The other day, I watched Jim Carrey’s commencement speech for Maharishi University. I have loved Jim Carrey since I first came across him as Fire Marshall Bill in the 90′s. A polarizing personality, his commitment to being absolutely ridiculous had me in awe. My inner people-pleaser felt completely freed and the real me grabbed a taste of what life could be like if I just didn’t give a shit what everyone wanted me to be.
There were different parts of his speech that I found profound, one of them being this quote:
How true that is. And how deep the ego, society or some little invisible gremlin living under my childhood bed has rooted that need for acceptance deep within me. There is a part of me that GRASPS how insane this is…but there is this other part of me that is more interested with other people accepting me.
Because I know how energy works (via The Law of Attraction), I am 100% certain that I can shift this belief to one of self-acceptance, self-love and living my life for ME so that others can feel free to do the same thing.
Among other things, I am a writer. So that means I blog here…but I have also written a romantic comedy screenplay, tons of poetry and am presently working on a sci-fi action novel right now. On top of that, I’ve recently received the most amazing story idea for a screenplay that I just have to flesh out. I have also pursued, in fits and spurts, an acting career. It would go some places and then I would get infuriated by the business and walk away, never to act again.
These two passions of mine: writing and acting, have this surface level, fundamental need for acceptance. As a screenwriter, I cannot be satisfied in writing pages of words, as I do with my poetry, and feel contented to tuck them away under my pillow at night. A screenplay begs to be transformed into a film, so that real live people like you and me, can go and absorb the story through our eyes and ears in a theatre or in the comfort of our living rooms.
I have sent out query letters by the hundred maybe? And I have heard back from a couple that my screenplay ain’t that great (ACCORDING TO THEM). haha. I don’t care now. Because I love it. And I think it’s hilarious and quirky. So, whatever THEY think, just doesn’t bother me in this very moment right now.
At first, it STINGS like a bee…to hear that something you have poured your heart into is…well…just not acceptable. The irony within all of this, is that I agree with Jim Carrey…that this belief that my work needs to be accepted, that I need to be accepted…is the very reason why I am remaining invisible. Why my blog has some traction, but nary a viral post in sight.
I used to be stuck in this loop of not knowing how to stop. Like an addict, I would write and write, hoping upon hope that SOMEONE outside of me would grant me some kind of “REAL WRITER’S BADGE,” but that never really happened. So, I’ve granted it to myself.
Here’s how it goes, I write, you read, watch or listen. And that’s it. I write for me. I write so that you can be freed from your own bullshit. My writing, including my blogs and all the other stuff I write is fucking awesome. I LOVE telling stories. And watching plots twist and turn and the people who interact within those plots rise above the hem and haw of daily life and become bigger than they think they are.
Which brings me to my chameleon.
I don’t own a chameleon, but I’ve played one
on TV in real life.
Back when I was interviewing for jobs when I was around 24. I bought books on interviewing. I also googled the hell out of interviewing techniques. I was prepared for anything. Something that stood out to me was this notion of being a chameleon and how that’s supposedly a good thing. I read about this idea and I really ran with it, because it was ME. I wasn’t fibbing or fabricating the truth even a little bit. I was a full fledged chameleon.
Whoever I thought you wanted me to be, POOF…I could become that. I felt such an intense need to fulfill this role, that it was one of my best interview slam dunks. I had lots of ways I had done this in the past and had made myself very successful in doing this. Last night, as I was sitting on the sofa I glanced on the floor at my 19 month old son’s book.
The page read, “Who changes their skin color to stay hidden?” When you open the flap, “A Chameleon” is the answer…and there is a pretty picture of a chameleon. So there you have it, if you want to remain invisible…act like a chameleon! I realized that this need for acceptance had permeated my life very deeply. If you are interviewing for a job, please PLEASE do not use this as a tool. Words create our reality. And I promise you there is no job in the world that is worth you losing your own sense of inner direction. Do not become a chameleon.
There were many other points in Jim’s speech that I just loved, but I feel like I want to keep the focus here. On these points. When will you be ready to stop becoming the person other people need you to be? When will who you are be enough? I have decided that who I am right now is fucking awesome. And I’m 100% certain the same goes for you.
The next time you try to bend to please another person…STOP!
If you’re reading this and you have any interest in hearing about my other writing, send me an email. I’m always up to chat about that stuff. email@example.com
Here is Jim Carrey’s full commencement speech.