The Myth of the Life-Changing Moment

We have the pervasive story in our culture that is not only inaccurate, it’s destructive. We have this idea that in one given moment, everything can change. I get why we say it. And I get that there’s some truth behind it. But I’d like to at least challenge it because I think it’s unhealthy.

There’s a story about how the cast of Friends went out for drinks just before they began filming the show. The producers of the show told the whole crew that their lives would soon change. They were right. For many people, that’d be considered the life-changing moment.

In A Star is Born, Lady Gaga’s character (who cares WTF her name is in the movie itself, it’s Lady Gaga’s character) has a life-changing moment when she goes out on stage with Bradley Cooper’s character (again, I’m not going to take the time to look it up…okay I just remembered it was Jackson Maine but whatever, I’m sticking with Bradley Cooper’s character). He encourages her to sing her heart out. She does. She becomes a viral sensation and soon a superstar. All thanks to that life-changing moment.

But I believe that’s thinking of time as far too linear. There are a million small moments, opportunities, and choices that are made before that “life-changing moment” that made it possible in the first place. 

To take apart my own examples (which is why I used them in the first place), the cast of Friends didn’t have one night that everything changed. You could back up to the moment they auditioned for the show was a life-changing moment. Before that, the moment they got whatever representation that got them in the door of the audition was a life-changing moment. The day the decided to do the showcase or class or performance that got them noticed by that representation was a life-changing moment. The day they committed to becoming an actor was a life-changing moment. That time they had an intense rejection and considered quitting but didn’t is a life-changing moment. It could go on and on…

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Same with the character in A Star is Born. The day she sang was as much of a life-changing moment as the day she wrote the lyrics that Bradley Cooper’s character became enraptured by. The day she first started singing at the bar he met her at. The day she first started waitressing at the bar she’d eventually sing at. The day she met the friend who ushered Bradley Cooper into the bar and got him a drink so he’d watch her. The day she learned she liked to sing. These are all life-changing moments.

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The reason I find the myth of the life-changing moment so destructive is because I think it makes us spend our whole lives anxiously anticipating some big magic moment that really never comes because life is full of little magic moments happening constantly.

Sure, there are bigger opportunities that can exacerbate changes more dramatically – no denying that. But for the most part, those opportunities only come along because of a series of tiny decisions you make beforehand. And you’re only able to see and capture them because of the same series of tiny decisions you made up to that point.

We can never know where the magic will lead. So don’t miss out on the joy and excitement of the small miracles in hopes seeing a major one. The major one might feel even more joyous if you’ve recognized the small ones along the way.

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Femoir the Podcast – Season 3, Episode 102: Sh*t Happens

Back again, friends.

In this episode, we talk about Mercury Retrograding. (Yeah, it happens, sorry).

I mention finding perspective.

I give a quick shout out to my hubs.

I talk traveling.

I hint about an upcoming blog post you should check out (hey, get caught up here!).

And I generally discuss chilling out.

Mostly, I’m trying to make everyone a teacher and trying to make my acting teacher proud.

Or, maybe, just make my best self proud. Who knows.

Subscribing and rating helps out, friends. But you know what helps more than anything? You being you. So keep doing that.

xo

Emerging from the Cocoon

butterflyFor my consistent readers, you may recall that I recently posted about “Going in.” I was entering a phase of intense work on both my productivity and myself.

I thought I would come out in early December. Turns out, I’ve got more work to do.

While I already feel like I’ve made some progress, and I’m certainly working on some issues I knew I needed to work on while going in, I’m not in any big hurry to reenter society yet. Of course I’m still going out and working as usual in many ways, but it’s a mental attitude shift that I’m going through right now. I’m being extra aware of my emotions and mind and spending huge chunks of free time filling my brain with information. I’m taking extra time to work on me and reshaping my own foundation. And it turns out, it feels pretty good to take the time to do this. And there’s more work here than I anticipated. So I’m gonna stay in for a little while longer.

It’s like when you take your car in and get an estimate on some obvious damage, then when they actually open the car up they realize there’s a lot more damage than they anticipated and it’s gonna take longer than you thought. That’s what’s happening with me right now. At least that’s how I feel.

And that’s ok. We’re all damaged. I’m going through some serious physical and mental makeovers at the moment. We’re upgrading and prepping for the craziness ahead and I wanna make sure the car is in perfect working order before we go test the limits.

I’ll probably be here throughout the rest of the year. Don’t worry about me. In fact, maybe take some time for you. It’s not terrible here in the cave. Sure, emotions run rampant and there’s intense fear you’ve got to face head-on daily… but it’s kind of exhilarating, too.

Fake it to Make it

fake tanI’ve learned something this past year. It’s been a difficult lesson, but I’ve learned it daggumit.

It’s simply this: Sometimes you need to pretend that you already are what you want to become in order to convince yourself and others that you are what you believe you can become.

In other words- fake it til you make it.

Yes, it’s simple. Yes, tons of people have already written about it and talked about it. No, I’m not a revolutionary for coming up with it. But if you have any shred of midwestern humility in you, you know how difficult this can actually be.

Because you don’t want to become full of yourself. You don’t want to be ego-centric. You don’t want to lose sight of your foundation and your friends and your groundings and the reality of the situation around you.

