An Honest Reflection of Where I Am, My Struggles, And Why My Dog is Wearing A Cone.
I admit — that last item is pretty specific. I suppose the answer is not that exciting either. The truth of the matter is Nero, the strong one, had been scratching at his ears for a while — something I thought was leftover from flea issues previously or might be ear mites. In any case, I don’t have the money for Vet appointments, so I tried my best to diagnose and buy cheap medicines to help combat the problems based on what I read on the internet. Eventually, his ear started to swell from shaking his head too much — a Hematoma — which resulted in a $500 vet bill and the need for a cone to discourage the scratching and shaking while he recovers.
Why am I telling you this?
For one: Because I should probably live up to that subtitle. The people need answers.
Two: This episode has left me in quite a funk.
Not that he has to wear the cone. Nero is fine. I mean — I feel bad for him and I get sad every moment I think of him possibly being in pain — but he’s recovering well and the vet visit was necessary and helped relieve us both.
The issue comes with finances; as is always the case. The whole problem stems from the fact that I can never seem to get ahead. This circumstance, among others, is an ongoing example I will never be able to take care of myself, or others, and I’m failing to work hard enough to make amends for that. That seems like the wrong choice of words to end that sentence, but in a lot of ways, it feels most appropriate. I feel like I’m constantly seeking forgiveness. For something I’ve done wrong. For not living up to my potential. For failing to achieve what society expects of me. More importantly, I’m sorry for not trying harder, despite the fact it feels like I’m giving everything I possibly can.
But that can’t be true, society says, because every time I need to rack up more debt, every time I can’t pay for that car issue or a dental visit or my phone bill, and every time I get a low balance alert on my bank account, it is proof I’m not trying hard enough. I’ve let my family down, my pets down, myself down, and my loved ones — especially my girlfriend — down.
Yet it’s not only about finances. I have an ongoing struggle with the thoughts in my head telling me I’m not good enough. Some would probably diagnose this as depression or other similar mental illness, but I’m inclined to simply call it “The Weight of Everything”. I don’t believe admitting to these thoughts makes me suicidal, abnormal, or unbalanced. I think a lot of people, should they choose to sit with their feelings for more than 60 seconds, could find themselves overwhelmed with the constant barrage of everything coming down around you, or the sudden realization of current circumstances, combined with age or ability, and the staggering pointlessness of it all.
Sometimes. People. Just. Can’t. Deal.
The other day, I found myself at yet another breaking point, one that threatened to snap under the constant pressure. This idea that everything was beyond my control. I was losing, not my sanity, my grip on reality, nor my patience, but simply: LOSING. The weight of everything was threatening my existance, sort of like a crisis, as I questioned my place in this world and what destiny had planned.
These are the thoughts that ran through my head:
Your potential doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t matter if you’re GOOD at what you do, and it doesn’t even matter if you’re GREAT at what you do. If you don’t have the money to market, to buy social media ads, and to keep up to date on the best equipment or the right resources, then it doesn’t matter. Word of mouth can’t get you anywhere because no one supports you. They get what they want from you and then they’ll move on.
Your friends won’t support you. They say they believe in you. They say you’re good at something or you have talent, but they just like saying things. You have to keep proving it to yourself, to them, and all those strangers these statements are true, but the fact no one wants to work with you is proof that these are lies.
They don’t appreciate you. They never will. When was the last time someone called you? Took a photo of you? Remarked at the amazing friendship you share? That happens with other people. Not you. You’re only here to provide a service. To make other people happy. To give them the memories they want.
You want to be a working actor, but in the past 8 years you’ve never worked with the same director twice. No one thinks your any good. They’re just too scared to tell you otherwise. So you try to get on set with them in other capacities, but what they’re really saying about you when you’re not around is they don’t want you on their set. That is why no one is excited to share anything with you. That is why no one comes to you first. That is why you don’t get tagged in anything.
You build and you build and you build. New websites. New script ideas. New youtube channels. New videos. New communities. New friendships. New blogs. New outlets.
Quit. No one supports it. No one shares it. No one likes it. No one asked for it. No one wants it. Support is for those who have charisma. Support is for those who are more good-looking, have finances and resources, and an impeccable smile. Support is for those who write all the time, shoot projects all the time, and leave no room for anything else.
People don’t want to meet with you because they think you’re worthless.
