A few weeks ago as we were going to bed, my husband reached over and curled me into his arms and asked me “Do you ever feel like what you do isn’t enough? Do you ever wonder why you do what you do? Whether what you are doing is pointless?” I laughed and responded, “Of course. Every day. Welcome to my life.” He was surprised. “Really? But you do so much and you always seem so driven.” Ummmm…. Why do you think I feel so driven? Because I never feel like what I do is enough; because I can’t make everyone happy, let alone making myself happy (that is probably the hardest because I am super self-critical); because I don’t know if I am doing the right thing or if the things I do matter to anyone but me; because I can’t be the best at anything, let alone everything….
Guess what? I am human. (Damn it!) My guess is you have had feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, uncertainty also. Glad to know you are human, too.  Yay for humans. Or not. Maybe we are a failure and should not exist? Are we pointless? Should we even be around? Maybe we just took the wrong life path somewhere and we would be better off if we still had hairy butts and a long tail… But I digress. The mind is sometimes not your friend. But really, that is what this is all about. Life, living it (life), moving on (with life).
I took a management class last year (mandatory for work) and the instructor made some illogical point that we spend the most time doing what we really want to do. I disagreed (because the point is illogical.) I said that we all do things we don’t want to do and sometimes we do them because of other things. For example, I may love my job most of the time, but I don’t like the quarterly reports. However, one week a quarter I have to spend most of my time doing that. Because I have to. Because I want to keep my job. Or a parent may love their child and hate soccer. But their child loves soccer. So the parent spends time at soccer practice, and games, and blah blah blah because they love their child. One coworker said he apparently loves driving because he has a long commute and then drives his kids around for different after school activities… It is like the laundry. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. But I do it because I like my clothes and it would be really expensive to throw away everything dirty and buy new clothes every time not to mention the shopping would take more time AND it would be way bad for the environment… So, there is laundry. And there are the things I kind of hate (stretching) that I do because I want the results (flexibility) and I would love it if I could have more of the result (flexibility) with less of the work (stretching). And I really wish I was still young when I didn’t have to do the work (stretching) to have all the results (flexibility). Hey – when I was young I didn’t have to do laundry either because my mom did it. So maybe this whole article should be about joining the Lost Boys with Peter Pan in Neverland and doing whatever the hell I want and not worrying about whether or not I should be doing something else. Oh, except I am already grown up and then it is the lost BOYS and I am not a boy and Tinkerbell and Wendy were more mother figures, and…. Well, basically that possible plan is just screwed all to hell.
So, therefore, I guess we are back to coping and dealing and moving on with – what was it again? Oh, yes, life. So, we all have moments of self doubt. I was in Chicago this month for the Windy City Burlesque Festival and I was, once again, as I seem to be every time I go do a festival, reminded of how empowering and humbling these experiences can be. Empowering because you are there, you were selected, you are performing. And humbling because you are surrounded by so many other wonderful performers with amazing skills and lovely costumes and great ideas. I often lament that I will never be “that good or that amazing” as someone else. And I probably won’t be. I have a full time plus job, a husband, pets, other interests. I am getting older. But that doesn’t mean I am not good at what I do. I don’t have to be the best at something to make it worth it for me to do it. Just because someone else’s light is brighter than mine does not mean that mine isn’t giving light out to someone and certainly does not mean that I have to put it out.
I am not saying it is easy. The emotions, the feelings, the questions. Wondering if you are spending enough time on the right things and wondering what directions you want to go in life and in art – they are difficult questions. But whatever you decide is fine. Whatever direction you decide to go is the one you should take. Don’t beat yourself up for something else yet again. Have faith in yourself and go forward and succeed. Even if you don’t succeed as well as someone else succeeds, it does not make you a failure. We live in a society that often undervalues everyone but those at the top. But the CEO of the Fortune 500 company cannot have a successful firm without the workers doing the work and an amazing basketball player can’t win the game by throwing baskets if the rest of the team isn’t effectively guarding and protecting him and the ball.
Just keep moving forward, or sideways, or hell, even backward… if it is the way you want to move. Don’t doubt yourself as long as you are doing it and being it and living it. You won’t always be as successful as you want with each effort you make, but every step is going to get you somewhere, even if it is just a lesson learned, as long as you let it…
Good luck and much love —
 Even though I have been accused of being an alien, I am not one, actually.
 I am a firm believer that critters have emotions and personalities, but I would be fascinated to know the type of animals, if any, that have the level of self-doubt and self-questioning that humans do. I doubt that alligators lay around waiting for their next meal thinking to themselves, “I am just laying here. Should I be swimming around more? Am I going to get fat since I am not swimming around right now? That was an awfully big calf I ate yesterday.” Or rats think, “Gee, I only went out tonight on three scavenging trips. Is the ½ slice of pizza, the crust of bread, and bag of rotting shrimp enough or should I go out and scavenge some more tonight? Maybe I should have gotten the rotten orange instead of the bag of rotting shrimp? Not sure… Am I making the right life decisions? Will I get scurvy now?”
 Damned scary that I am using a sports analogy, isn’t it?