But you do want to allow yourself to own and be proud of what you are and what you believe you can accomplish. And that, sometimes, require becoming a person you are not comfortable admitting you are.

It’s scary to push yourself beyond what you believed to be your limits. It’s scary to admit that you’re putting yourself out on the line. It’s scary to throw yourself in front of people and say “This is me! I believe in me!” People will try and tear you down. All the people on the sidelines who are too scared to become themselves will shift their attention from their own fears and put them onto you and try and tell you you’re not good enough or you can’t do what you believe you can.

But they’re wrong. You can do anything you believe you can do. And if you pretend you are something or someone and do everything in your power to convince yourself that you truly are that person, you will become it. It may take a while and will require some intense change and growing pains, but you’ll do it.

So visualize what you want to become and believe that you are that person. Live it. Breathe it. And then strap in because you’re in for a bumpy and wonderful ride.

Warning: Expect Delays Ahead

delaysFair warning: I have been a little inundated with tons of stuff on the plate. I do this to myself, but usually I can handle it all and keep up the productivity.

I have guests in town right now. My parents. Not just normal guests. My parents. I call it #ParentalDownpour. I’m noting it all on Facebook. It’s pretty amusing. For everyone else. It’s VERY REAL for me.

Anyway, as a result I’ve been spending more time focusing on hanging with my family and not being super productive. Still productive, but not super-productive.

All this to say… the regularly scheduled Femoir: The Podcasts are gonna be behind for a while. It’ll be about a bit before I get back to them. The expected return date is August 19th. I hope to do a marathon night so I can queue up a whole bunch so this doesn’t happen again.

Until then, there are 67 total episodes you can catch up on. Have you listened to them all? I didn’t think so. So how about you hold up your end of the bargain and use this time to catch up on all the wacky ramblings and the sillies I put out for you every week, and I’ll hold up my end by promising to return to your ear very soon.

That sounded weird. But I’m gonna go ahead and leave it.

I’m in your ear. Deal.

Productivity Princess

princessI wrote this article for Ms. In the Biz about being more productive.

6 Tips to Better Productivity

Read it. Learn from it. Talk to me about it.

Or don’t. It’s up to you.

Podcast Episode 67: Balance – Show Notes

elephant-balanceThe biggest takeaway from this Femoir: The Podcast episode, friends, is that finding balance is a journey not a destination.

I mention my day job. I work at the most fun Law Office in existence. I’m a lucky lady.

I talk about working out. If you read this blog, you know that I do that a lot anyway.

I also mention counting calories. I’ve written about how much I hate it before. I still hate it.

I mention the “All In” previous Femoir podcast, too.

 

Episode 66: Mentors – Show Notes

yodaIn this Femoir: The Podcast episode, we talk about those people who are the Wind Beneath Our Wings. Our mentors.
I’m lucky to have great ones. They’re not Yoda, but they probably smell better than Yoda. Nobody ever talks about how Yoda smells… but it was probably terrible.

Not much to give show notes on this time.

Find yourself a mentor. Be a better person.

If You Don’t Even Dream It…

Field of dreams…You can never achieve it.

I have a goal. It’s a little out there. Not in the general list of goals I have for myself, but just based on the reality I’m living in as I write this blog post.

I would share it with you, but I’m not ready. I already over-share, so please don’t feel slighted. I just want to keep this one pretty close to home for a while.

The seed of this goal got planted in my head from a few different outlets. And my first thought was, “Oh there’s no way I’ll be able to do that right now. Are you kidding?”

Then my second thought was, “But if I don’t think it’s possible, it will never happen. If it’s at all possible, I have to at least believe it MIGHT happen. Then who knows.”

I realize that’s a lot of thinking, but my logic basically boils down to this: It’s very possible that the goal I have in mind will not happen. Like I said, it’s out there for my situation right now. I don’t know how it could happen. I don’t see the ways in which I can make it a reality. Normally, I can at least have a plan in place to make something I want a reality. In this case, I’ve got nothing.

But as long as I believe it’s impossible, it will be. If I think it could happen, then I plant a seed somewhere in my brain (and in the universe). I start seeing connections and possibilities where I hadn’t previously. I open myself up to the possibility that this thing could happen. I maybe start moving in that direction. I start doing things I don’t even realize will make that dream a reality.

I had no idea what path I was going to take a few months ago. I had ideas and goals, but no real way to know where I would be or how I would get there. So who knows if these goals and dreams we make for the future can be reality. We have no idea where we’re going anyway, so why not make a small wish-list for the universe along the way?

It’s still possible I won’t reach it. But at least if I believe it could happen, it’s also possible I might. So I’m gonna choose to believe.  And I’ll build this small dream. And since I built it… maybe- just maybe- they will come.

Episode 61: Patience – Show Notes

patienceThe latest episode of Femoir: The Podcast is a longer one, friends, but since we’re talking about patience, I hope you take the time to listen to it and enjoy!

I talk about the three major improv and comedy theaters in Chicago:

1. The Second City

2. iO (Improv Olympic)

3. The Annoyance

I mention the stage version of my solo show, Femoir.

I also mention my wonderful pending web series, The Other Client List, again. I am very excited about it. It’s gonna be gooooooood.

And I also mention my crazy peg leg pirate upstairs neighbor (again) and the fact that SHE BANGS!

As always, you can subscribe to these for free on iTunes!