A couple of months ago, I decided that I should see a therapist. I’ve battled insecurity for my entire adolescence and young adulthood (and, as I’ve discovered, most of my life), and it was time to win the war. My entire teenage years were spent worrying about not being pretty enough and not fitting in with this group or that, and that snowballed, and at 26, all that worrying seems superfluous and exhausting. And, quite frankly, I’ve little to be insecure about.
One of the things that has come up for me during the process is the whole idea of “Am I the 26-year-old my 15-year-old self imagined?” For a while, I thought I wasn’t. But after careful evaluation, some tears, and a fresh perspective, I can say that yes, I am the 26-year-old my fifteen-year-old self imagined. Here I am, living in New York City, in love, acting…no, all the details are not exactly the way I pictured them, but the basic frame has held up. Yes, I still have some work to do as far as losing any lingering fears or insecurities, but here I am. Mid-twenties, in the city of my adolescent dreams, in an acting class, auditioning. And really, if everything was the idyll I imagined, towards what would I have to work? I’ve come to realize that the process is the act; that is, when you are in the middle of doing something, e.g. attending an acting class, you are doing it, i.e., being an actor. My entire life has been a focus on an end product, and I’ve never learned how to appreciate getting to that end. I’ve wanted to be very good at something right away; I’ve wanted the best results immediately. But the process is the act. The practice is the doing.
And the dream is the living.