Pulling through the drive-thru at McDonald’s, our diva ordered and sat in the parking lot while she scarfed down multiple deliciously greasy items. These were definitely not on the plan she had made with her nutritionist. She wasn’t proud. Hoisting some torrid french fries into her mouth, she heard her phone buzz in the pocket of her purse. She grabbed it with her other hand and checked the screen. Her cousin had emailed her. For some reason she felt slightly more guilty about scarfing down this comfort food after seeing her name.
Her cousin was responding to an email that our diva sent her the day before. She was still feeling down about the reviewer’s response to her residency project. Our diva knew that her cousin would understand. “It’s hard,” she wrote to her cousin. “maybe this is the universe telling me I should just cease and desist…”
The Day 23 challenge on your journey is to go back in.
“Oh darlingggggg…” started the reply from her cousin. She knew she was in for it. Rightly so, she supposed. “First, it’s supposed to be hard. Just respect that. You wouldn’t want it if it were easy. But, you’re right, life is full of disappointments, setbacks, and failures. I don’t think that you failed at all. But, I can see how you feel caught unawares by his response. Don’t let him stop you. He’s not in charge of you. He’s just doing his job. You’re just doing your job. You have the power to overcome anything. Right now you need to overcome the voice in your mind telling you that this is a calamity. There is nothing as powerful as making up your mind and just doing the damn thing.”
Our diva took a deep breath. She took in the fries with new eyes. She probably didn’t need to self-soothe this drastically. It was tough to read his words, but he didn’t take away the whole experience. He didn’t maliciously pull the rug out from under her.
You Have to Build the Whole Thing
The email went on, “Go surround yourself with people who remind you that you matter. (Raising my hand as tribute. I will drink all the margaritas it takes to make you feel better. I solemnly swear.) But, I just want to remind you that you have good ideas. I want to support you in whatever way you need as best I can. No one person (like this guy) or situation (one review) can define your worth as an artist. You have to build it the whole way, darling. Don’t give up. Don’t cave or crumble. You are in charge of believing that it’s possible. You are in charge of writing the whole book.”
Moving her finger to turn off the screen, she accidentally scrolled a bit farther down. Her cousin had signed off stealing Steinbeck’s words:
And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.
Go get ’em, darling.
Enjoying the Process
It was so tempting to let this feel like a defeat to our diva. She realized that if she let this subdue her, she could quit and then she wouldn’t have to push herself to get better. Her cousin was right. She wouldn’t want it if it were easy. Now, she just had to set her sights on what she did want it to be. It can’t only be a cycle of falling short of her goals and dreams. She needed to figure out how to pursue the dreams and enjoy the process at the same time.
Yes. It was true; she needed to go back in.