Welcome to Format Free Fridays at AskDrDarcy.com, the one day a week when I break the format of answering your questions and I dispense that which we rarely welcome in life: Unsolicited advice.
Today I want to talk about change, specifically, my own struggle with it. I recently embarked on a new challenge – Media Training. I want to reach more people than I can fit into an 8-hour workday, and media is the perfect way for me to do that.
I’m now in my third month of training. I’m working with a team of gurus whose job is to analyze every aspect of me and make recommendations which, when followed, will make me more marketable for television and radio. This has been, hands down, the most professionally challenging thing I’ve ever done, including getting my PhD. And just when I thought it was about to get easier, I was asked to stretch in a very personal way.
Last Friday I was in my office getting ready to film my new pilot when one of the Media Bosses took me aside and asked me a question:
HIM: Is that your real hair?
ME (proudly): Yup, it’s all mine. Did you want me to throw in some extensions? I have some.
HIM: No, I mean, is your hair naturally curly? Does it just dry like that?
ME (still proud): Yeah, it’s totally natural.
HIM: Can you make it straight?
ME: Uh, sure, but not today. You don’t like the curls?
HIM: It’s prettier in person than it is on film. I’d like to see it straight.
This should not have been difficult for me to hear. I began working as a model during graduate school and modeling became my fallback job whenever money got tight over the years. I’m used to being a human mannequin, and I’ve never been offended by the objectification that comes with being a model. Why then, have I been perseverating about this for the past 6 days?
The truth is that I’ve been perseverating about every change that they’ve asked me to make for the past 3 months. I fucking hate change, and here I am trying to be the poster child for it. I wanted these guys to watch me do therapy and tell me how brilliant I am. I wanted them to find a way to package me as-is. I wanted them to be speechless after watching me in action all these weeks. These guys are not even remotely speechless.
Moments like these are good for me. They humble me. They remind me of how difficult it is to be a client – any kind of client, trying to embrace change. I fancy myself evolved and able to fight against my own resistance to change. You can’t fight what you don’t see, and part of why this process has been so difficult is because the person I’ve been fighting the most is me – and I didn’t even know it until this week.
Knowing something and fixing something is two different things. I don’t for a minute believe that this process is about to become easy for me. I’m a tough nut to crack, as all of my former shrinks can attest to. But I’m leaning in, even when I’m scared, which is pretty much every day. And instead of focusing on my fear, I really need to focus more on gratitude, particularly the fact that the only thing these guys want straight is my hair.