I would like to introduce you to The Petulant Princess.
She’s entitled, she’s a whiner, and she’s a brat; prone to temper tantrums worthy of any 6 year old. She often feels neglected and disconnected from the world, all while complaining that people exhaust and irritate her. The Princess enjoys ranting about injustices placed upon her. She does this while folding up her arms and stamping her stamping her feet. For attention, of course. She speaks constantly of herself and her struggles as the ultimate victim. Often spewing out word of negativity with out first thinking about how her words might land upon others. It’s her against the world. The Petulant Princess doesn’t know why people don’t like her. All she really wants is to be loved and accepted.
The Petulant Princess is the alter ego Noble Queen. I am the Noble Queen and the Petulant Princess is me, at my worst.
Unfortunately, I have been spending a little bit too much time with the Princess lately.
Quite recently I found myself neck deep and drowning in an old pattern. One which I had meant to leave behind years ago. It was a pattern of resentfulness and pessimism completed with a measure of complaining that was so unbecoming and unattractive that it literally drove people away from me. This pattern I speak of revolved around my work in film and it goes a little something like this:
I wake up full of hope and motivation.
I eat well & train for multiple hours everyday. Training or thinking about training consumes my day.
I hustle. Do the phone calls and emails that is customary to the industry. Show up at all the places. Hang out with all the people.
I communicate my availability, work on my skills and make room for work to come into my life.
I do all this with the expectation that this is what will bring me work.
This is how one plays the game.
What actually happens is, there is a subtle shift in my energy. Confidence slides into entitlement with a hint of desperation. I begin feeling left out and disconnected. (A pattern that goes way back to when I was a child.) I don’t hear back from coordinators, I don’t receive any calls for work while the people around me are double or even triple booked. I joke and say “I’ll take some of that work off your hands.” Inside, a fire of jealously sparks; The Petulant Princess begins to awaken and claim her victim hood. “Why me? Why doesn’t anyone ever call me?”
What follows is usually a downward spiral that leads to over training (because clearly I am not good enough, that’s why I am not getting hired,) stress, anxiety and general pessimism which inevitably leads to burn out. My conversations go from delightful conversations about life, ideas, or other non-work related topics to resent filled, rants about how unfair this industry is…to me.(The Princess.) I can feel the repulsion of my peers as I am saying it but sometimes the ball is rolling so fast that I don’t even know how to stop it. The end result is usually me feeling heart broken that the amount of energy I have poured into this career isn’t coming back to me and I can never figure out why.
I have come to name this pattern my “Vancouver Pattern.” And I honestly thought I had left it behind when I moved away from the city in June of 2015. One of the reasons I left Vancouver was because I felt I had hit the glass ceiling. That I had run this pattern multiple times, in many different forms, trying all sorts of different solutions only to be met with the same results. What’s that quote from someone? Einstein maybe? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results?
Well, that was exactly what I was doing. And it wasn’t serving me! In the 2.5 years I was away form Vancouver, I did a lot of healing. In that time, I also established my own following, business and bold path. I really settled into who I was and what I was about. Authenticity became key. And I actually reconciled my story around stunts. Rather than focusing on what stunts didn’t give me, I saw the gifts that it had brought me. Mainly, courage and community. I was sure I had left that old resentful Vancouver pattern behind for good.
When I was intuitively called back to Vancouver in the spring of 2017, one of my priorities was change my old "Vancouver Pattern" and not engage with the old ideas. I knew coming back into the city that it would be very easy for me to fall back into that space so I would have to be extra vigilant about how and where I was spending my time and why.
I was determined to change the story of Vancouver. And it all started out well! I came into the city with 3 auditions right out of the gates; I barely had time to put my stuff down. I informed the stunt community that I was here and did my due diligence on that level. Even though I wasn’t going to play that old game with myself, it was a smart idea to spread the word of my arrival. Surely, I would not get caught up in that pattern as long as I was aware.
I was also excited to get back into training and see my friends. After training on my own for 2 years, and really honing in my specialized skills, I was excited to get back to the dojo with everyone and put my unique work into context.
Still not falling into that old Vancouver trap. Nope, not at all.
And as luck would have it, I was extremely busy during the summer…between my summer workshops all over the country, I had a bunch of stunt days pop up in just the right places. I was really excited that Vancouver was turning a page and the story was changing. Yet…my lifestyle was starting to resemble a familiar story I had once lived. I came to Vancouver with the intention of expanding my following, building up my speaking career and really prioritizing my creative projects. None of which I was doing, ya I was working but I wasn’t doing MY work.
I was turning back into Michelle, the stunt woman. And while she exists in my reality and is happy when she gets to play, she is not the entire piece of the puzzle. She is in fact a very small piece.
September came up quickly and all that momentum I was feeling dissipated. As the days and weeks quickly passed, I was found myself again in a very familiar pattern. Over training, complaining and waiting around for someone to hand me work. The Old Vancouver Pattern had invaded my life with The Petulant Princess ahold of the wheel. And she is a really terrible driver!! The Noble Queen had apparently gone off to take a nap, citing exhaustion and boredom. So the very thing I had been trying to avoid came crashing down around me hitting me like a ton of bricks! I broke down. How the hell was I back here again?! How was I in the same situation I had been in 3-4-5 years ago?! Had nothing changed? Had I invested all of this time effort and money into evolving for nothing? What the fuck??
And here is the honest truth of it! I let myself fall into that old Vancouver Pattern because of fear. Fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of starting something new. I have known for YEARS that the key to my success does not lie with following the rules or playing the game. I know that stunts is not my full path…not saying I am completely done with it, I simply mean it’s only a small part of my story. I know that by putting my sole attention into I am doing a disservice to myself. That is an example of me playing small, staying safe in a world that I know. That is my comfort zone. No, what I am here to do is to BECOME and truly EMBODY that Noble Queen. To step into being the leader I have always been. And in order for me to do that I have to shift the words and lifestyle that I have know my ENTIRE life.
It’s about building my kingdom and inviting everyone in to see it!
Sitting around waiting for work doesn’t work for me.
What does work is me filling my reality with what I want to do and what I want to create. Those times and moments when I fall into that space of resentment and complaining are simply because I have fallen asleep at the wheel and forgotten how wonderful the opportunity is to be working in the film industry. Forgotten to have gratitude for the opportunity to work with my friends, doing really cool things, in really cool costumes and in really cool places. Any days on set are a tremendous gift! One that I’m happy to be a part of. One that I will extend my full effort and integrity too when the work is there for me.
But me waiting around and playing small because I am too afraid to take a bold step forward for my own life? That doesn’t exist anymore. The Noble Queen does not associate herself with such small ideas or thought patterns. She is the ruler of these lands and she will blaze a path before her with courage, confidence and grace.
I am owning my shit. I am not a victim. Everything in my reality, I create myself! And although I am human, the resentful, negative patterns are not necessary and not who I am. That’s the Petulant Princess and I am not her.
I am the Noble Queen and it’s time to become acordingly.
Why Failure Doesn't Exist
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