When I was 13 years old, I had a dream of being a fabulous and glorious actress. Being the center of attention, singing my heart out on stage and dancing till I blue in the face. At 14, I worked even harder, earning small singing and speaking roles, main dancer roles and earning my directors trust. At 15, I stepped up and played a key ensemble character with multiple duets and scenes. I was dancing every day and I felt amazing. At 16, I played the main role. I was in almost every scene, and I loved my songs. It was the role of a life time. But it ate me alive. I worked for this role for my entire theater experience, this was it. But the panic slowly crept in. This role ate me and spit me out. All the stress of trying to be perfect on stage was a mask for what was really going on. I was ignoring the inevitable. Ignoring all the warning signs.
I had years of self esteem issues developing. No one knew how bad my depression had gotten again because it was silently creeping and I never wanted to admit my problem. Since then the problem got worse.
I moved to California. Completely running away from my issues. When it was obviously not working, I ran back home with the idea to expand academically. After leaving one community college due to failing 1/2 quarters, I went to another community college, lived on campus, but worked a “not-so-part-time” job, and I failed 2/3 of my classes. After moving in with my boyfriend, ignoring his environment, and his roommates, I worked at a call center that had ridiculous standards and when the department closed I panicked and enrolled in beauty school. I didn’t attend a full 7 months before falling apart and deciding to leave the school.
Depression: The Beast
Depression is a beast, it sucks out your desires and dreams and tells you that no matter what you do, you’re nothing and will never succeed. The beast doesn’t just eat its prey, it effects the surrounding environment it tore down on the way. It effects your job, your social life, your relationships with family and friends. Most of the time, my depression hyper focuses on my personal flaws, like my personality and my attitude would be to much of a burden for other people to deal with so why try. It makes your overthink everything you’ve ever done and said, keeping you awake at night about how something you said four years ago. Your sleep, hygiene, and health are controlled by this dark beast, it takes away all of your control.
Failure is the key to success
Failing is part of human nature. You can’t succeed without failing a few times. So why do we try? Depression is a life long disease and it can eat away at your life. Do you let the beast eat you whole? Or do you fight back? do you slay the beast and conquer it every time it comes? or give up after one battle? Life is a war and depression are the little battles making it all so much worse. So why do we try? We try because its in our nature to survive. The will to thrive, and live and survive is programmed in our brains so clearly, that when the depression fogs it up, we must be the ones to clear it away. We get up when it hurts the most and attempt to push through, and when we fail we must survive. We aren’t defined by our failures but there is always something to learn from each one, there is where you find your success.
No matter what happens, whether you succeed one day but fail the next, its okay. It’s difficult, and not easy to accept when it happens, but when you do fail, and you will, you have to remind yourself, it will be okay. The best thing we can do for our society, and our future generations is to praise when you fail. Find the positive and change the narrative.
One of my favorite Disney films, Meet The Robinsons, takes place in a innovative future, with futuristic ideals. In this classic family – heartwarming film, Lewis, an orphan boy, is taken on a crazy adventure to the future, there he meets the robinsons, unbeknownst to him that its his very own future family. After a rather ridiculous and minimal failure Peanut Butter and Jelly invention, Lewis attempts to repair the clog, resulting in everyone covered in Peanut Butter and Jelly. Much to Lewis’ surprise, they all congratulated him and praised him for his failed repair.
Thinking about this movie brings me joy and is has valuable lessons that I hope everyone can learn from. Seriously, watch the movie, no regrets!
Lastly, I hope this post gave everyone the insight they needed to find peace in their failures. My last bit of advice for those who overthink and struggle with the guilt of their failure; forgive yourself. Find it in your heart to forgive and let go of the past and just remember to Keep Moving Forward.