Big Time

I come from a group of people called “Underachievers”. Bart Simpson never made me feel good about myself, the joke of his self-declared pride in the title is because a *lot* of us were labelled thus in school, an enormous number of us. It’s a catch-all that explains away the vagueries of dealing with the problem that not a single human can be defined in any particlular way.

When I was a kid, it was underachiever, when I got a little older, everyone was dyslexic, and then when I got into college, ADD was all the rage. Parts of some of this are applicable to some of us, but old schoolers like “Underachiever” because it assigns blame on the individual, and “disorder”s imply that the fucking snotty little shit isn’t responsible for failing. And MAN these creeky old sadists hate nothing more than a feel-good argument for why all people deserve a fair shot.

My favorite of the underachiever excuses? “Fear of success.” I love the idea that some bleeding hearts have watched me score in the 99th percentile and still fail out of school, and the assumption was that, somehow, I was scared of doing well. My laziness was seen as fear, that somehow I wanted to keep my head low and expectations lower in order to avoid even taking a chance on succeeding.

I don’t know, there are crusty chunks of my heart and soul that are covered in the viscous dark tar drippings of my hostility and misanthropy that are so hidden even from me that I can’t know everything about my own fears. That being said, I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being a fading flower, I tend to be pretty goddam obnoxious, and if I was afraid of success, I don’t know why I would not only try to get leads in every show I hear about, but brag about every single little thing that could be seen as a victory.

But I can say this, through the course of my life, when failure has occurred, and it has, believe me, I’ve done what I could to investigate every possible external source. People misunderstand me, people would cast me if I was thin, I would have more work if people were more honest, I haven’t gotten the same shakes that other more obvious people have… all of that. I’ve looked for reasons beyond me.

This has changed. I know how many of these excuses are invention, and the answer is *ALL* of it is. I just can’t stand living a life of mediocrity any more. I *really* don’t care what the external forces of my past failures are, there are people who succeed, and these people aren’t thinner or smarter or whatever than I am, they just haven’t let shit get them down, and they haven’t lived with a built in excuse for why their shit isn’t selling.

Our little company has several properties now that we think can sell, and we’ve got good people on the periphery. The people in the professional world that I am close to are all people that I admire so deeply and so simply that I have no concerns about whether they can help me, or even if they will when the walls come crumbling down. I’ve also got ways that I can make a living and build further successes that just take a little hard work and committment on my part. If I could just flake out 40% less than I have in the past, I wouldn’t have the chance to wonder why the world wasn’t giving me the life i felt I deserved, I would be earning it.

I’m saying, just for a minute, that there are things that happen to you and people say, “are you ready for this?” You have a wedding, you have a huge opening of a show, whatever, and someone is sitting next to you backstage when the curtain comes down and someone says “Are you ready for this?”

The answer is yes. I’m absolutely ready. For everything that’s coming my way, if it’s bad then I’m not gonna look for the external reasons, and if it’s good, then I’m gonna celebrate my-damn-self. If I was ever afraid of success, which I doubt, I’m not anymore.