Monday, October 17, 2011
I have been watching the new show on television called THE X FACTOR. You know, it's the one Simon Cowell started where people with great talent get their shot to make it big? I don't know what it is, but something about watching people who have such extraordinary talent get a chance at their dream is so inspiring to me, and if you were looking in my window at night when I watch it, you'd probably see me in tears more often than naught.
I spent a lot of time yesterday getting caught up on DVR'd episodes, and it somehow got me really thinking about my own life. I watched all this amazing talent and all these extraordinary stories, and I found myself wondering when my "X Factor" moment would be....
You know, I've been looking for it all my life. That moment that would define me, and although there have been many, I wonder why it is that I can't feel like I've completed the one big thing.
When I was younger, it was fortune and fame. In graduate school, I was going to become the next big designer. I would design on Broadway, win a Tony, and be forever known as one of the greats. Then I got married, and my life priorities shifted a little. I wanted a home, and security. Then, I became a mom, and trust me....these two births probably have defined my life more than anything I have EVER done. I wanted to be the best mom. I wanted to raise healthy and happy kids. I gave up the dream of the Tony and decided to stay home. Then Andy was born, and my entire being was shook to the core when his health was not good and we wondered if he would even be with us for long. Suddenly my moment was to stand strong for this little boy and make sure people were listening to what he needed. I realized that my accolades were now making sure my children had good lives and grew up to understand what it is to be a good person. The "moments" I had dreamed of were growing quiet. They were changing. They were becoming something much less glamourous and exciting, and were instead something that made only a quiet difference with no one looking.
I think what I need to remind myself of is that although my moment wasn't grand and loud and in the spotlight, I still experience them. Just on a different level.
I struggle all the time with feelings of inadequacy and low self worth. I think on some level I am still looking for that one moment that will make my life complete. But what I need to realize is that every day has an "X Factor" moment in it, no matter how small. The moments in our lives that define who we are aren't always glaring out there for the world to see. Sometimes they sneak up on us, and we have to figure them out for ourselves.
Today I didn't want to get up. I have been struggling with getting back on the exercise bandwagon since hurting my knee, and I found myself once again in the cycle of shame and negative thinking. I feel like I have lost some ground, and am incredibly hard on myself for that. I had an appointment with my trainer this morning, and although I didn't want to, I went and gave it my all. Unfortunately my all today wasn't what I wanted. I was tired, my muscles were fatiguing, and we ended up the session with a lot of heavy stretching. I kept apologizing and feeling bad, and actually was in tears at one point because I was so disappointed in myself. (granted, the tears were masked by the sweat, so I don't think anyone saw. ha) I left the appointment and sat in my car and cried. I felt like such a failure....and again my mind wandered back to this wondering when my moment would be. I was sitting in my car, crying, disappointed, and feeling sad...
And that's when it hit me. This WAS my moment. My "X Factor" moment for the day was sitting in that car and realizing that although I felt like crap, my body hurt, I was tired, and I didn't want to do it....I DID do it. I went, I gave what I had, and I fought to get back on track. I'm not saying it's all roses and happiness now, but at least I know that I am not sitting and wallowing. I am DOING something. That was MY moment. The defining moment for me today when I chose not to give up and let the voices in my head win. My defining moments aren't grand moments when all my dreams are realized on a world stage. I gave that dream up to live a different life. My defining moments happen quietly when I realize that once again I have taken a step forward on a journey that is taking a LONG damned time.
And although it won't get me a $5,000,000 recording contract, a Tony award, or the accolades of anyone but myself, I think even Simon would get it.....and I think he'd be proud.