Savings are a myth. As soon as you get ahead something will happen. You’ll never have enough. Then the jobs will stop coming. You will have to find another avenue in a job field you’re not passionate about. This is your true destiny. To struggle. It’s not to catch a break, get paid to do what you love, journey with the love of your life, and find the right balance of creating, helping those in need, being a good friend, father, or husband, and working with others to tell great stories. It’s probably to serve mixed drinks to people on Friday night. Or to manage those who serve mixed drinks to people on Friday night.
Who cares if you bought a house? Who cares if your credit is excellent? Who cares if you’ve avoided student loans by knowing exactly what you wanted to do and college was the wrong choice? Who cares if you’ve done a lot of services for free or discounted rates? Who cares if you always give 100% to the job and set high standards of work ethic? Who cares if you always volunteer your time to help move?
Your opinion doesn’t count because you haven’t succeeded. If you knew what you were talking about then you would have “made it” already.
Show up on time, but be patient when others don’t show at all.
Commit to future plans, but assume something else will come up.
Communicate everything, and still be misunderstood.
Listen always because they know better than you anyway.
Lead if you have to, but only do what others want.
Love doesn’t conquer all. You’ll wish this was true because you choose to love so much. You choose to woo and to believe in love and to fight for its existence. But in the end, it’s all shouting into the void. People might say they love you in private, but they will never show it in public.
People will always fail to show up. Unless you give them free drinks.
Your birthday will only exist in text messages.
Acceptance of all your character traits only exist in TV Shows and Movies, so stop sharing your opinion, and try your best to fit the mold everyone wants you to fit. One who is not difficult to be around.
You’re kidding yourself. You always have been. You missed your chances to do something with your life, somewhere, and now you’re just paying for it. You’ll never find your purpose.
And much…much more.
When I first set out to write this blog post I originally intended to start and stop it there — with all that negativity. In the middle of the moment, when the thoughts wouldn’t stop coming faster than I could type, there was simply no positive spin I could put on all of this. Honestly, I’m still unsure why I want to put all this out there. I know most of it is untrue. I know some of it is unfair to those who have been there for me. Unfortunately, these are the thoughts that plague me from time-to-time, and I felt like it needed to be said.
Most of the world around me, those who are in my immediate circles and those who know me as an acquaintance, seem to believe I’m constantly busy. They think I’m doing alright. They see my social media posts, my vlogs, and my Instagram feed and assume things are going well. But they don’t see I need help. They don’t understand I feel like I’m struggling.
Yet they ask me “How’s it going?” and I say it’s good. An honest answer. Things are good.
The trouble is things are not what I expected. I can’t get ahead. And I feel like no one likes me.
I need to reiterate that last statement because I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding people receive when they hear those words, and their immediate response is to deny and to reassure, yet they don’t understand what exactly I’m trying to convey.
I realized, in dealing with these thoughts, I’m not like most other people who seek to be validated. I’m an actor, and as most actors tend to admit, we got into this business because we wanted people to like us. We enjoyed being the center of attention. We wanted to be affirmed. Yet most people want to be liked because they’re people pleasers, or they just want to be accepted, and possibly loved.
I — on the other hand — seemingly work under the assumption — throughout most of my life, I’ve discovered — the default status of other’s feelings towards me is of unacceptance. I operate with the perception that everyone I meet does not like me — as a rule. So when I say no one likes me, I’m not saying I screwed up somewhere or opinions about me changed over time or sometimes I get the feeling others are annoyed by my general presence. I’m saying people start off not liking me. I must somehow win them over. The battle is always uphill. Should they choose to not accept me, or come around, then it is no surprise, because generally, no one like’s me.
I feel like I need to say this out loud.
Otherwise, people might never know. They’ll continue to ask me “How’s it going?” and I’ll say things are good. Except I have this cone stuck around my head. And it makes me wonder if I will ever be me again.
This post originally appeared on mattiasalegro.com — the place to stay up-to-date with all things Mattias, including his Vlogs, his writings, and his acting.
Mattias is an actor, writer, filmmaker, and editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA. He often writes about his observations about life, the human condition, spirituality, and relationships. He also enjoys writing about movies, pop culture, formula one, and current events. Often these writings are 'initial thoughts' and un-edited, as authentic as possible, and should be considered opinions. If you're interested in commenting on his work, or continuing the conversation, you should consider following him on Twitter or share an article on social media, where he would love to engage even further. Consider subscribing via RSS for more.