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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Commitment Issues

Single people are often thought to have "commitment issues" especially when, like me, they find themselves to be ALWAYS single.

*I am waiting for my baked potato to bake so this will be brief (kinda).*

This was driven home to me  a couple years ago at the strangest place: my workplace. I had a rather annoying co-worker who was a total performer, an actor to be exact. I know a lot of actors cause, well, I am one too. But most of them annoy me at least a little mainly 'cause they always need to be the center of attention. (If you happen to be a dear actor friend reading this blog, you must know that this does not pertain to you.)

So this actor/co-worker (at one of my gazillion dayjobs) wanted me to take a very specific acting class which was so totally awesome mainly cause it was taught by his friend and mainly cause he was in it and that mere fact totally raised the caliber of talent in the class and I could learn so much from such a deep serious acting experience with such talented peers.

So, I asked him some questions about the class and I considered it. But then I decided that between all the other things I was doing, I was in no shape to commit to taking a class which I didn't have the time to attend and which I didn't have the money to pay for and which might annoy the boogers out of me.

So I told him: "Thank you very much but now is not the right time."

And he wouldn't let up. And I keep saying "no". Finally, he asks me the question I had been asking myself every night for the past 5 years: "Do you have commitment issues?"

This comment was meant to humiliate me into committing to taking the class. 

Unfortunately for Mr. Annoying Actorpants, I was so pissed off that I replied with full force hostility: "Yes. I totally do!" and I walked off into the sunset. I am sure he heard my "subtext" loud and clear, which in that moment was: "Eff-off, you annoying arrogant actorish acting ass!"

But I was pissed off for the rest of the night.

Because for an actor, it is imperative NOT to have commitment issues. Actors essentially live the lives and the moments of other people. In order to this effectively, one must commit 100% to the circumstances and to the character. So, if I'm in a scene where I just found out that my husband is cheating on me, I have to commit 100% to the fact that I am a woman who has been married for this many years and I feel this oh-so-specific-way about my husband, etc, etc, etc. I can't be half in the scene and half myself, thinking about my delicious baked potato or my preposterous speeding ticket. 

But at that moment in my life, I was thinking: "Oh my gosh. This douche nozzle is right. I do have commitment issues and now they are so bad that not only can I not stay in a relationship for more than three months, but I also am doomed to be a crappy actor for the rest of my life. A lonely, crappy actor! Poor me. Poor me. Wahhhhhhhhahhhhhahhhhh."

*I have heard that baked potatos are just as bad for you as eating ice cream.*

Anyways. Back to commitment. Right.

For months this conversation with Annoying Actor haunted me. I decided to, poor me, accept that I did, in fact, have commitment issues and that I needed to work on them. But I didn't know where to begin. I was too busy committing to a lunch date or to a friendship or to a visit or to planning an event or leading a group or adopting a dog or buying a house. 

And then it struck me. I am so freaking good at committing! I am a badass committer. If anything, I overcommit. I commit to people, to projects, to dogs, to trees, to cellphone plans.


And the truth is that the most important thing to do as a single person or a coupled person or any kind of person is to commit to living the life you are already living. If you're single, commit to living the single life that you are in and commit to doing it 100%. If you are married, commit to the life you are living and do it 100%.

In other words, make the life that you have badass.

Single people do a lot of waiting around, thinking that they can't go out and have fun or they can't buy a house or they can't have rockin' sexy undergarments cause they're not in a relationship. Ladies, how many of you out there don't splurge on hecka cute bra and panty sets cause you think its a waste cause "nobody" will appreciate 'em. Do NOT call yourself a nobody!

Once I committed to being single and let it all in with all my fears and reservations, etc, I started LIVING. And living is in no way preventing me from being in a relationship at some future juncture. It is, however, preventing me from being in a relationship with the wrong person just so that someone (besides myself) can appreciate the skimpies I spent a small fortune on. (If you really need someone else to appreciate your skimpies, just go post pictures of 'em on craigslist. Trust me, someone out there will appreciate it a whole lot. Not that I know, first hand, mind you. I am just wise in the ways of craigslist.)

*OK. I have eaten my potato and this post and my waistline have both gotten much larger than previously predicted*

So all skimpies aside. If you're single, stop waiting. Just start going about doing the things that you want to do. Invest your time in committing to things that matter to you. I've committed my time to this blog, to my career(s), to my many wonderful and rewarding friendships. And I am no worse off by it. 

And if you're dead set thinking that the only thing for you in life is to get married and produce offspring, well, that is totally OK. Just commit to doing something you like also. Maybe it's related to marriage (hey! you could be like J.Lo and become a Wedding Planner). 

Regardless, if you commit to yourself, you're well on your way to a happy ending. 

1 comment:

(no)sexandthecity said...


oh, i have COMMITMENT issues alright - issues committing to some pathetic self-centered loser just so i don't have to be alone. how many friends do you have who SETTLED for someone who doesn't begin to deserve them? or are starting to consider it because it seems better than the alternative (lonliness)?

should i just settle for this, cuz maybe this is as good as it gets? and cuz now i'm so attached that my life without this person would feel so empty...what it boils down to is FEAR - fear of being alone, fear that what you want out of life will never come to be, and so on.


there's nothing wrong with wanting marriage and family, and having that as a primary value in life. what's hard for singles is knowing what to do in the meantime, becuase we don't have control over when or how love will happen.

commitment has it's time and place...but one can waste a lot of life committing to things and people that aren't good for them.

thank you jennifer nettles of sugarland for summing it up for us -

Sugarland "Settlin" lyrics...

Fifteen minutes left to throw me together
For Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Forever
Don't know why I even try when I know how it ends
Lookin' like another, "Maybe we can be friends."
I've been leaving it up to fate
It's my life so it's mine to make

I ain't settlin'
For just getting by
I've had enough so-so
For the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low
So raise the bar high
"Just enough," ain't enough this time
I ain't settlin' for anything less than everything

you're right on singlutionary - commit to YOURSELF first. and raise the bar!