Yesterday I was told by an extremely knowledgeable and kind soul that it would be beneficial for me to drop the act. You may be wondering which act this person was referring to, since I seem to have multiple acting gigs. Let’s review: there’s the act I have done each day for the past (almost) eleven years in which I put on the cloak of normalcy while in constant pain. Then there’s the one I have done since I was a child, molding the clay that is my personality into what I thought the people around me wanted: always nice, always agreeable, so that no one would ever dislike me. I’m talking about the latter.
Oh, but I have come to adore this particular script. This acting gig has kept me together. It has kept me from having to feel that I was different, while at the same time making sure I was always safely isolated. I was on the island of people pleasers, where all of us who share this acting skill reside on carefully separate beaches. This act has kept me from confrontation. It has made me do a slow burn when I refused to say no because no is not in the script. Sometimes I feel that this act has kept me from having some sort of official mental breakdown. That’s dramatic, I know, but that’s honestly what goes though my mind. Without a script, without my safety net of pretending, will I still be accepted in the human race? Will people like the real me? And if I’m not accepted, do I have the strength to cope with that fact? I think so, but there is really only one way to find out: drop the act.
So now, it seems, I have to at least make an attempt to drop this act. I need to give the Academy its Oscar back. I need to stop Meryl Streeping my way though life. Even though that award looks quite pretty on my shelf and has served me well, I need to explore my life without it. After all, there really isn’t a script for anyone’s life, is there?