It all started when I had to wear Toms at the gym. I had carefully carved out mid-Sunday time to work out at my new gym, Planet Fitness: A Judgment-Free Zone. As I pulled out the contents of my gym bag, I realized I’d forgotten my sweet purple and green New Balances. Undeterred, I put my ankle socks on under my Toms and got to work. I got an awful lot of side-eye for a place that is supposed to be free of judgment and, for what it’s worth, bare feet provide more support than year-old Movember Toms.
Sunday continued to be an uphill battle towards efficiency right to the end. Yesterday was a series of irritating events, including being shamed by an older woman on the subway to having a shitty improv class. To be fair, the class was great; I was shitty. I got stuck and then I got frustrated with myself. As I walked to the C train, I got more frustrated. Then I noticed the Rachel Ray studio to my right, which reminded me of the time that I was working in a restaurant and Rachel Ray’s drunk dad hit on me by telling me I reminded him of his daughter. I wanted to sprint down the street, limp-armed until I fell and scraped my face (limp arms will not catch you) or rid that icky image plus the last day from my memory. I’m no sports medicine physician, but I’m sure that would work.
Instead, I trudged towards Brooklyn, getting increasingly irritated at myself. Lately I’ve been able to keep my neuroses at bay, which, for me means two and a half out of five Cameron Frye’s. But after two weeks of bold-choice making and bravely believing in myself, I was bound for regression. Last night, I went the full five Camerons.
I am really, brutally afraid of failure, which is weird because I’m always running straight up to it and accompanying it into terrifying dark alleys, hand in hand. I’ve been comforting myself with the knowledge that my glorious musical theatre crash and burn has made me immune to fear; once you’ve failed at your primary life goal, the world is your oyster. I hate me when I think I know things. The only thing failure can prepare you for is a slow reentry into really trusting yourself again.
I’ve learned a lot about myself since I stopped auditioning. I learned that I like stability. I learned I have a setting lower than three Camerons and that I really do love musicals, but that it’s ok to like other things too. Last night, I learned that a big life disappointment hasn’t insulated me from little life frustrations, nor from wanting to be good at things. Nor from having flashbacks of Rachel Ray’s creepy dad, which is maybe the worst part of it all.