Today I want to talk about something important. Not as important as in 'world peace' but important as in 'inner peace'. The issue I want to talk about is doubt.
We've all been there. Doubting ourselves either because we don't think we are good/pretty/smart/thin/sophisticated/ athletic/confident/whatever enough, or because we had a bad day where everything that possibly could went wrong, or because others simply said something to us we couldn't and didn't want to agree with.
Especially the latter one is dangerous because yeah, we already doubt ourselves every now and then, and we work on that issue to get over it, but then somebody else comes along and talks to you as if you are about to run straight ahead into your ruin, and you have to response with common sense and logic while all you think is "Do you even know me at all?!".
The reason why I want to address this topic today is that I've come across those doubts regularly whenever I start to talk about my journey.
Let me phrase it 'Pushing Daisies'-style: "The facts are these"...
I'm from a tiny village in Southern Germany, where pretty much everyone knows everyone somehow. I've always had this dream of becoming an actress, moving to England, and live my life there among creative and interesting people. I've always had this dream in spite of being shy and having the feeling life was just to hard to live. But I've made it. Somehow; it took time; it took courage. But I've made it. I struggled through acting school, I've worked every possible shifts from dawn-rising early morning and night shifts to finance my move to a city in a foreign country (yes, in my case this is London, yay!), and I've dealt with mean people, unprofessionalism, difficulties, heartbreaks, loss, and yes, a lot of doubt both from others and from myself. I always knew it wouldn't be easy-peasy, of course not, but I'm determined.
And now I'm here in London, finally, ready to get started, facing new problems and difficulties. And I have my moments of self-doubt, of course. Everyone has them, I guess artist even more then other people. But I've come this far, did something I most times only thought I would ever achieve in my dreams.
A few people are proud and almost thrilled that I didn't give up along the way. They see me and actually say they've never seen me that relaxed and happy. And I am. I know what I want and where I want to be someday, I make mistakes and face walls and learn from them quickly to improve and not lose my goal.
But then there are the others.
People I've also known and who have known me a long or at least a long enough time. They are interested in my plans (if they response to my mails at all) but as soon as I tell them about my current situation (high rent (compared to where I come from!), badly paid job, looking for something better, still looking for auditions, etc. etc.) they go: "That all doesn't sound so good. How do you finance yourself? Wouldn't it be better to look for a 'real' job? You know, that is hard work, you have to get up really early. There are really good distance education and e-courses, do another training. You can't pay your bill with one short film."................
Bear in mind: I've only been here for 3 months! (And the first one I was just lying ill in bed, so theoretically that one doesn't even count.)
Thank you very much. I know all these things. And I've already done most of these things.
In those moments I'm more than curious how people actually see me. I've been working for years, I worked in every shift there is, while studying, I did HARD work - physically as well emotionally ... and still, people seem to think I just crawled out from under a blanket, thinking 'Here I am, I just wait in my room to win the lottery and for scripts to arrive.'
It is kind of sad, when you think about who those people are and how much you like them and look up to them. And then, on the other hand, it just proves exactly why I needed to leave that life behind.
I even begin to understand what people mean by that saying 'small town thinking'. I don't mean that in a negative way, dear no, I grew up among them, and there are so many other reasons why we are how we are, but I've noticed that openly pursuing a dream that is commonly known as hard, competitive and the embodiment of unprofitable arts people believe it's absolutely out of reach where I come from.
The important thing is - and I keep saying and believing it myself - don't listen. I know what I want, where I want to go, what I achieved so far, and that it takes a LOT of patience, persistence, and work, and often an amount of simple luck.
It's not over yet. Just keep fighting and dreaming (or in the words of Dory, "just keep swimming") because otherwise, what sense does this one life make if we don't even try and let ourselves get stuck in a life we are not happy in from the first moment?