I watched a YouTube video by Carrie Fletcher a couple of weeks ago called "the one where we've made it?" It really got me thinking.
She said that when she got her dream job in Les Mis, the question of "what now?" became something people asked.
"Oh what an amazing achievement and you did it so young, what now?"
Then she got another dream job and everyone asked how she would top it again. Then she wrote her book which was amazing and everyone asked again, "what now?"
That's a lot of pressure to put on a young person, scary to think you've "made it" in your early twenties, but she spoke about how that's exactly what keeps her from being complacent and she will continue to ask herself that question.
I'm not as young, but it got me thinking, especially as her job would probably have been my dream at her age, a dream I gave up. I thought firstly about my proudest achievements, getting a degree, becoming a producer, singing in bands, working on Merlin, singing on an album, working on The Hobbit, helping create a community garden, and now I'm back in soho working for a pretty cool little company on some great TV shows.
In my first few months at work, that question crippled me if I thought about it too much. It scared me to think that I had to live up to my past self. I didn't think I could at times. It's tricky when you've lived really great experiences and dreams and you don't know if the next thing will turn out to be as good, and if it isn't, I'd blame myself!
Putting pressure on yourself, gently, gives you the drive to do everything to the best of your ability. I don't have to live up to an old version of myself. The new version is fine, and the pressure is good. I like pressure, I thrive under it.
I'm not waiting for someone else to ask me "what now?" This is because I've not peaked in my current state so that question creates fear that I have to do something better really fast. Being good at something takes time, effort, care and a bit of passion.
So, it's actually nice that I'm not asking myself "what now?" For the first time, because I'm just working on being good at "now".