Battling the 'Forget-Me-Nots'
Have you ever worked your bum off for what seems like forever only to look around and see others getting exactly where you're you're trying to go?
Better yet, what if it's your very own friends who are making great strides while you feel like you're getting nowhere?
Let me tell you, honey. I've been there more times than I care to admit.
I can't tell you how many times I've auditioned for a project, then got a call from a friend who's elated about getting the very job I so badly wanted. I not only wanted those jobs, I was praying and believing and even claiming those jobs.
In my twenties, I distinctly recall experiencing this very situation. I auditioned for a project for Beyonce', like I had many times before. I'd made callbacks, which I was excited about, but after callbacks...nothing.
Soon after, I received a call from a friend who I'd supported plenty of times over the course of our friendship. (I say that to show that she wasn't show-boating; she was sincere.) Her excitement was literally bursting through the phone as she shared the news that she'd just booked the gig with Queen Bey.
And of course, I expressed my support. I told her I was happy for her, and I congratulated her. Then I hung up the phone and cried.
Don't get me wrong. I was indeed happy for my friend. I've never been the person who wants to excel at someone else's expense, nor do I wear two faces: one for pretending friendship and another for jealousy.
But I am who I am, and who I am is human.
So I cried.
Then gave it a few beats, supported by watching the performance, and kept it moving.
Now, this wasn't just a one time thing. This has happened to me several times, with different friends, throughout the course of my career.
I can proudly say that I didn't cry after each occurrence. I've definitely grown since my twenties, but the feeling is still the same in some ways.
It still stings a bit. My ego is still bruised. I still wonder "why not me?" for a hot second.
But like always, I support, then keep it moving.
What I've learned about myself and about life when these situations occur is that, I'm not envying others when they experience certain successes.
What I'm feeling is forgotten.
I'm feeling more like, "But what about me? or "When will it be my turn?"
I heard a fellow artist friend recently say that he was "in a season of support."
Others are doing their thing, and you're supporting. Which is perfectly fine, but deep down, you're ready for more.
If you're there too, here are a few suggestions on how to maintain your integrity and perseverance for your own goals through your season of 'Forget-Me-Nots.'
1. Know that someone else's success doesn't necessarily mean your failure. You may not have booked that project, but that doesn't mean you haven't or won't book others.
I've learned that when I don't book projects, it's for the best. I've looked back on jobs I didn't book and thought, "Yeah, I don't think I would have been happy doing that", or "That's it? I didn't really miss out on much."
So, the spiritual saying is true..."All things do come together for your good."
And one more thing to help you out...
2. Know that it's okay to feel disappointed. We are human, and it's okay, healthy even, to acknowledge where you are, and then just be there for a moment or two.
The key, however, is to only be there for that moment or two, not to set up shop. If you linger there, you'll end up like I was before I moved from LA: bitter, tired, and resentful.
Instead, give yourself a moment to feel how you feel, then put your eyes on the next prize, and #carryon.
Support your friends and peers, and then soon it'll be their turn to support you.
Just know that you haven't been forgotten friend. You can do and become everything you dream of as long as you press through difficult times such as these.
Put one foot in front of the other, and keep it moving.
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