Friday, December 30, 2011

Sometimes I wish people didn't compliment me so much.

And, no, this is NOT a fish for compliments.

This is not an excuse for me to list all of my good qualities and announce them to all four people who check this blog on a daily basis. (Hi, Matt!!!)

That was an honest statement.

Sometimes I wish people didn't compliment me so much.

I am always told that I am hilariously funny. I have to ignore that, because once you attempt to be funny, you're not funny anymore. I don't try to be funny...I just AM, apparently.  Someone even recently told me that when she's moping around about her horrible life, my funny Facebook statuses are the one thing that make her laugh. (I barely know this girl. I went to grammar school with her and have not seen her since the last day of the 3rd grade.) I know my humor comes through my writing, and as long as I'm writing comedy, it turns-out pretty well. I've even been called "brilliant" on several occasions. (Yes, the "b" word.) Another friend told me the other day that I am the most thoughtful person she knows. I'm no Scarlett Johaanson, but I get called "pretty" on a regular basis (and sometimes even that "other b-word" and "cute" and "adorable" on a very regular basis. (Whatever...I do.)

However, people tell me all of this stuff all the time about myself and I feel like, "If all this was true...wouldn't things be a lot easier? Or even just a little easier? Wouldn't I have a great job (or at least a job) and be luckier in love (or at least have the option of rejecting guys I didn't like)?" Because I'm sure there are millions of people out there who aren't hilariously funny and all of those things and are paired-off with a great salary.

I wrote a play once and the main character (loosely based on myself) was very insecure. My friend was helping me revise the script and he asked me, "Why IS she so insecure?" I couldn't answer that question about a fictional character when I couldn't even answer it about myself. The truth is, self-confidence has always been my number one struggle. I'm outgoing and bubbly and bounce-off of walls, which might throw people-off, but, deep down (or maybe not so deep down), I am very insecure about a lot of things. Some people would laugh when I would compare myself to Ugly Betty...because I wasn't that awkward outwardly...but on the inside, I felt as every bit unsure of myself. (I had to turn-off one episode when Betty was crying to her sister...after she learned her playwright boyfriend couldn't be seen in public with her because she was too...well..."ugly"...because it hit too close to home. I remember Betty crying and saying that every time she starts to feel pretty good about herself, something happens and she feels worse than ever. That's how I have felt, many times, in my life. Maybe many young women go through that. Maybe I'm just more honest than a lot of them.)

This year has been rough, and it's done quite a number on my self-esteem. I spent it looking for a job, interviewing like crazy for a job and constantly getting rejected, as I watch people all around me go on one or two interviews and get hired. (I'm happy for these people. I am. I just wish I was these people.)  The interviews go great, I get excellent feedback, people even tell me, "You're fantastic!" "There is something about you!" "YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BRING TO THE TABLE!" but...(fill in the blank.) I feel like I am on a dreadful wild goose chase. I really doubt many people get such enthusiastic responses to their cover letters and such personal and encouraging "we aren't hiring you" rejection letters. So...what's the deal? Really. Why is this so hard for me?

All around me, people fell in love and even got engaged or married. While I don't particularly WANT to be engaged or married right now, it would be nice to know I had the option or WOULD be within the next 19 years. I've had two friends tell me that their respective boyfriends have BOTH said of me, "I don't get why Diana doesn't have guys lined-up around the block..." I guess that's a huge compliment coming from a young man, but still! It just makes me even more confused. I mean...well...why don't I?!

I was very open with my heart this past year and was quite kicked to the curb (you actually CAN hear your heart shatter when somebody shatters it, you know!) When this kicking to the curb happened, I blamed myself instead of person who did the kicking. (I didn't want to admit to myself that he was insensitive and didn't care about my feelings.) I told myself if I had just been different, I would have gotten different treatment.

This year, I have felt like I was stuck, like I was walking around with two black eyes and like things were never going to improve. A few weeks ago, I formally apologized to some of my closest friends for always being such a downer lately. I don't want to be a downer! I want to be happy and optimistic and have exciting adventures and experiences and I want to be able to cope well when things don't go so well.

You know what, it seems like the universe has handed some of the best women in history pretty crummy hands. I mean, we live in a world where a girl as awesome as Maria Shriver gets cheated on by her husband. Nobody was funnier or wittier or a better writer than Wendy Wasserstein (and she seemed like a wonderful and warm person as well) and cancer took her just as she had a young daughter to raise and so many more stories to tell. That was all infinitely worse than anything I have gone through, and they're infinitely more fabulous.

I guess I can complain and say, "WHY ME?" right now...but I guess a better question is, "Well. Why NOT me?"

Rough times and feeling not-so-great about yourself happens to everybody.

Just gotta keep movin' on. There's really nothing else to do.

(Besides, I'm well-aware everything can change in a day. By next New Year's Eve, I could be ringing-it in with my boyfriend Josh Groban and promoting my new off-Broadway play or book.)

Happy New Year, everybody.

Diana Rissetto