Just One Step

I love obscure little musicals. One of my favourite of these is Songs For A New World: a masterpiece of emotional depth by Jason Robert Brown, comprising of a series of unconnected solo songs sung by a plethora of random characters, each with an individual mini-story to tell.

Fast becoming my favourite song from this musical is Just One Step. You can listen to it here:

Just One Step (From “Songs For A New World”) by Jessica Mulaskey (click ‘play’ in the little music boxey thing. Magic.)

The best part of this song is the woman’s comic and somewhat pathetic attempts to make her husband believe she will actually jump, when it’s clear she won’t. This is her big moment, her ‘sensational fucking experience’ where she makes it loud and clear not that she wants to end it all, but that she wants attention. She seeks validation from her husband so fervently she has ceased to be able to function without a comfortable knowledge that he appreciates her.

I think there’s a little bit of her in all of us. I think there’s an awful lot of her in me. I’ve realised recently – with the help of a friend – that I spend far too much of my life seeking out the approval of others in order to feel I’ve achieved something as a human being, rather than doing things to make me happy. The problem is, other people aren’t a reliable measure of your own success. Other people don’t know me as well as I know me. Other people probably don’t even realise how much I ‘need’ their approval. So slowly, I’ve begun to feel that unless it gets the attention of someone I care about, whatever I’ve done isn’t real success.

This is a dangerous path to follow. It means that now, unless my writing gets the approval of my writer friends, I don’t count it as ‘good’ writing (even if I really like it!) If an outfit I wear doesn’t get remarks from my colleagues, it’s not an ‘attractive’ outfit. If my facebook status doesn’t get enough ‘likes’… well, now I’m just looking like a bit of a wally so I’ll stop there, but you get the idea. Essentially, I live my life in quite a ridiculous way.

I’d quite like to not be so ridiculous. I’d quite like to do things for me, to remember what I think makes me great, and stop measuring my life by the approval of others, before I run out of life to measure. Other people don’t tend to clap loud enough when I do well, so it’s time I was my own applause. Starting with this blog post: Clap clap clap. Yay me.

Yeah. This needs some work.

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One thought on “Just One Step

  1. I am with you there sweetie. I too seem to completely rely on other people to validate my own successes. Its funny isn’t it… when you put it plainly like you have done in this blog it seems silly to allow yourself to continue letting other people be a measure of your success but yet it is this kind of rational thought that doesn’t seem to enter my head whilst I am waiting for someone to tell me how well I have done, how nice I look, etc. Your blog has inspired me to try and keep this thought nearer the front of my mind.

    P.s. did I do good? Can I have a clap too? You are right… this needs some work 🙂

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