YAY another Monday is upon us!! I look forward to this day all bloody week.. What an opportunity. What a blessing. What a good excuse to smash two coffees before 9. Hope you have a step toward your grand master plan.. Planned. Damn. Anti-climax.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my journey recently. Not my journey in a magical sense as in ‘Frodo, let’s leave now before the dragon lights up the shire’, but the journey that has got me to where I am today. And LOL yeah, like you, my immediate thought was ‘what, the journey to nowhere?’ And.. Yeah actually, this post is about the first step in my journey here – the place which society would probably call ‘nowhere’.
So do whatever you have to do to get comfortable, guys. I’m about to tell you the story of the first time I put myself out there in a way that made sense in line with my Dream.
My journey to nowhere all started with something that, in all honesty, made me almost crap my vintage high waisted pants. In February last year, I returned home from work and on my bed was a newspaper clipping my mum had come across which declared, “MTV are looking for a fresh VJ to co-host with Kate Peck”. Um, DREAM?? Yes. I read on. “The applicant must submit a video of themselves on Instagram which demonstrates why they would be a good fit for this role”. Oh. There’s the catch. And for me, it was a pretty seriously off putting one. At that point in my life, I didn’t even have Instagram. Facebook was used only to private message old friends (private being the key word there). I actually hated ‘putting myself out there’, even though my personality is more out going than average. I thought nah, no blimmin’ way am I going to embarrass myself when I probably won’t even get a look in. I’m not cool enough. I’m not good looking enough. I’m not MTV enough. So I dropped it and I went off to work the next day, outwardly care free.
But the trouble was, in the back of my mind, I knew I wanted that gig. I knew it was a dream job. I knew I would always regret it if I didn’t at least try. I almost cursed the world for making me aware of this opportunity. And it was tearing me up inside – like that one off top you want from Hunters & Collectors that’s just outside your price range but you know it could change your life cause it would go with so many outfits and is 100% silk and original 1970’s..
So eventually I did it. I went back to Hunters and Collectors and bought the top. And also, I got Instagram in preparation for the video of my lifetime.
I plotted away about this video for days. I lost sleep over it. I tossed and turned ideas over in my head, thinking ‘everyone will do this, I can’t do that it’s too embarrassing, it’s not MTV enough, it’s not original, it’s not what they are looking for, I’m not what they are looking for’.. I felt sick knowing that this video would be live, public, not only out there, but aligned with MTV’s massive brand. It would be searchable. It would be on my personal profile. I’d be up against hundreds of other people who wanted exactly the same thing, who thought their idea was the best, who thought they were the best person for the job.
Such. A mind-f*ck.
But eventually, I had the idea. I had it! It was about 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon, and hallelujah there it was. I thought it was genius. So I got to work. I decided for it to really make an impact, I had to film it in public. You can imagine that if posting a photo on Instagram freaked me out, this was some nek level sh*t. But I guess when you are already out of your comfort zone, you may as well push that boat out as far as it can go.
On the day of filming, I spent about half an hour getting psyched for my public display of ridiculousness from the safety of my car. I opened and closed the door so many times, pretending I just needed to practice my 15 second script one more time.. Then finally, I built up the courage to ask the cafe owner if I could film outside, and that was it. It was happening.
My good friend filmed the video on her Ipad, and we got it in about five takes. When you actually perform and don’t fold under pressure, it’s a wonderful thing isn’t it? So home I went, pretty satisfied that this video was the best I could have made it, and pretty chuffed that part one was complete. I posted the video with the appropriate tags and hash tags (this is before I even knew what hash tags did) and there it was. In amongst the 500+ other entries, there I was. It was done. I had completed phase one.
Fast forward to the day that MTV announced the top ten (we can pretend that all that sleeping-worse-than-a-five-year-old-at-Christmas in-between never happened). I went off to work. Even though I wasn’t really allowed my phone on me, I was keeping it closer than Ne-Yo keeps his slow jams. All day, MTV had me in their clutches, not realizing the individual impact their lack of information was having on hundreds of New Zealanders. It got to about 10pm at night and.. Oh my god, what. MTV were commenting on the videos that had made the next round.. SH*T OH MY GOD. It was all too much. They don’t have a word for the type of panic I was experiencing. I went about manically checking all of the videos, adding up in my head how many were through.. I waited for my notification.. And checked.. And waited.. And checked.. And waited. And waited. And cried. And waited.
After about an hour, I knew it was a big old fat ‘nah, no notification for you, soz’. It was done. I hadn’t even made the top ten. I was absolutely guttered. All my doubts had become reality. I felt useless. I felt depressed. I felt a right fool. I felt so unbelievably embarrassed and instantly regretted everything. What a waste of time. I couldn’t help but picture myself having to tell people that I didn’t even get through the first round, and wanted nothing more than to transform in to a turtle so I could pack up my shell and get the fu*k outta there.
Those feelings lasted for a few intense minutes and then do you know what happened? I realized I couldn’t do anything about it. I could do nothing to change their minds. What was done was done. I had put myself out there in to the world only to be completely looked over. They didn’t want me. And you know what? That wasn’t ideal at the time. It wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t how I’d pictured it. But I had done everything within my control to make it happen for myself. I had taken that step. It was their choice not to put my through, but it was my choice to give it a go. And that was what mattered. So, a box of tissues and a chocolate headache later, I got over it. I watched the top ten do their thing and scrutinized the overall winner of course, but I was over it.
Now, almost a year and a half on, I’m finally committed to getting where I want to go, and am finally in a position to give myself the backing, the space and the self-confidence I need to get there. Without the MTV VJ search, I could still be sitting in my room regretting never having tried at all.. But here I am having tried, having failed and as a result, here I am feeling more driven than ever to reach my goals. MTV was just the beginning. A lot has happened between then and now, and I may have ended up nowhere, as society deems.. But I see nowhere as being the most pivotal place in my life. I see nowhere as a launching pad. My launching pad to what I personally will define as somewhere. And I wouldn’t be here, ready for this phase, without having taken that first leap of faith. I opened up a can of Dream that day. And from now on, nothing else will suffice until that Dream is satiated.
So there you have it – my first step on the road to nowhere. What’s your first step going to consist of? And where is the somewhere it will take you? There’s only one way to find out.. #MondayHustle