On Contentment.

Tonight I realized something. And that’s that I have been spending so much time trying to measure up to a construct that I’ve built in my own head that I’ve lost sight of what’s important.

I got into this life because telling stories that mattered to people was to me, the most important thing I could do. The most fulfilling. The most good I felt I could offer to the world as a human who’s a part of it.

I don’t mean to blame anything on LA, because I love LA, but it’s really easy to lose sight of those things here. And little by little, I put myself up against other girls and other people around me who are doing the same thing and finding myself coming up short. It’s pretty impossible not to, really. Because we’re all in this and we’re all striving towards a similar goal, but suddenly your search to tell stories truthfully and honestly becomes a search to be the prettiest, or the most popular, or whatever. You see other girls doing projects you envy, you think, “maybe if I looked like her I’d be more successful”, or “maybe if I acted more like that and less like me I’d be what people want” and before you know it you don’t know who you are anymore.

And it’s next to impossible to not do that, simply as a human being, much less in a position where you are constantly judged against your peers time and time again in a search for “success”. We are all sizing each other up. But the truth is, if I am constantly comparing myself to whoever has what I think I want that week, I’m never going to be happy. And that’s not even the point.

There will always be someone prettier, smarter, more successful than me. But there will never be anyone else that is me. And I don’t want to get tricked into trading real me in for a cheaper, unhappier, jealous version of myself that is trying to become what I think I have to be to reach some weird vision of “success” that the world tells me I need. That’s not what I’m about. I didn’t become an actor to be the prettiest, or the coolest, or the most well-loved. I did it because that’s how I want to make a difference in this world. And I hate that that becomes so easy to forget.

I’m not perfect, and I never will be, and sometimes people with think I’m great and other times people will think I’m mediocre or terrible, and I can’t control any of that. But I can try to be the best me, and do work that I am proud of, and be thankful for the wonderful life I’ve been given and try to use it as best I can. Be content with who I am, and keep pressing on.

02/24/13 at 11:55PM
Filed under: #mk reflects   
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    I’ve been feeling this SO MUCH RECENTLY. It’s like just in the past few weeks something in my brain switched and I...
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  8. tvismyboyfriend said: Even those of us not in a cutthroat profession struggle with this, as you said. Life is hard enough without putting yourself through all that. But I think it’s amazing you get that, and you want to stay true to yourself. Never, ever give that up. :)
  9. wysiwyg88 said: You’re a wise woman Mary-Kate. Its one of the many reasons I like you so much. Comparing oneself to others is the the easiest thing in the world sometimes, especially if you’re in the acting business. But we all have our paths to tread & only we can.