I Wasn't Ready
WALLFLOWER: FINAL CHAPTER
I convinced myself I wouldn’t get it.
Why would I? It’s only my first time.
There have to be thousands of other talented people who’ve also applied.
I’ll keep learning and try again next year.
The rationalizations spiraled through my mind restlessly long before I knew the result.
Back in October 2021, I applied for a grant to produce a show concept I’d been working on with my creative partner that year. Five months later, I received the notification that we’d been awarded the grant with enough money to produce the four episodes we envisioned and to hire a full cast and crew of over forty people.
My partner was elated.
“YES! I fucking knew it. We’re gonna do this!”
His conviction was palpable. I tried his confidence on for a few days as I happily shared the news with my closest friends. But when the excitement and visions of possibility wore off at night, I was alone with my anxious thoughts. What would I have to say? Would anyone else relate? Would they even care to watch? The voices in my head grew louder.
Everyone’s counting on me.
I’m not ready.
God, please help me get through this season.
I pleaded for the strength and courage to face something I’d been running away from since I was twelve years old.
Year after year, with each experience, I ran further away from letting people truly see me. There was the girl who refused to leave home without a sweatshirt tied snuggly around her waist to avoid being exposed to the watchful eyes of others’ appraisals. The pre-teen who felt most comfortable hiding in plain sight, as her best friend’s magnetic personality took centre stage on the stoop of “the complex.” This evolved into the woman whose decade-long career as a ghostwriter provides the words that help others write the stories they feel called to share but avoids at all costs telling my own.
Hidden safely behind others’ dreams, words, and larger-than-life personalities, I distanced myself from my voice. But I can no longer run from it.
As I write my show, Wallflower, and put it out into the world to watch, I’m re-discovering my own story. I’m uncovering dreams, ideas, and thoughts I had buried deep within. Concealed by the fear of having my name attached to anything without the confidence that my output would be received with loud claps and standing ovations.
But stories of perfection aren’t really what we want to see on our screens. When I was 12 years old and struggling with quiet moments of self-doubt, I craved seeing people who looked like me on TV who were navigating their insecurities. Characters who didn’t always have the right things to say at the right moments. Who showed up imperfectly as they worked through the sharp turns of life.
Just show up. Those are the words I repeat over and over again to myself as I lead my own pep talks to silence the thoughts at night. Showing up is what I’ve decided I’ll do as I learn how to put myself out there, stumble and persist over and over again.
Ready or not, I’m here.
Thanks for reading Love & Literature! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.