Every single person on this planet has at least one secret that could break your heart. If we could just remember that, there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world

Monday, December 6, 2010

VALIDATION

This week is the theatre departments finals week, and today I had a final for my acting class. I was terrified but excited to show everyone what I had learned so far this semester. A lot of upper classman were there, and I was ready to show these people that I have become a much stronger actor than I have ever been before. I was really happy with my performances, and there are very few things that I would have done differently. But after the whole final was over I felt very empty. Hollow. It was like I was reaching for something but there was nothing there. And the emptiness later turned into pretty solid depression.

I watched the upperclassman perform their peices and, as always, was in awe of their brilliance. Afterwards I was telling some of my friends how great they did...... and thats when I realized what was wrong. I had absolutely no REAL satisfaction with my performance because I didn't feel validated. No one had come up to me and told me I was brillinat, or that they were surprised by my performance, or even that I had potential. All I got was "good job" or "good work" in passing from a few people which we all know is always just something nice people say. Which is FINE... I mean i shouldn't need that validation.....but why did it hurt so much?? I had all these expectations for myself. I expected that everyone would be shocked that the nerdy skinny boy would be able to act. I expected people to cry because I gave a performance that was very near and dear to my heart. I expected people to be moved. And as far as I'm aware none of those things happened.

As I was walking to my car from the Performing Arts Building I started thinking about how sad it is that I need validation so badly that it affects my self worth. I felt genuinly awful and almost abandoned. WHY? I mean, after all,  have come so far in this short semester. I have learned so many things and I know that I did the best I possibly could. Why do those things matter more when someone else is saying it? And then I started thinking about all the other ways I look for validation in life. The way I dress, the way I act, the way I make sure I'm friends with everyone, and the way I do EVERYTHING I do to please my audience and my professors. The way I tell people I'm fine when I'm not. The way I write my blog so everyone thinks I'm wise. The way I make sure I have lots of pictures on facebook so that everyone will think that I have an amazing social life. The way I die inside everytime I hear people tell me that they are dissapointed in me for leaving BYU. The way my heart drops when my blog has "0 comments" written on the bottom of a post I've had up for a week. The way my day is ruined when I have "0 text messages" at the end of a long day of school. And the way I feel abandoned when I have "0 notifications" on my facebook page. ITS GROSS!!!

Why is it that the only thing that makes me feel ok is when someone validates me? When somone tells me I look great. When someone says they like my jacket. When someone tells me they are proud of me. When someone says I'm cute, talented, funny, kind, a good friend. When someone writes on my facebook wall. When someone texts me just for fun. When someone reads my blog and leaves a comment. WHY does that instantly make my life better... and worth living?

The most amazing choices I have made are ones that everyone else thought was crazy. First of all choosing performing as a career. And most recently leaving BYU for the U. Those decisions have made me happier than any kind of approval every could. I realized while walking back to my car that having other people validate me is only a temporary high. Doing things for myself is what has changed my life. I have truly never had the independence and sense of stability that I have now. I amazing friends, I love school, I love the work I'm doing, I love the people I have met, and I love the skills I have aquired. So who cares about all the bull shit compliments inbetween??

Today a girl name Olivia gave a beautifiul reading of Robert Frosts, "The road not taken." I know everyone knows it, but its still one of my favorite poems. I realized while thinking back on that poem today that I myself have quite often taken the road less travled. And the experiences that I have had WITHOUT validation are always the ones that have "made all the difference."

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair

And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

1 comment:

Megan Dewey Clark said...

Jaron I totally get you. I am the same way... When people leave a comment on my blog it makes my day... Heck if someone texts me it makes my day.... The issue with me is dealing with being bipolar I feel so different and sometimes misunderstood or mocked. And I am very sensitive to that. And anyone who feels different craves acceptance and love. When you don't get that life can be hard. I have hit that magical mark in marriage.... 2 year anniversary... the husband no longer feels the need to be affectionate or give compliments... and that is hard. He told me the other day he expresses his love is random acts of kindness..... which are not very frequent....so it is just weird. Anyway...

Jaron you are awesome... I am serious. I understand how you are feeling and what happens in your brain. And I am experiencing the same thing. And it sucks.... But keep your head held high and remember that you are amazing.