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Seeking approval in a time that doesn’t approve

by Matt Boren

Aren’t we all plum tuckered from seeking approval? When we want validation somewhere that usually means we want it everywhere. And everywhere is as vast as the universe. Endless. Tired just thinking about that geography. That energy spent. And on what?

On you liking me. On you thinking I’m talented. On you thinking I wrote the best script. On you thinking I was amazing on that show. On you liking my style, my car, my house, my soap dispenser in my kitchen, my outdoor furniture, my point of view, my life.

We spend so much of our lives offering ourselves up for others to qualify us. Life has become one round the clock judges table. And we are all the willing contestants, hawking our goods for a panel of others to deem us worthy, valuable, interesting.

And it’s our own doing. It’s our own deal. In wanting to be seen and heard, for our voices to matter and for our mark to be made, we have somehow put being approved of in the driver’s seat. And riding shotgun? Our art, our purpose, the real things we want to accomplish.

Because here’s the thing. We don’t need anyone’s approval to live the way we want to live and do the things we want to do. We don’t need anyone’s and we certainly don’t need everyone’s.

And the truth is we are in a time where approval can turn on a dime. You were upset that Idina Menzel (AKA Adele Dazeem) didn’t nail the Frozen song on the Oscars. Then you were awed by her the very next night when she killed the same song on Jimmy Fallon. Didn’t approve. Did approve. In 24 hours.

If we are to live by and for the approval of others, then aren’t we to become diluted versions of who we are? Aren’t we, in our search for you to find us interesting, ultimately to become less so?

I am going to fold this post up and put it in my wallet so I can pull it out when I need this reminder. Which will likely be every day. Or until I really, truly, officially don’t give a rat’s arse.

Matt Boren

About Matt Boren

Matt Boren grew up on the East Coast. He is a writer/actor currently living in Los Angeles. He danced to "My Prerogative" at his bar mitzvah where his theme was Hollywood.

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