Christine Macdonald

Author. Speaker. Recovering Narcissist.

Christine Macdonald

Christine Macdonald
Location
Southern, California, USA
Birthday
November 09
Company
www.poletosoul.com
Bio
Contributing author of The Moment (Harper Collins). Former stripper, current writer working on forthcoming memoir Pour Some Sugar On Me: Tales from an Ex-Stripper. Activist. Public Speaker. Cancer survivor.

MY RECENT POSTS

Christine Macdonald's Links

MY LINKS
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 19, 2012 12:49PM

Ruby Slippers: when we realize our worth

Rate: 12 Flag

JudyG

"You had the power all along, my dear" - Glinda the Good Witch

"No fucking WAY" - Dorothy

Yes fucking way.

When it comes to personal enlightenment, learning you had balls the whole time is a real pisser. A relief? Sure. A lesson in personal growth? I'll give you that. But the amount of time and energy it took to get there - well, you just can't get that back.

There's something to be said for living without confidence. The hours are great (why work on yourself, when you know you're going to fail?), you get to be your own boss, and there are never any surprises. Life is predictable. Rock on.

Can you imagine?

Some of us were raised with an emotional deficit; programmed to believe we're not worth the ruby slippers we're born with. We walk around thinking those sparkling gems are nothing more than bedazzled, dollar-store knock offs. Why bother clicking our heels, when home is the last place we want to be? Unlike Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz (who eventually got her shit together), we'd rather hang back on the yellow brick road, serving as landmines to personal happiness and fulfillment. It's not healthy, but hey, it's comfortable.

When I was nine, I auditioned for a part in the local production of Annie. I rehearsed my ass off, vibrating with anticipation. Since I can remember, I wanted to be on stage. I longed to be in The Club - that amazing group of fearless children, who transformed effortlessly in front of an audience. From the very first play I saw, I knew I was meant to be up there, instead of in the seats. I was born to be part of that unique tapestry of creative minds, with all the other fabulous little dreamers. After I didn't get the gig, I was crushed. Even more so than the day I learned Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were frauds. As I whaled in agony, my step-father felt compelled to comfort me. In typical Archie Bunker-esque fashion, he blurted out something to the effect of:  "why did you even try, I knew you wouldn't get it."

"Oh, that's just his way of protecting you, dear." Right on cue with the excuses, but I loved my mom for trying.

I knew you wouldn't get it. I knew you wouldn't get it. I knew you wouldn't get it.

After our little Hallmark moment, Dick (his real name) ordered me to stop crying, and raised his empty glass, rattling the ice like a butler bell. I fixed him another gin martini (three olives, a pinch of vermouth, light ice), and composed myself, making a mental note to never feel that kind of pain and disappointment again. And I didn't. That Annie experience would be my very first - and last theater audition. See how that works?

When it comes to following our dreams, it's natural to be afraid. Fear is our emotional receipt, proving the value of our personal investments. The greater the cost, the bigger the fear. The bigger the fear, the greater the reward. But what if we fail? Or even scarier - what if we succeed? That's the rush, isn't it - the beauty of taking risks? Besides, everybody knows it's more about the yellow brick road, than the man behind the curtain. Oh, fuck that, it's both.

Imagine if Dorothy knew she had the power all along, from the beginning. What a different movie, that would've been. Instead of soaking up each experience along the way, she may have clicked her heels right out of the gate. But that's not how life works. Our lessons are designed to unveil themselves with each experience. We learn them when we're supposed to. And if we don't, guess what? Glinda The Good Witch aint showing up until we do.

There are tons of Glindas out there. Each one, selflessly waving their "wake-up!" wands, hoping to set us free from self-doubt. They understand why we perhaps can't (or won't) see our full potential. But that doesn't stop them. They're badass bitches who'll keep reminding us of our worth.

After deciding to shun the theater spotlight, I continued to explore the creative world. This time, instead of rehearsing someone's words, I started writing mine. I was safe within the letters and pages, and was still able to feel the ultimate rush of free-falling within myself.

Actor, writer, science major, store manager, construction worker, therapist, hair stylist, assistant, jewelry designer, cab driver...whatever spikes our soul, let's DO IT.

