You and I may jointly find it laughable that at some point in 2017, I scrawled on an index card a new hard and fast rule: don’t be thirsty.
Like many of my life/career lessons, this one came during a phone date with one of my dear friends, writer/director/producer/Miyazaki fan Jo-Dean (@jodeanroark), as she recalled the feeling we get when we are at an event and feel simultaneously obligated and desirous of meeting/networking with certain people. And when I have met said person, they stare blankly at me, look over my head, try to escape, or say something incredibly condescending/sexist/racist etc.
I’ve learned two things:
- Show up anyway! to the rooms I want to be in, claim the rooms as equally my own because this is my industry/career/place of work and I belong, and
- Meet everyone, treat everyone well, know that I won’t and don’t have to like everyone or work with everyone, politely and swiftly and me-ly meet those people who will stare at me blankly, and know inside that one day or probably never they’ll realize my value, and that’s totally fine!
Because we all matter and I don’t need them to see that (as frustrating it is to not be taken seriously).
Be thirsty in chasing what I need to learn and grow, be thirsty in chasing and embracing and seizing and creating and living out my opportunities, but don’t be thirsty in needing anyone to see my value, because that creates an implied need within myself that I need them in some way, and I don’t. I need myself, to stand on my own feet, to value me for me, to honor my work with hard work and excellence, and to love and respect people around me and pay it forward beyond as much as I think I can.
And for the people who stared over my head, petty Nida will one day be like, “Yeah bitch, I was here the whole time, you just didn’t have the vision to see me. But also jk bc having someone force their acquaintance on you is weird / there’s alot of creepy weird people out there / you’re probably a covert introvert who hates overly familiar strangers / you’re human and trying to comprehend my relevance, and its nice to know you now.”
I’ve been focusing on being mindful with my social media presence, and noticed I was feeling some feelings during yesterday’s scrolls, not unrelated to Forbes 30 Under 30 list being published. And not unrelated to me trying to understand my relationship goals for Instagram follower numbers.
In contrast to my new “look but with love” feels, yesterday, I was feeling… kind of crappy, hopeless, helpless, worried, comparativ-y. Continue reading The Impact we want to have
For years I’ve struggled with a toxic relationship with being online. A lovely friend and I recently both shared this realization that we can feel when our being online turns from good/healthy/beneficial to pure toxic. The ironic indicator is the moment we’ve scrolled over something and didn’t like it. A switch has happened in my mind at that point and I’ve gone from appreciating something someone has shared to judging/being critical/haterating/being jealous.
So. I made this beautiful saying a social media rule for myself. Look, but with love. The moment I find myself scrolling and hating, either renew my intentions/sense of purpose, or simply sign off. No need to actively channel negative emotions through myself and into the world. I’ve found it to be a helpful rule.
I did just spend 20 minutes keeping up with Kim Kardashian’s instagram (and didn’t like any of her photos because I’m not trying to leave a footprint), so I’m not saying I’ve become an instagram saint or something. But rethinking how I’m going to internalize photos / what kind of energy I want to generate because of them and toward them, and just allowing myself to exit when I can’t, has been a helpful thing.
I’ll write about why I’ve been such a hater some other time, because it took me quite a bit of unpacking to figure out why I felt the way I did in the first place.
Person: “If you don’t like ____ you’re not a real ____.”
Me: Okay ::feels fraudulent::
And while I continued pursuing my interests, for a long time, I felt like something was wrong with me. Why don’t I like Louis CK or Curb Your Enthusiasm or (insert genius White male comedian’s name)? Why haven’t I watched that one battle war field movie with that one actor was it Brad Pitt idk?
All the while, I knew what I was intrinsically attracted to and consumed it with glory: Spongebob Squarepants, movies with a female director and/or created by people of color, books about diaspora, novels about nerdy renegade girls, cartoons/doodles by various artists, TV shows like The Nanny and ensemble character shows like Parks & Rec, movies based on Jane Austen novels and British series like Downton Abbey.
And these are all the things that make up my taste, and they’re the weird things that influence me and my art. That’s not to say I don’t explore things other people like – I do, it’s part of being a writer is gaining and observing perspectives – or that I don’t watch things that aren’t my taste to study them – I do, quite often. And yes I totally evangelize/chastise people for having not seen Parks & Rec. And we often push things because we want to share our joy and love for them.
Yet it doesn’t make us lesser if we’re just not interested. The world is so weird and broad and people are unique. There’s room for all of us and the proof is in the thousands of TV channels and podcasts and conventions I’ll never attend, but that have their own fans and people who get their life from it.
As comedian Amanda Seales says, I’m not for everyone. I have my own taste and I find the more I embrace it, the more I find and speak from my own artistic voice. And I love it. And I love weird people and the weird things they are interested in like this one German man on the subway who was obsessed with measuring toxicity levels in subway stations.
*stands atop mountain* I watched the #HarryPotter movies 16 years after they came out and I refuse to eat pumpkin anything. So there. *chucks microphone in awkwardly quiet club*