Last night the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line opened and once again theater nuts can see the infamous musical in its new incarnation (it originally ran 1976-1990 and is like “THE” musical by which so many others are measured in terms of success and length of run). Once again, theatergoers can ask the timeless question “Who am I anyway? Am I my resume? That is a picture of a person I don’t know…”.
I always found this lyric particularly moving because it seems that as kids we act out the essence of who we really are, until someone tells us not to. You know, as a kid we want to eat the whole plate of cookies at the party until some adult informs us “Don’t Be Selfish”, so we morph into a person that views both eating all the cookies and taking time for ourselves in the same light — guilt — selfish — bad. And this goes on and on for some women until they wake up one day, look at the resume or their life and wonder — who the hell is that person in the mirror? I don’t think I know her.
How does this happen? Some of it happens from being told what we “should” do, so we do it even if our heart doesn’t agree. Sometimes it is because we stopped listening to what’s inside of us so we just do what everyone else does. Perhaps we don’t really know what we want (and hell, who REALLY does at 18 years old when they go to college) so we rationalize ourselves into courses of study and job interviews that look “safe” or “secure” despite the fact that they will crush our spirit. For some of us it gets even worse as we struggle with our sexuality, the dance of coming out (or not) and what that all means in terms of how others view us and what (we think) is possible for us.
As someone who graduated from college with a degree in something that doesn’t turn me on (accounting), I initially pursued corporate jobs that someone else advised me to pursue. Fortunately for me, many of them didn’t pan out because I wouldn’t have lasted 6 months as a road warrior, overtime innundated public accountant. By the time I was a few years out of college I had a job and a resume that had nothing to do with who I really am so I started to explore “what’s next”. With more years, life experiences, and wisdom under my belt I can now appreciate all that I’ve done as learning experiences and stepping stones that have served or will serve me in some way. But, it was not always that way and for some — living the fictional picture of a resume that doesn’t match who they really are can become a debilitating situation.
How about you? If you sit down, get quiet and look around at all areas of your life as well as your written resume/portfolio, what do you see? Do you see the real you? Does the image excite you about where you’ve been and where you’re headed? Or, do you look around and say “Oh crap, what the heck is THIS??” Maybe, perhaps you see something somewhere in between…like parts of your life are great, other parts are ok, and still other areas are not so inspiring.
Let me know what you think by posting a comment….
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