Saturday, July 26, 2008

Decisions, Decisions?

This is me.

Well, this was me until I announced to a table of 10 people on my 39th birthday that I would choose not to approach 40 in fear.

It's not that I'm scared about the age 40, as I don't even feel 30, so my fear is not an aging thing. And come on. Let's face it. I have great skin. ;)

The fear that I own is a fear that I've had all my life, boxed up in the basement of my "house".

It's the fear of truly "going for it". The fear of really committing to a goal, attacking that goal, and fighting for that goal. Why? Because of the risk of failing at that goal. Yep. I said it. The very cliche "fear of failure" excuse.

In college, I decided not to go for a theater degree due to this fear.

After college I never really sought a job in video production due to this fear.

The one thing I didn't approach fearfully was marriage to George, and ironically enough, he is the one who is constantly encouraging me not to make decisions based upon fear. Go figure.

I defininitely have that "fear of failure" obstacle hanging out in my yard.

And yet, there is another.

Part of my not pursuing a full-time career in coaching or casting is due to being overwhelmed by this fear and thus being left without the energy to completely engage all my efforts into securing a role in that world. Well, that, and the fact when I think back to all the shows I've directed and classes that I've taught, and children that I've coached, I am overcome with a feeling of exhaustion.

I spent years teaching children and directing theater. I directed and choreographed my first musical at Trinity without knowing what I was doing, being so filled with anxiety and the desire to do an incredible job that I even found myself sleepwalking through the process. Just ask George, who watched me walk into doors and would find me choreographing in the dead of night. I gave those productions my all, while awake and asleep (in fact several bits of choreography literally came from dreams). Interestingly enough, however, these years of directing, were all before I had children, and thus a time in my life when I could throw every fiber into the job. Now, when I think about doing that again, I just feel tuckered out. And, yes, scared that I could never muster it up again.

So, now there are two obstacles invading my property: fear of failure and fatigue.

Now, I'm at another crossroad. I've already conquered the writing fear by pursuing the current part-time writing gig that I have. I feel completely unqualified for the position, but I am learning the ropes as I go.

And this past weekend, Mary Kay stared me right in the face. (Well not Mary Kay in a literal sense. That would be darn right creepy). Now, I'm not one to get all caught up in the excitement and enthusiasm that seeps out of every pore of the Mary Kay world. It's a positive world, that's for sure. But, make no mistake, I'm not in a "pink bubble", nor do I drink "pink kool-aid". I can not be swayed to manufacture emotions in order to be a part of the moment. I'm not much of a follower in that regard. Hmmm . . . Harper and I are seeming more and more alike these days.

I was able to attend Seminar with a very clear head. My goal? To see a bigger picture of the company and to figure out, on my own, without influence from those who seem to know what my goals should be and want to communicate them to me, why I have been shrugging off the idea of becoming a Sales Director. All weekend I was asked, "So, what's your next goal?" to which I would answer, "Team Leader". Which was quickly countered with, "How about becoming a Director?" or "Next year I'd loved to see you here in the Director suit." However, I didn't want anyone to tell me their goals for me. Like Dorothy, (yep, that's an "Oz" reference), who figured it out in the end, I too needed to find my goal, on my own, and claim it for my own. Anything else and the goal wouldn't truly be mine, but rather just an expectation, developed and fashioned by someone else, to which I would feel an obligation to live up to.

And yes, I did come to the conclusion that I would like to be a Sales Director. I came to realize that I am my worst obstacle . . . for no one in my life has ever fed me the idea that I would fail and this feeling of fatigue is a fairly new development over the past few years, and quite frankly, irritating. Nope, both of these obstacles have been taking up residence in my brain for far too long and are utterly useless to me. G'bye.

I was trying figure out last night, after a Color 101 Thank You party that I hosted for consultants and their guests, why I feel compelled to fight for moving up in this company and not with the acting coaching or casting.

The answer came to me in a flash. Or, as George would put it, a "blinding flash of the obvious". I feel pretty strongly that my days on stage are done. I don't say that mournfully. I just mean that if, (and that's a heavy if), I go back to performing, it will definitely be later in life when the kids are older, as right now, in our current phase of life, the time commitment for such a life is counter to what I want for our family. I want to be here. I want to be present. I don't always do a great job on the home front and I lose my patience, and I don't clean the place everyday and I'm addicted to blogging, but I'm here. All day, and after school through dinnertime. For the first time in a few years, I am home for dinner. I may not cook dinner and I may drive everyone in this house completely crazy, but I'm home. And I want to be home. To many, this may sound like a cop out; to give up on a talent and skill that is deeply embedded in the structural make up of who I am. But . . . as I realized last night, I am not giving up that talent and skill. A Ha!

Last night, I stood in front of a room full of women, some customers, some consultants, and realized that I am using those same talents that I perfected for the stage. Public Speaking, Motivation, Communication, Humor, Listening, Timing, Entertainment. I stand up in front of women every week presenting Mary Kay. I use a script (my flipchart) which I very skillfully use as a tool while interjecting my own improvisation through the presentation. I'm committed to the product, so I'm not merely selling, but rather sharing my enthusiasm. I have to be engaging, or the "audience" will tune out, etc. What do I want? Well, I'd love for everyone to purchase! But, I've also found that some women are interested in becoming consultant's themselves, which leads to my being able to help educate, motivate, and celebrate other women!

For years, I've been teaching these skills to youngin's, without having the opportunity to use them for myself! These are the very skills that my soul longs to use everyday! Mary Kay has afforded me the ability to "perform", albeit not a character, but, well, hopefully you get it.

Mary Kay's theme for 2009 is THINK big, WORK smart, SHINE on. Or, THINK, WORK, SHINE, 2009. Catchy.

I accept.

I can either decide not to decide to move onward and upward, thus remaining stuck and stagnant in my fear of failure and fatigue, or I can take a step forward, while using the talents and skills that I have worked to perfect as an actress, only now, as a Sales Director with Mary Kay.

So, I have decided to Think like a Director. I will Work in order to become one. And I will Shine at the end of the Mary Kay year when I've become one.

Geez, just writing it makes me fearful and fatigued.


"A person who decides not to decide, has already decided."

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