Tay’s video got me thinking about pride and what it means to me.
“Pride is having the courage to say: This is who I am. This is what I want. And I’m going to go after it.”
- Pride is putting words to the unspeakable dream.
- Recently in Lady Business, we talked about how sometimes dreams feel so big, you can’t say them out loud, you can’t even admit them to yourself. Especially in LA, where everyone’s goals are pretty big, it can feel daunting to say “I’m an actor.” “I’m a director.” “I’m a singer.” We usually choose too many words to cover up our unspeakable dream. “I’m a hostess but I’m working on my acting career.” I’ve found that those of us who struggle with this the most are going after a dream we feel we don’t “deserve”–if you want to be a musician but your experience consists only of noodling on a guitar by yourself, if you have dreams of being a fashion designer but you went to school for biology, or like me, you decide you want to be the on-camera host in addition to directing your own docuseries but you’ve spent all your time behind the camera. Sometimes the best thing to do with unspeakable dreams is just start saying them, to yourself and eventually to others. At first, you’ll feel like you sound silly. But eventually it won’t feel so funky and you’ll get to the point where everyone is like “Yeah, that’s Erica, she’s the next Anthony Bourdain but with a bigger butt.”
“…that inner-sense of contentedness and self-respect.”
- Pride is the opposite of shame.
- The journey of my feminist awakening has helped me realize how much SHAME I’ve felt over the years. Ashamed of liking what I like, disliking what I don’t, knowing what I know, and not knowing what I don’t. I’ve been too afraid to ask the questions that would help me grow because I’m ashamed I don’t already know the answers. I’ve been too ashamed to pursue things I’m interested in at the risk of being too girly. In the past few years, I’ve scrapped those fears. Though it’s hard, I challenge myself to ask questions and get clarification when I don’t know exactly what someone is referencing or asking me to do. I also no longer fear any backlash from liking “girly” things…I just like what I like.
- Recently I learned the term “gaslighting” (from an ex, coincidentally.) Gaslighting basically means one person twists information to make the other person doubt their own memory, emotional reactions, and sanity. This may sound extreme, but think back to any time someone has made you feel like your emotional reaction was “crazy.” This is a very common word used to describe women (I hear it a lot from women to describe other women). “That girl was crazy.” “She went a little nutso.” That, to me, is a form of gaslighting: to deny the rationality of another person’s emotional response to a situation and chalk it up to being insane. I remember how much I cried in my adolescence and early adulthood over relationships, both friendly and romantic, and how many times I felt ashamed of those tears. It wasn’t until later in adulthood that I thought, wait, I feel so sad about something, my body is naturally gearing up to cry, this is an authentic emotional reaction to a situation, why am I feeling ashamed just because another person (usually of the opposite sex) isn’t reacting in the same way? I am now totally open and accepting of my own emotions, though I’ve found I cry far less since passing the hump into *gasp* my late twenties.
“I finally found my people. I’m so lucky I took that chance.”
- Pride is building a community that supports you.
- This is probably the biggest lesson learned in adulthood: FIND YOUR PEOPLE. Find them and keep them and love them! Friends, family members, lovers, colleagues, mentors, tiny puppies and lumpy cats–whomever makes up your community, if they support and love you, they are golden! Relationships always take time and work, but I find sending out love and support to everyone yields a big result. Once you find your people, show gratitude when they help you, support them in their endeavors, and return the favor as much as possible.
Taylor and I went to college together but didn’t really know each other until I came on as an additional editor for Tiny Nuts, a web series she created with another sweet, hilarious friend (check it out now on Hulu!!!) Taylor has been such a helpful, supportive friend. She always jumps to assist me with projects or lend an ear when I’m creatively confused. She is a super busy lady, constantly creating art, but she always finds time to hang, attend our Lady Business meetings, and have me over for tacos. In addition to her many talents as actor, writer, producer, director, dog-mother, former Williams & Sonoma Employee of the Month, and now Pride.com contributor, she is also the famed photographer of many behind-the-scenes shots for Mindful American. So now here’s a bunch of pics of Tay making magic and me trying to be super fierce.