As I was sitting in my meditation this morning (it was a short one) I kept coming back to why it's so hard to sustain good feelings. At least it is for me. I did read in the New York Times several years ago that when something really good happens, the euphoria generally lasts for around 24 hours and when something bad happens, those feelings can last for weeks. Months.
So yesterday I was high until I started feeling fatigued and then doubt started creeping in about my monologue performance. "Did it really go well? Were people just laughing to be polite?" I tried to analyze the comments I got: "I loved it when you really let yourself go." Did that mean that the person hated the rest of it? "You're such natural." What exactly does that mean? Who knows? I got many compliments, but what about people who didn't come up to me? Did they hate it?
You know what I realized? It doesn't really matter what those people think because you can't please everyone. William Styron said you're dead if everyone likes your work!
Anyway, I think that we all tend to be self-critical (unless you're a jerk like Donald Trump) and that those feelings of inadequacy always come up. According to Buddhist beliefs, I think you're supposed to just make friends with those negative feelings and not judge them or yourself. So I'm trying. Really hard.
I also realized that most of the sadness I am feeling is about my friend L. I saw her briefly yesterday. She was planning to come to the monologue night and at the last minute she called to say she was just feeling too shitty. She's on heavy duty chemo and she has been for a long time. She's suffered through more physical and emotional pain than any person should have to and although she probably only weighs about a hundred pounds, she is the strongest, most resilient person I've ever known.
I didn't even like her much at first, I thought no one could be that nice. But she truly is the kindest, funniest, most loving and generous person I know. I just pray that she can keep her voice and her life.
I love her a lot.