I once had a drama teacher say to me "Izzy, you'd make the perfect lawyer because you are always searching, searching, searching for the GOLDEN solution."
At the time, I was super pissed off that she would say that to me. First of all, HELLOOOO this was an acting class, and I was going to be the next BIG THING. I wanted to know how to improve my Shakespearean monologue, or stop shitting myself (figuratively but possible literally b/c she had a very intense aura) each time she walked in the room. All I had learned from her so far, it seemed, was:
I looked good in purple business button-ups and should wear them to all my auditions
I needed to tap "into my darkness" but also wore too much black (this felt contradictory) and
that I didn't have the right body shape to wear horizontal striped dresses.
Cool. Very glad I was crying myself to sleep every night before and after class hoping for her approval. Also very glad I was learning so much about acting.
Second of all, WHAT did that mean??? I did not understand it at all! I thought to myself, I am "Izzy Francke" I am known as being spontaneous and silly and hardworking, yes, but in a way that I thought I kept anxieties relatively well hidden from the world. Who was she to say that I am searching for a golden solution? Yes, ok, I was at her office hours relentlessly asking what I could do to improve my monologue performances and grades...but also, wasn't that the purpose of office hours? The whole point of college and class was to work hard, make the teacher like you, and then get an A. RIGHT? WHY did she not want me to PERFORM well!!! In my 21-year-old mind, this was ludicrous. I remember thinking it made zero sense.
Fast forward, I turned 27 yesterday, annnnnd she was right. I am STILL searching, searching, searching (she said it three times and I feel that is wholly accurate) for the golden solution. I want too many things, and at the same time, I want nothing at all unless someone ELSE tells me it's the "right" move. Even now, as I am out of full-time work and applying to jobs and even graduate school, I keep psyching myself out and my internal monologue screams that I have to find THE perfect thing, the immaculate next direction to go in. I over-share in interviews, spewing out my internal monologue and ideal timelines and trying so hard to simultaneously be perfect and make my prospective employers perfect for me. It's exhausting. I feel like the forever student; pacing outside of office hours.
But then, if I can make myself calm down, I think about how I never would've imagined most, if any, of the amazing milestones, friendships and career achievements I've made over the past six years back then. And sitting here now, I can't fathom the things that will happen to me in the NEXT six years.
As another wise woman said to me recently (ok, it was my therapist, who I am SO privileged to work with.) "there are no right answers. And even if there were we'd need an unheard of computer to work out all the variables."
THIS helps me remember to not be so terrified of closing and opening doors, of ageing and answers, and of unsolved "golden solutions". Maybe you didn't need to read any of this, in which case, thanks for coming anyway! And if you did, I hope it helped unmuddle the recesses of your mind, even if only for a moment -- remember the unheard of computer that doesn’t exist! Here's to it, to you, to me, to wise women and to 27! :)