It's taken me a long time to get here, but now, I say fuck whatever happened to me in childhood. Understanding where I come from does not mean I can't leave. Home is where I am now - in this moment. And with the help of the Glindas of the world, I'm realizing  - there really is no place like it.

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
yeah that is the current (thanks to u)
and also,as you well know, dear woman, the ANCIENT WISDOM
too:
"fuck whatever happened to me in childhood. Understanding where I come from does not mean I can't leave. Home is where I am now - in this moment"


~
past is herenow only.
in edited clips. buncha blah.
Thanks James. I supposed that's ONE thing we can embrace as we get older!
It was a good piece and it is good advice.

But to play "devil's advocate" for just a moment: There is something to be said for having the wisdom to give up on unrealistic goals. Say you really, really want to be an Olympic sprinter. If you are not a naturally fast person you can train every single day as hard as you can under the world's best coaches and you will never, ever make it to the Olympics. If you are a naturally fast person you can do the same thing and will almost certainly never, ever make it to the Olympics. The fastest people in the world are almost literally one in a billion. You can be faster than 99 percent of everyone else and still come nowhere near the Olympics. (Just to be clear: I never had any thoughts of going to the Olympics and I am not bitter that other people go and I don't.)

Living in an individualistic society is great and I love it, but I think we worship the individual so much that we lose sight of the fact that most people are, by definition, average. Oprah tells us that we can be anything we want to be, and it is good to believe that, but frankly she is very exceptional and most of us average people are no Oprah.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that we tell a room full of grade school kids, "Most of you are completely average."
I see nothing wrong with telling a roomful of schoolkids, "Most of you are pretty average and the way to become above average, or way above average, at *anything* is to work your ass off at it."

Telling everyone they're above average is at best fatuous and at worst, a serious abuse of mathematics.
I think there is a balance of providing support, and encouraging your kids to follow their dream - and allowing them to fail - while celebrating the fact they had the courage to try.

It's not the winning that matters, it's that you want to. To give your best, and being comfortable and confident with whatever the outcome, so long as you tried? THAT'S winning in and of itself.
You are one of the best writers on OS.
Great read and great advice!
Shine on you craZ diamond. We're the ones responsible for this...
Wish I'd said it so well myself.
Beautifully written. I love the insight that "home" is not in mmeoire sof dysfunctional family of origin but rather where you and your heart are now. You've probably seen some of the hysterical You Tube clips of "alternative scenes" in The Wizard of Oz movie, some of which make a similar point about Dorothy's most appropriate response to the Good Witch telling her she's always had the power. [r]
Beautifully written. I love the insight that "home" is not in mmeoire sof dysfunctional family of origin but rather where you and your heart are now. You've probably seen some of the hysterical You Tube clips of "alternative scenes" in The Wizard of Oz movie, some of which make a similar point about Dorothy's most appropriate response to the Good Witch telling her she's always had the power. [r]
This was a great piece for me to read today. I recently got an e-mail from a relative who has a history of smacking me down...and as old as I am, and with as much therapy as I've had, and understand of projection, I still found myself transported back to childhood, feeling that not-worthy pang. So reading this reminded me that I'm perfectly capable of not defining myself by other people's mishigas.
What a work! I am so lucky to read this great piece. PLEASE permit me to translate it into my native African language in order to share it with my facebook friends.
May your ink never dry!
The older I get the more I prefer clicking my not-so-high heels right out of the gate. I never like Glinda much either.
I can't tell you how much your post meant to me. This was just what I needed to read on a day when I felt like the same awkward, fat, insecure loser I was as a kid, teen, and young adult.

Now knocking on 60's door, I've never been happier or more content than I am right now. Thank you for articulating the reason why!
So beautifully said, Christine. And just FYI..you are worth all the diamonds, ruby slippers and every other precious thing in the world.. xoxoxo
So beautifully said, Christine. And just FYI..you are worth all the diamonds, ruby slippers and every other precious thing in the world.. xoxoxo
required reading for everybody who was told as a kid that the big times are only for the "special few - not the likes of us". Loved every word