A few months ago I was peeking around the local http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ and couldn’t help but stop and pull this off the rack, Note to Self: 30 Women on Hardship, Humiliation, Heartbreak, and Overcoming It All by Andrea Buchanan. A fan of inspirational stories, I began to read some of the chapters, which revealed poignant tales full of incredible strength from celebrities such as Sheryl Crow and Camryn Manheim to grandmother, Beverly London to stuntwoman, Stacy Courtney.
I was so moved by the piece, that I went online and tracked down the author who happened to be at a local book-signing event the following day. Having an opportunity to speak to Andrea in person about http://www.notetoselfbook.com/ was a blessing. Andrea believes that in telling our shame, sharing our “wounds” and revealing difficult stories, we help one another to heal and to develop strength. Andrea’s own personal journey, which she shares in the introduction of the book, is authentic and courageous. I invited her (AB), to elaborate a bit further on the notion that false starts are central to the process of awakening…
AM: Has perfectionism ever gotten in the way of you doing your job, and if so, how do you cope with it?
AB: Ha!! HARDLY. I am the furthest thing from a perfectionist. I wish I had more of that in me, honestly, but alas I don’t. I figure there is no such thing. It’s seriously not in my chemical make up. Ask my husband.
AM: Can you describe briefly a time in your life when you were totally lost (metaphorically)?
AB: When I first moved to Los Angeles I was completely lost. I was in my early 20’s and hadn’t a clue what I wanted to be or do. There weren’t a lot of role models in my life who were there to help me process information about careers or even how to get started in one. So I did what I knew best, which was wait tables — (that’s how I got through college) it was there that I started my network in Los Angeles. I asked a lot of questions of my customers. I learned about this thing called the Entertainment Industry and realized I could find a home in it somehow somewhere. It has taken me years to realize I had something to say that was worth listening to and how I got to that realization has been years of making mistakes, getting back up and finding my way closer to me. My voice. It may not have seemed like it at the time, but each step I have taken has been crucial to getting here. And always, no matter what, listen to your inner voice and your instinct. It just might save you from yourself.
AM: How do you face starting over in the face of failure?
AB: Failure is so hard-core and incredibly damaging to one’s psyche. I don’t really believe in failure or failing as an idea. Note to Self: Don’t see yourself as failing, but rather needing to try again.
AM: What helps you stay motivated for the long haul?
AB: I seriously focus on what I’m doing every minute I’m doing it and try not to think too much on the long term. But if there were one thing that helps me stay motivated and able to stick with something, it’s breathing, and in the not knowing what the outcome might be.
AM: What is the greatest single lesson you’ve learned from a mistake you’ve made?
AB: “If you don’t like what you see…change your perspective” is one lesson. The other is “always listen to your inner voice”. That one that is your sole/soul voice…even if it’s telling you something you don’t want to hear.
Andrea Buchanan is an award-winning filmmaker best known for her work on VH1’s Behind the Music. She is an active writer, director, and producer in all forms of television and film. http://www.notetoselfbook.com is her first book. She and her husband live in Los Angeles, California.]]>