Today I got some good news, it might be kind of a big deal, but I’m not 100% sure yet. And I hate to be vague, I just have to wait for official people to announce things before I can. And the news isn’t exactly what I’m talking about anyway, so forget what it could specifically be for a sec, and go with me… I got this good, potentially huge, news, and I… Well, at first I was slightly happy about it, and slowly that faded away until I felt guilty and sad and helpless and anxious, but mostly ashamed at having such a lame reaction.
Because I mean, IT’S GOOD NEWS! I SHOULD be excited. I should be singing from the rooftops and drinking champagne! But I don’t feel like that at all. And what’s worse is that I’m a total asshole for feeling this because there are a ton of people who didn’t get in. THEY deserve these feelings, not me. And me feeling them is really just a slap in their face.
This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way. There was a week after I’d only been submitting plays for about six months or so when I got notified that I’d gotten a staged reading of one play and production of another in the same week. I wanted to crawl into the deepest darkest hole and die. And what is that about? These are things I want, these are things that I work HARD to get, but when they materialize it’s like I’ve seen a ghost, or just found out how I’ll eventually die, or something.
Since that first time I’ve had these feelings pop up ever so often, usually about twice a year, and usually after I find out something that will help my career as a writer. Eventually they dissipate, and I get used to my new surroundings, but then another big thing comes and boom, right back on my ass feeling cold and alone and ashamed.
Rejections on the other hand, roll off me like water. I expect to get rejected. Sure sometimes they sting for a minute, but if you’re going to get upset over every rejection you’re asking for a lot of pain, because rejection is practically the name of the playwriting game.
So, what’s wrong with me? Am I the only one who cowers in fear when opportunity knocks? Am I the biggest jerk in the world for not just feeling happy and proud? And, what I’d really like to know, am I the only one who ever feels like this?
Until I figure out how to solve this puzzle, I’ll put on my game face and count the days until the knot in my stomach unties itself. I WILL feel happy about this, I know it. Until then, fake it ‘til you make it, right?