Monday, January 14, 2013

Taking My Dissatisfaction Out To Dinner

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Last night Lena Dunham, a mere 26 years old, won Golden Globes for best actress and best television comedy for her creation, GIRLS. She has received a lot of criticism and praise for what she’s done. The criticism comes mostly from people who probably want to be where she is and are not. Like those film friends we all have who sit around and critique everything wrong with a movie, but don’t go out and make movies themselves—even though they are always proclaiming their desire to do so---(ooh, laying the slap down on a Monday morning!)

I sat in my fuzzy socks and stretchy pants sipping tea last night and watched Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Waltz (bravo!), and Claire Danes (again!) win these little statues of validation. I admit. I was envious. I just sat there.

Sat and thought about my writing career which doesn’t really exist. Sat and thought about my photography business (which is still so tiny).  Sat and thought about my role in helping women in this world. Sat and thought about all the big dreams I have and how so many of them are in the process of coming true—but how there is always a sense of dissatisfaction in areas where people would be shocked to know you are dissatisfied.

While many people try to avoid feeling the dissatisfaction—or drown them out temporarily in chocolate and alcohol (and yes, I’ve definitely done both), I’ve grown to savor those tiny dagger-like feelings that creep into my psyche ever morning and every night. I’ve learned to temper them, feel them, thrive from them, and make changes based on them. Dissatisfaction, in a sense, has driven my life since I was 7.

Some people might think it sounds awful.  Some people might raise eyebrows at me and inwardly feel bad that I embrace such feelings. But the artists out there, those artists, they raise a glass in camaraderie with me.

Do you know what's already happened this year? A million Beethovens were born. A million Oprahs. A million Einsteins. A million Florence Nightingales. A million Martin Luther Kings. And a million Madame Curies, to name just a few. Each as capable of moving mountains, touching lives, and leaving the world far better than they found it.

But which ones will have the courage to do whatever little they can each day, with what little they've got, from where they are, before their baby steps turn into giant leaps for the legions who will follow them?

I truly believe it’s the ones who feel a little dissatisfied every day--and that dissatisfaction drives them to ultimate creation.

3 comments:

Rowena said...

You give me something to think about. Perhaps I should court my dissatisfaction instead of letting it get me down.

Jenny said...

I love this post. I think dissatisfaction truly does inspire creation.

Newt said...

Yeah you can take that energy and channel it into self-pity or a thousand other non-constructive outlets, or you can use it to drive the process of creation or change. It's easy to become complacent in a world where everything we want and desire is at our fingertips. Food, pleasure, entertainment... all very easily obtained. But for the makers and the do-ers, that complacency isn't really truly a satisfying existence, can be numbing even. Overcoming the inertia of things as they are requires us to really face the fact that things aren't as we would like, to OWN it.