Musings of a young black weirdo

Posts tagged ‘opportunity’

Art Imitates Life?

So I’m watching Dance Moms (LOVE this show!) and the episode that’s on now is really interesting to me. I’ve seen it before, but this time, it struck a chord in me. The storyline is that one of the moms whose daughter quit Abby Lee’s studio actually has her own studio. So as Abby Lee’s dancers are getting ready to go to LA for a competition, so are they. The thing is, though, that the other studio’s strategy for winning the competition is based on what Abby Lee and her dancers are doing. She’s basically getting revenge on Abby Lee for playing her daughter to the left.

That’s the backstory. The reason why this got me thinking is because this mom is so determined to get revenge on Abby Lee that she goes out of her way to try to sabotage her. It’s almost comical, but it reeks of desperation and jealousy. I started thinking about life in general and how some people do this even though cameras don’t follow them around. How many times has someone gotten something you wanted (or thought you deserved), and you blamed the other person instead of looking at yourself? When we’re rejected or we lose something (or someone) we wanted, we almost never want to stop and think about how we can improve instead of spending all our time and energy dissecting how the other person won or why they got chosen.

Instead of considering that Abby Lee’s dancers practiced harder, were more flexible, had a natural gift, etc., this woman assumed that Abby Lee was cheating. Instead of training her dancers more or giving them harder dance routines, she looked for a sneaky way to try to win. And in the end, she lost a lot more than just the competition.

My point is that it’s always easy to blame the other person (He got the job because he’s white/a man!**/She got an A because she cheated on the tests! etc.) instead of looking at ourselves and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. At the end of the day, the other person has nothing to do with why you didn’t get the job, grades, man/woman, shoes, car, etc. that you wanted. It all has to do with you. So next time you get rejected (rejection is inevitable; it happens to everyone), instead of dissecting why the other person got what you wanted, figure out why you didn’t get it and make changes and improvements accordingly.

**Disclaimer: I realize that racism and sexism (and the other -isms) are very real, and I don’t mean to downplay racism as it occurs in everyday life; however, let’s be real here. If a company/school/program won’t pick you because of your race, gender, religion, etc., then it’s probably a poisonous environment in which to work anyways. Consider it a blessing in disguise. 🙂

Phobophobia (yes, it’s a real word).

There’s not much I’m afraid of in the world. I’m not afraid of public speaking, snakes, death, or the guy on the oatmeal box (shoutout to anybody that gets the 90’s reference :D).

I won’t lie though, there are a few things that truly do scare me. I’m afraid of being alone. More specifically, I’m afraid of being an old cat lady. I’m afraid of being that one lady that lives up on a hill in the middle of the woods by herself with all her cats. No family. No friends. No one that would say anything good at my funeral or cry when they heard of my death. I was really excited about moving to
Florida (before the job fell through) until I realized that I would be alone in a new place with no friends or family close by. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t get the job, so then I wouldn’t have to go to Florida all by myself. I would never admit that to my mama or anyone else that knows me as the one that hops on a plane the first chance she gets, but it’s true. I was afraid of being by myself.

I’m also afraid of failure and rejection. I’m afraid of trying for things because I don’t think I’ll get them. My best friend told me about a job in Evansville as director of an African-American museum that I should apply for. She was really excited for me and thought I would be perfect for the job. I didn’t think I was qualified enough for it. I told her I would look at the job and think about applying. Did I apply? Nope. And guess what? I didn’t get the job. I know that’s obvious, but sometimes, we don’t realize that we solidify our fate when we refuse to try for things that may be out of our reach.

I say all of this to say that fear tends to hold us back more than any one person can, and usually it’s the fear of rejection or failure. But we’ve all been rejected. We’ve all failed. We didn’t die. We woke up the next morning and moved on with our lives. So why is it that we are so afraid of trying? What’s the worst thing that can happen? If we fail, that means something greater is on its way. Failure might punch us in the face and we might end up with a black eye, but next time, we’ll know when to bob and weave.

I really love this quotation by Wayne Gretzky:

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

You never know what opportunities you’re missing because you’re afraid of trying for them. And trust me, I’m speaking to myself just as much as I am to you. I’m really good at talking myself out of things because I figure I won’t get it. You deserve what you settle for, so why not reach for the stars? Maybe you’ll be surprised. 🙂