The birds and the be
We get so caught up in being perfect we forget that we are born flawed. Anyone remember the film Gattaca? With enough money any person could born a certain perfect way and poor Ethan Hawke’s character, Vincent, just wants to go to space but his DNA isn’t quite right?
I wonder why don’t I see the world anymore the way my gorgeous three year old nephews do. Their life is so simple. Chalk on their shoes and faces, Frozen the movie, cars and playing. Boom. When we see the world through a child’s eyes we see that flaws don’t matter. My nephew twin doesn’t wonder why his twin brother is being dumb, or why he likes cars more, or why he’s wearing that same green shirt again, or why his hair is like that, or why he said that, or that he’s doing something wrong. They just are. Each day they are in a natural “being” state all day long. Our complicated brains kick in some around puberty and make us think we are better off worrying about everything. That we can’t just be. That it isn’t that simple.
And we don’t even do it just to ourselves. We do this when we think about other people as well.
For example: Our little brains work in overdrive making us believe that Shirley is so much better than us. Shirley totally has it together. Shirley is a legend. Shirley nails every audition. Shirley has perfect hair. How does Shirley do it, while the rest of us run about like chickens with our heads cut off. I think the answer is likely one of these scenarios:
1) Shirley totally has her life totally in order and is actually living in a bubble of nondescript blissfulness where she never has to consider the annoyance of self doubt, or worry and overthink what that slice of pizza will do to her tiny Barbie sized waist. Or….
2) OR Shirley may be entirely fictional.
You get where I’m going with this. If Shirley was real she would look like Shoreditch hipster Barbie, have the IQ of Einstein, be forever saying all the right things, donate her precious time to charity and eat cardboard for breakfast. And no one likes a cardboard eater! Nooo, they are dull.
So what we are left with is finding that fine line between seeking out perfection, ignoring our inadequacies and understanding that everyone else feels entirely the same way. How can we live in a being state rather than a state of constant self-doubt, which leads to self sabotaging thoughts. Or worse still, us doing nothing at all.
There’s a song I often play on my iPhone before an audition that just makes me feel blissful. The words go “I’m no longer who I was, no longer who I thought I was.” (written by Joseph Arthur). And I don’t know why but this line of the chorus played over and over really tickles me. I’m not her anymore. I’m a different me. And essentially I get to be that different me every single blooming day if I want to. Not in a multiple personality kind-of-way. But in a way that says I don’t need to be defined by previous failures or moments.
When I consider the birds and the bees, I think about telling a little person about procreation for the first time through flowers being fertilised by a bee. Oh it’s so simplistic. Then I think about how we are born perfect. We are born faultless. Then we lose the ability to be. We become complicated versions of our own simple selves.
The moment we realise we were born to mess up, make mistakes, and say silly things, is the moment we truly begin to live. The moment we realise we aren’t perfect, all the bull***t goes away, and we get on with it. We just be.
Today I am going to practise just being. I will just be. And I encourage you to take a moment or a day to do the same. Allow everything to penetrate your skin like a light rain. Allow every smile to affect you. Allow every kind word said to open your heart. Allow every gesture made in kindness to touch you. Open a door for your fellow passerby. Offer your seat on the tube or bus to someone else. Smile at a stranger. Look at the clouds. Ignore every negative thought that enters your head. Replace self doubt with self love. Just have a day being the perfect flawed version of you.
(I’ll have another post on this soon in relation to acting)