By: Megan Minutillo, Regular Contributor
People are all hot and bothered over comparisons lately.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison is the devil’s handiwork. Comparison this, comparison that.
And while I agree that you cannot compare yourself to everyone else’s Instagram feeds or Facebook posts or various tweets and accomplishments, I do think there is one person you can compare yourself to, and that’s the you of yesteryear.
See, I work in the theater.
And while it’s beautiful, and fulfilling, and electrifying, and life changing – it is also quite tumultuous.
And sometimes, when there is change, it’s hard to recognize it, to see it, to feel it.
And then you feel like you’re not accomplishing much of anything, and well, that’s just a bad path to start going down.
So sometimes, it’s good to remember what you did yesterday, and see how that’s different from today.
I have this little stack of show tickets that I keep by my desk, thumbtacked ever so artistically onto this cork board with all the show notes and story cards that I have going on at once.
And while to some it may seem silly, for me, well, those tickets are what keep me going.
Cause they all say $0.00. Or Comp.
They are a constant reminder, in bold face black and white print of how far I’ve come, and how far I aim to go.
See, when I first started in this path, if you had told me that people were going to be giving me free tickets to Broadway shows, I might’ve laughed. Or said yea, from your mouth to Gods ears – or something cliché like that.
I would’ve said, shit, I hope so. Yeah, that’d be great. Or, one can only hope.
I don't know if that version of myself would’ve believed it. I would’ve hoped for it. I would’ve dreamed for it. But I don’t know if I would’ve believed it.
But hey – it’s no longer a dream. It’s a reality. The little website that could is growing, and inspiring, and doing everything that I wanted it to and then some.
But let’s make no mistake about this - I still have to hustle. Life is far from a coastal ride. An artist life is a daily hustle, a juggling act, a battle of wills.
And sure, there are days when I want to pull my hair out. When I compare myself to other friends in different professions – who have houses and husbands and children and white picket fences and the cookie cutter lifestyle.
And I often stop and say, what the hell am I doing? Is this the smartest decision? Look at what they have – shouldn’t I have that, too?
And then I slap myself real quick.
Cause their bliss is not mine. What makes their heart dance probably makes mine go into cardiac arrest.
This, I say to myself, is a bad comparison. Cause when you think about it, comparing yourself to those around you is never a good idea.
And so I take a breath, and think of where I was last year, and then I smile. And I remember the words I’ve written and the shows that I’ve produced and directed since then, and my heart starts to dance.
And it’s at that point when I remember my little stack of tickets and think, gee, look and how far you have come. Let’s see how far we can go.
When was the last time you took a peek behind you to give you a boost on where you're headed or to help take stock of where you are now? Give it a shot and tell us what you find out here!
Megan Minutillo is a playwright, director, and founder of the arts and education site, The Write Teacher(s). Her articles have appeared in HelloGiggles, So Worth Loving, I Am the Modern Career Girl, and Glass Heel. She is currently at work adapting her show, Ghosts in My Vodka, into a musical.
image via newcreation.ie