Every now and then I have a solid heart-to-heart with a good friend. I feel we can learn about what we put out into the world more objectively from a third-party. It isn’t always easy to hear, but sometime we need to hear it. We need to know what others think about us based on what messages we send. Now, trust me. I do not give a rat’s ass about what others think of me. But, I do want to make a distinction that I care about what the people who mean something to me think.
Sometimes, I just can’t see outside of myself. A good friend will be real with you. You might reject what they are saying at first, but if you take time to process it, you might find it helpful (or they are just full of shit, but usually not).
Now, I won’t go into details about my personal conversation, but the crux of what I learned was if you have a problem with the way you are projecting yourself, change it. If you don’t, own it! I’ve gotten to that age where I am too obstinate to change, but I also really don’t care about people’s perceptions. I am a confident person. Sure, I have my insecurities like everyone else. But, sometimes a good friend knows how to hit you where it hurts. When that happens your confidence might go out the window. I am not vulnerable in front of many people, just the people I trust. I think things hit you where it hurts because deep down there’s truth to it.
So, I got to thinking about this idea of “owning it.” He said to me, “Mare, I am 42-year-old single man with a part-time job, living in a studio apartment.” It’s not exactly where he thought his dreams would take him, but he’s accepted it. He owns it. I respect this friend tremendously because he doesn’t try to be something he’s not. I told him perhaps he’s having a hard-time dating out here (he’s also a Chicago transplant) because women in LA want to date men who are powerful and important. At least, women in the entertainment business that is. Not everything is this cut and dry, but there is an evolutionary link with survivalism. As Henry Kissinger put it: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” I told him there will be some women that find your honesty and ability to “own it” just as desirable.
I’ve always wanted to be taken seriously. I don’t want people to think I’m sexy. I don’t want people to think I’m cute. If you call me “nice,” I will roll my eyes and say, “do better!” More than anything, I want people to see that I have a brain. Sure, on some level we all want to be wanted, but why can’t we have it all? Sexy and smart are not mutally exclusive ideas. There’s no reason you have to compromise yourself to fit into a certain mold. I just need to get over seeing my friend’s impression of me as negative. He certainly didn’t mean it as a dig. I know these issues are deeply rooted in my childhood, upbringing and religion. I need to let go of guilt, embrace certain aspects of myself and just fucking own it already! Easier said than done. I’m working on it. Stay tuned…