The other day, as I was bouncing around Facebook, procrastinating on the mound of work I really needed to do, I came across a fun video clip of Mandy Patinkin riding in the back of a cab, reciting his infamous “My name is…” lines with the cab driver.
The magic that is the Facebook algorithm then led me to a NY Times article about Mandy titled “I behaved abominably.” Who wouldn’t click on that? Come on. The extended procrastination was totally justified.
I had to know what this man I have adored for countless years could possibly have done that he qualified as “abominable.” Turns out I’ve been rather busy and preoccupied these last… oh… 8 years and I missed all the drama about him walking off the set of Criminal Minds. Whoops.
In any case, that’s not my point here.
My point is this. At one moment in the NYT article, Mandy says
“I didn’t listen to myself,” Patinkin said. “I listened to all the relatives who said: ‘Yes, you win Tony awards, but how’s the movie career going? Are you a big movie star yet?’ I was in ‘Sunday in the Park,’ I was having this extraordinary life with Joe Papp in the Public Theater, but nothing was O.K., because I wasn’t a big movie star yet.”
This was after doing Princess Bride, after Chicago Hope, after he’d already won the hearts of billions of fans.
And all he heard were the voices in his head that said he wasn’t good enough.
Let that thought settle in your head for a minute. Mandy Patinkin, TV superstar, probably one of the most iconic movie actors of my life, renowned singer, larger than life, so well known that in Hollywood he’s known as “just” Mandy, worries that his career isn’t good enough because he’s not a big movie star.
While you’re mulling that over, let me share another tidbit that occurred this week.
While I was out for drinks with two friends (yes, sheesh girls, get over, it, you say something around me, it might well show up here. I’d apologize, but I’m just not all that sorry. Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas. Hang out with a writer… uh… be written about. Next round is on me.) and one of them mentioned that people often confuse her with another person she used to work with, because they both have dark curly hair.
Different heights. Radically different skin tones. Totally different body types. But hey, curly hair! Not even the same kinds of curls, but dark curly hair. Mind. Blown.
So here’s the moral of my two stories.
1) It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve accomplished, how great you are, there are still going to be people in your life who make you feel like you’re just not good enough.
No one is ever going to believe in you the way you need to believe in yourself. Stop looking outward to see if you’re on the right track and start looking inward instead. If you’re proud of where you’re going and what you’re doing let that fuel your self-worth.
2) We can spend hours futzing with our clothes, our shoes, our hair, and our make-up and unless we’re doing it because it makes us feel good, it’s all for nothing.
People see you through the lens of their own self-absorption. You might be thinking “Isn’t this a cute skirt? I love how these boots make me taller! I really wish I didn’t have that monster zit growing on my chin, but hey, cute eye shadow today!” and they’ll be thinking “Oh yay! Curls is here.” In short, stop worrying so much, you’re the only one who sees the imperfections.
So there you have it. Deep thoughts for the day. Seriously hoping my next post will not have to be titled “I don’t understand why none of my friends want to hang out with me any more.”
*What, too Buzzfeedy of a title?