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Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, 'This is the real me,' and when you have found that attitude, follow it.

~   William James

Yesterday's Entries

2001:  As the Wheel Turns
2002:  Create a Diversion
2003:  Slow and Steady


Breakfast:  Oatmeal with blueberries
Lunch:  (slept thru lunch!)
Dinner:  Chicken with wild rice, mushy peas


Blood and Thunder
(David Gerrold finally writes a new book!)


The Royal Tenenbaums
(weird movie!)


A Rick Steeve Marathon
(it's pledge week on PBS)

Getting to know me....

You are Marcie!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
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7 March 2004

Some time ago, a friend and I decided we were going to work on our own self esteem. I proposed having a "self esteem Saturday" entry and made my first one back in  November. I haven’t actually kept up with doing that in writing, though my self esteem seems to be in an OK place these days.

But my friend who started this whole idea wrote today to talk about self esteem. I have always said that we – all of us – are always comparing ourselves at our worst to everyone else at their best. When we step out of our homes and out into society, we don’t wear our dirtiest clothes. We dress up. We don’t argue with our loved ones in public; we do it behind closed doors. For the most part, we don’t air our dirty linen for all to see (unless, of course, it gets printed on the front page of the local paper). For the most part, the public face that everyone knows is the clean us, the self-confident us, the accomplished us.

They never see the mass of insecurities that we are inside.

If we keep that in mind when we look at the clean, self-confident, accomplished people we see around us, it’s like standing in front of the room full of people to give a speech, and imagining all of them sitting their in their underwear as a ploy to make us feel comfortable.

Everyone has problems. Everyone has something to hide, no matter what public face they present to the world at large.

So I’ve tried to remember that the people around me aren’t quite as perfect as I think they are, and I’m not quite as terrible as I think I am. That helps me meet most people on the same level ground.

However, there is another wrinkle in this whole philosophy, as pointed out by my friend today.

...once you conquer some fear or other, you forget about it, and then you lose sight of what you’ve accomplished. Finding fault with yourself is so much easier.

That one hit home. And it especially hit home as I sit here preparing to write a review of the show we saw last night.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been writing reviews for the local paper for nearly four years now. I took the job with much trepidation. I knew I could handle some shows (I can review Gilbert & Sullivan in my sleep, I’m sure), but I was terrified about other shows.

I do not have a college background. I don’t have a theatre background. I don’t have a writing background. I just write a lot of stuff and I go to theatre a lot, but I had never been placed in a position of actually thinking about it before. The first reviews I wrote were very angst-producing. I don’t mind if lots of people read this journal--it’s just silly stuff I record for me, mostly. And The Davis Enterprise isn’t exactly the New York Times, so nobody was going to expect me to be on that level, but by the same token, I didn’t want to sound like an idiot.

It’s still difficult for me to sit down and write a review. I like doing it, but I’m nervous that I won’t sound quite...right. But last week, I reviewed the premiere of a new play. Not a musical. Straight plays are definitely not my milieu and I don’t have a lot of expertise. But I prepared for this play. I read the book. I thought a lot about what I was looking for. I enjoyed the play and I came home and wrote a review that I really felt good about.

Last night I went to a musical. I haven’t written the review but it’s half formed in my head. It wasn’t the best production ever, but there were wonderful elements to it and I’m figuring out how to praise the good while sloughing over the bad and still give an accurate picture of the total production. It makes me feel good to realize that I know what I’m doing.

So yeah, I’ve come a long way in four years. I won’t say that I’m wonderful. Let’s be honest here. But I will say that when a review comes out in print and I read it, several days after submitting it, 9 times out of 10 ... or maybe 9 times out of 10 ... I’m rather pleased with what I’ve written.

I am less and less relying on other resources to help formulate a review. I’m learning to trust my own thoughts, my own feelings, and my own instincts.

It’s actually a very good feeling.

(A funny aside: I recently reviewed a show called "It Takes Ovaries," kind of a "Vagina Monologues" wannabe. It was a good show, though not on a par with "Vagina Monologues." I recently got a check from the paper for the review and it came out as "ovaries review." I wrote to my editor and asked him if he had a uterus he’d like me to review for him! This could open up a whole new field for me--combining my experience in gynecology with my experience in review writing!)


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Created 3/05/04