This self-reflection has been greatest with my cousin Julian, who is only 3 months older than me and spent a lot of time in my company during childhood. Unlike our other family members, we ended up as freelancers in similar industries. He is a curator and I became a multimedia designer. We both frequently drink way too much, married sweet ambitious men, and enjoy busy lifestyles. We also carried around this heavy feeling that we were just crazy, but we didn't realize how similar until I came down this time.
The details of the three-day conversation are irrelevant. What is important is that I have sat with a reliable sounding board; one whose ego is only that of a solid contemporary because as cousins we are pretty secure of our place in our families; and by that I mean we are certain that they love us even if they don't always agree with is or understand us. We were surprised by the similar personal and professional barriers we have faced. It relieved us to know that we are surrounded by jealous people who would eat us as doggie treats it they could. More than that we took solace in the fact that we could now clearly see that "it's them and not us"; at least more clearly than we saw before. So you might ask why would I fear that kind of affirmation? Perhaps because I know now that I have no more excuses. The veil has been lifted in my mind and though life looks the same, it doesn't feel the same. I now have to ask myself some serious questions about life: do I take the summer off from dance to recoup my warn out body? Should I end my Company career earlier than I planned because I see the possibility of a great freelance career? These aren't decisions I will make in one day, but they will have to be made. That is the hard part about affirmation is knowing that things can and most likely will drastically change.