A couple years ago, I got caught up in this idea of fame and for a little while, it sort of took over my life. I told myself it was about making a difference and having an impact in the world, but then I read this article that says fame is really about the need to fit in and belong and I could clearly see my real motivation.
I’ve never fit in.
I can remember all the way back to Kindergarten wondering why the other little girls didn’t like me? Why I couldn’t seem to get along with the other kids.
I wanted to. I just couldn’t seem to figure out the right things to say at the right times.
This awareness that I wasn’t like everyone else followed me throughout my life. In high school, it was a big problem. A painful problem. One I dealt with by turning to the kids who I thought would accept me no matter what – the ones on the corner smoking cigarettes before and after school. My parents loved that, let me tell you.
In college, it seemed to abate for a while and I even joined a sorority (something I said I would never, ever, ever in a million years do), but of course it was the sorority for the girls who didn’t fit in. I actually had the chance to join the popular pretty girl sorority, but made the choice to go where I’d feel more comfortable.
In law school, I dealt with not fitting in by studying constantly. That was good because it resulted in me graduating first in my class, which opened up every possible door for me for the rest of my life. And then I went to the big law firm, where once again I didn’t fit in.
I was a 26-year old wife and mom. It was one of the loneliest times of my life. I remember sitting on the beach with my baby looking longingly at the other moms with their babies hanging out together. I didn’t have any friends with babies. I couldn’t figure out how to make friends with the other moms.
Eventually, I figured it out. I’m different than most people. I’ve finally stopped asking why and accepted it. I stopped only wanting to be friends with people who don’t want to be friends with me (the “in” crowd) and started appreciating the people who seem to be attracted to me (“misfits”).
And once I figured that all out, I began to have this desire for fame on a big level. Because I wanted to make a difference (or so I thought).
So I began to make myself into someone who could appear on TV. It turns out, I’m one of those people who actually looks better on TV than in real life, so this was not so difficult for me to do.
I did quite a bit of television in a relatively short period of time. Then, I started to pitch television shows to the networks and got really close to having one picked up by the new Oprah Winfrey Network. That was really exciting. Until it didn’t happen.
Then I began thinking about a reality show. (And let me tell you, it would have been a good one with all the craziness that has happened here at my house over the last 18 months.)
Fortunately, before I could ruin my life by letting cameras follow me around all the time, I became aware that the whole pursuit of fame was feeding something not particularly healthy in me. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but I knew it didn’t feel good.
It started to become clear when I did all of the Michael Jackson coverage. I began to see I wasn’t really making a difference in the world and helping people with the media I was doing.
I was spreading rumors and gossip.
Sure, it was public and not behind anyone’s back, but was it really any less insidious?
I put it out of my mind because I liked getting all dressed up and putting on makeup and getting picked up by a car service and feeling special. So I kept doing it.
A couple of weeks ago though, I was on Nancy Grace talking about Tiger Woods and it was the last straw. I cannot do it anymore.
I took 2.5 hours out of my day to get my hair done, get driven down to CNN on Sunset and get my makeup done and then sit in a chair for an hour watching Nancy run the same clip of one of Tiger’s girlfriends saying she was sorry if she hurt anyone over and over and over again at each break.
I was on for less than 2 minutes with half of that time Nancy asking me inane questions I like “When did he [Tiger Woods] have time to be with all those women with two children?”
How was this a good use of my time?
I searched for anything I could hang my hat on that would indicate my appearance on the show made a shred of positive impact in the world. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find anything. And I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t really there to make a difference in the world, I was there to be noticed, recognized, and fit in. Just like the article said.
I refuse to allow my life to be run by that anymore.
So I’m taking a stand. For now on, I will not do any television unless I’m totally clear that I’m doing it because it will help to lift viewers to a new level of awareness. I will not contribute to the inane dialogue, gossip and drama that is being perpetuated with most of today’s television programming.
Part of the reason I think I’m moving to Colorado is so I won’t be tempted. Because believe me, every fiber of my being is screaming out that I’m making a mistake, that I’m meant to be on TV.
I do believe I’ve been given a gift of looking great on camera, being able to convey a message quickly, and think on my feet. And I do not want to waste or deny that gift. But, it will need to be utilized in some way that does not make me feel dirty afterward and that is driven by my highest level desires to make a real difference in the world and raise people to a new level of awareness.
So bye-bye Nancy Grace. Please don’t call again. I’m not available.
Photo courtesy of AP