubt, while not uncommon, were kind of rare in such a massive amount. I hadn’t felt that way since…since….and then it hit me. I hadn’t felt that way since the last time I was intimate with someone. And I haven’t been intimate in a really, really, really long time.

As much as I hate to admit it…this film is a very intimate part of me. I wrote it, I performed in it. I created it from an idea and I, along with the amazing help of many others, gave it life. I gave a part of myself to my friend of ten years last night…and it scared the hell out of me.

When you open yourself up, you are in a very vulnerable position. Which is why I don’t do it that often. The first (and only) time I fell in love…I had those same thoughts. Was this a huge mistake?  And when it didn’t work out…I vowed never to do it again.

In the light of day…I realize my friend was being the friend I allow him to be. I had approached this film from a distance…it was just a film. His reaction was that of a producer as well. There were no flowery compliments…because under normal circumstances, I find that just bullshit. He liked the film…but since he knows me well, he knew that I probably didn’t care whether he did or not…because all that mattered was that I was happy with it. And knowing him like I do…if I’m happy, he’s happy.

I also realized that even though I don’t seek the approval of others…once in awhile, it’s nice to get it.

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