This week I did something I've considered doing for many years. Something about which I've considered and wondered and imagined about since as far as back as 17, when more days than not, if you asked, I would have told you I already knew who I wanted to marry.
The answer I would have provided you back then is so very different from what I would tell you today.
Today I am so very single, more than I have ever been.
And so very grateful for it.
And so this week I stomped on the little voice inside of me that has long said: That thing, you keep thinking about is stupid. That thing is silly. and anyway, What will people think?
I stomped harder on the voice that said: You have no business being there.
No business being here.
It was a practice in patience - waiting for almost two hours on line on a warm June evening with hundreds of beautiful single women. It was a practice in just adding lip gloss and trusting that my 7am makeup application from that morning was enough as I waited on line for several hours outside of an iconic network television studio. I filled out a form and left answers blank I didn't feel comfortable answering. I told a version of my truth to the warm female producer who asked me a series of questions about myself. I let the answers come out as they may, those that lit me up inside.
With a background in reality television, I am well-aware of what is contrived in unscripted productions.
"Have you watched UnREAL?" a friend asked me.
Yes. I've watched it, and I've lived it.
I've worked on shoots and been in meetings and seen firsthand what's real in reality tv and what's contrived.
Still I went. I went, because deep within me, I knew it had nothing to do with actually wanting to be on this particular show and everything to do with being seen.
Not by any of the producers.
But by myself.
As a worthy contestant.
I didn't recognize what had drawn me to action until I was standing on a line with an application in hand, posing for a photo with my name and phone number on a whiteboard, then again with my hands on hips per instruction, flashing my best smile. I sat across from my companion, giggling as we filled out the six page applications, and giggling more as we waited some more before being mic'd up and instructed to sit flat-backed against the booth seating in the network cafeteria and answering a series of questions for three to five minutes on camera.
It had everything to do with allowing myself to not take myself so damn seriously. To show up and take a fun risk-free adventure (because really, what did we have to lose?) with another sweet, curious single woman as my wing-woman.
What type of person willingly submits themselves to this?
How desperate they must be.
If anyone finds out...
Who will want to love someone who submits themselves to this type of thing?
These are the thoughts that brushed through my mind throughout the evening.
Please don't tell anyone, I said to my friend after confiding in her that I attended this audition.
This photo has been inside my phone for many months now - a screenshot of a Instagram filter selection for a photo I never posted. I remember pausing and taking the screenshot, struck by the subtle differences in the lip color, gradients of black and white, before ultimately opting not to even post the photo. How carefully we select what we share with the world. How carefully we curate our lives.
I want to be honest.
That's what I want to be.
Honesty is - I've always secretly wondered what it would be like to audition for The Bachelor. Honestly is - I've always sort of wondered if I was pretty enough, interesting enough, worthy enough.
This week, I squashed those questions by answering them for myself - just by showing up.
Believing in ourselves, being honest, and showing up is all we can do.
Thank goodness for that.