4.14.2009

dissatisfaction

For those that know me, I'm sure you can easily attest to the fact that I am extremely hard on myself. Almost unhealthily so. All of this stems from my experience, which has created a complicated psychological web of troubles that plague me to this day. They probably don't remember this, but one of the more harrowing memories I have of my childhood is of my parents yelling at me, telling me how extremely disappointed they were in my report card: all A's and one A-. ONE A-. Yes, just ONE A-. And because of that, I was a disgrace. I was stripped of all social privileges for a week. Because of ONE A-. Growing up, I was never told by anyone who claimed to love me that I was smart, pretty, funny, or any of the other things young girls long to hear about themselves. I was told to keep work hard, be respectful, become the best in my class in order to gain personal and long-term success.

I resented this for a long time. I became self-loathing and self-destructive because I wasn't perfect, which meant that I would never be successful or happy. But as I grew older, I came to understand that there are certain things that are beyond my control, and this helped me to ease up on my own personal expectations. Though, sometimes I still feel inadequate when I fail to achieve the goals that I set for myself.

Today was definitely one of those days. On the whole, today was a good day: I had my Musical Theatre Dance midterm demonstration, my Acting midterm demonstration, and my Musical Theatre Performance conference with my instructor. I nailed all my dances, I presented my Shakespeare scene very well, and I got high marks on my musical midterm performance. Yet I still can't help but beat myself up about all the things I didn't do today. Right before our dance demonstration, I hurt my toe pretty badly. It had been hurting for a few weeks now, and because I'm stubborn and have no time, I haven't consulted a doctor. I'm pretty sure it's sprained, if not broken. Anyway, it was killing me by the time the demonstration began, and at the end of it all, the head of the dance department commented that my turns were a little off center and balance. Well, of course they would be if my toes, which I use for balance, were all messed up. But instead of thinking of it as a fluke, all I have been able to think about all day is how I should have sucked it up, worked it out, and danced flawlessly, because if I was good enough, that's what I would have done. Similarly in Acting, I received one negative comment, which was to match my breathing to my choices in physicality (e.g. pant when running, shallow breaths when crying, etc.). A small thing, really, but all I have been able to think about all day is how I should have known to do that on my own because if I was smart enough, that's what I would have done. Finally, in musical theatre, I received my highest midterm performance grade to date, which indicates that my skill and comprehension level is progressing well, since I keep doing better and better every time I have a midterm. All I have been able to think about all day is how sub par of an actor I must be because if I was a real actor, I would not have done anything less than perfect.

I hate when I fall into this state of mind. And I wish that I had some random pearl of wisdom somewhere inside me to pull me out of this mind-funk. The best thing I can think to do for now is simply vent.

Well, mission accomplished.

2 comments:

Kris said...

Gina, please. No one does perfect. Even the greatest actresses have their slip-ups. Lord knows I have mine in my daily life. You can't be perfect, because if you were where would you be able to improve and grow? Imperfection means you always have ways to improve yourself, that there's always something new to learn. And that's what makes it exciting! If you are learning, you are winning!

Also, do take some time and have that toe checked! Better to have it fixed now and suffer minor inconvenience than have it stay bad and ruin things later.

Sylvia said...

I think probably the best thing you can do is let yourself be unreasonable, all the while acknowledging that you're being unreasonable. Then you can get out the negative energy without adding to it - namely by telling yourself you shouldn't be being unreasonable - and move on.

Heck, I was feeling like a failure yesterday because I haven't gone into labor yet. Talk about unreasonable!

It's true, too, though, that the flip side of this negative is that your desire to be perfect is what makes you strive to improve yourself. As long as you can cut yourself some slack from time to time, this can be a useful thing.

Congrats, by the way. It sounds like you're doing great. I read your schedule on the previous post and was ready to take a nap.

Oh, and get that toe checked out!