You're always fine

Life is plastic, navigating the hidden expectations

August 14, 2023 Cabana Season 1 Episode 1
You're always fine
Life is plastic, navigating the hidden expectations
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Our latest podcast episode explores the immense pressures women face and the toll it takes on their mental health. We analyze America Ferrera's powerful monologue and delve into the journey of self-discovery. We emphasize the importance of setting boundaries and remind you that everyone fights their inner demons.
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Cabana Collective: Life in plastic - navigating hidden expectations, it’s the Barbie episode | Date: 8/16/2023  |  Time: 1 pm est   Register here
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This week’s source notes:

Full monologue
https://people.com/read-the-powerful-barbie-monologue-about-being-a-woman-that-america-ferrera-performed-30-to-50-times-7565806
Summary of the movie
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2023-08-04/beyond-being-feminist-barbie-preaches-more-kenpathy#:~:text=The film's reception has focused, doesn't ignore male struggles.)
Social norms
https://www.simplypsychology.org/social-roles.html
Societal expectations and behavior
https://www.apa.org/pubs/highlights/peeps/issue-67

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Lauren:

Welcome back to your Always Fine A space to show up for yourself and embrace the mess that lives underneath because, let's be real, it's exhausting always being fine. So grab your headphones and allow yourself to listen, laugh and even cry, because you're not alone, and we aren't always fine, and that's okay

Kristine:

Christine. Today we have a special episode for you guys. We are going to dive into the America for Era monologue from Barbie, the movie that has quite literally taken over. There's so much to talk about, lauren, and I'm excited. Absolutely, let's get into it. Okay, so, for context, for anyone who may not have seen it, the Barbie movie was released earlier this month and the response to the movie has varied. The LA Times wrote a powerful piece and I thought they did a great job of summing up the movie. Lauren, can you read that quote For sure?

Lauren:

The quote. The film's reception has focused on its messages of women's empowerment, but what makes it a radical story is that it also invites women to reimagine feminism so that it doesn't ignore male struggles.

Kristine:

And quote. Additionally, I will say Greta, who directed and starred in the movie Barbie, really wanted to send the message that, like you are enough. And for me personally, the most powerful part of the movie was when America for Era's character responded to Barbie, essentially not feeling like she was good enough, like at anything. I'm going to play the monologue so we can really jump into this. It's mean that you don't think you're good enough, like we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow we're always doing it wrong. You have to be thin, but not too thin, and you can never say you want to be thin. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, because you can't ask money because that's grass. You have to be a boss, but you can't be mean. You have to lead, but you can't squash other people's ideas. You're supposed to love being a mother, but don't talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men's bad behavior, which is insane, but if you point that out, you're accused of complaining. You're supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or that you threaten other women, because you're supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. But always stand out and always be grateful, but never forget that the system is rigged. So find a way to acknowledge that, but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It's too hard, it's too contradictory, and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you. And it turns out, in fact, that not only are you doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault. No-transcript, I'm just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us and if all of that, in this monologue she really encapsulates society's paradoxical demands on women. and then the emotional toll these expectations take is a huge part of the mental warfare you and I often talk about. Lauren, I know for me this slapped. I felt very, very seen while watching the scene and it really spoke to the struggle between living your most authentic self and relentlessly pursuing image you have or trying to fit in.

Lauren:

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I definitely had those thoughts as well. My heart was pounding through my chest when she was saying all these things because it felt like it was going directly to me, and I'm sure I'm not the only person that felt that way. Overall, for me, I kind of took a different approach. I'm just tired of feeling responsible for others' feelings. I'm not talking about not being considerate and thoughtful of others. Rather, it's the paralyzing algorithms that come up in various interactions with the people in our lives, things like and questions that we ask ourselves like will they like me if I do say or wear this? Will this finally garner approval from my family, colleagues or?

Kristine:

friends.

Lauren:

Or I have something to say or share, but I don't want to hurt feelings or come across as a bitch.

Kristine:

It's exhausting, I will say, can we? I want to rewind this track a little bit for a second, because you said something and it really really like as I've been trying to make the word slap work, as many people who interact with me know that, anyway, that slapped with me. That was when you were like I'm exhausted for him having to do this, because the first thing you said after that was a quantifying. I'm not saying not be considerate. Even when we're trying to say we're exhausted, we're also trying to qualify and be like I'm not selfish, I'm not that, but you're always exhausted and you're allowed to actually be self-centered or however it is in this moment. But even in this very casual back and forth our podcast, you still felt the need to use those clarifying things, which I think speaks to this entire monologue.

Lauren:

Absolutely and to further on that whole exhausting feeling For me. I know that I feel like I'm breaking my spirit in the process, instead of my own barriers, in order to become self-actualized, or at least moving towards that. Because there just exists this constant pull within me to take accountability for others' reactions and responses, instead of trying to explore how to find inner peace and what's important to me. I'm needed, but I have needs. Who's looking out for me? Who's coming to save me? I'm being real no one, and I know that part is here, but that savior is me, and so when I hear I'm paraphrasing poorly, but in the Barbie movie I am she and Ken is he my interpretation, summarization if you will, of some of those points in the movie was exactly this for people to look within ourselves and ask those hard questions so that we can begin to do the work.

Kristine:

I love that. I have a lot of clients right. They'll come in and they want me to essentially just give them a template of how to get better and how to fix whatever it is. And the reality of it is is there is no destination of mental health period. If you keep going into therapy or you keep going in and you keep going thinking like there's a destination I'm going to get to quote unquote better you're doing yourself a disservice. It's every day showing up for yourself, calibrating your values, understanding your internal landscape, the best gift you can give to yourself. It's okay, and your mess is just as beautiful as everything you consider to be one of your strengths.

Lauren:

I love that, and you're right. I especially think that what you said is so powerful that mental health doesn't have a destination. It can't just be this, this destination that everybody commonly thinks of. If you are going to think of it that way, then maybe thinking about what your personal journey needs to look like, or what your personal finality in what the goal is of that.

Kristine:

You're right there. I just want to say, yes, we can do that right. But I want to invite everyone to push themselves a little further here and think about just this very basic example when you graduate high school right, you are supposed to go to college, right, and then you're supposed to get a job, and then you're supposed to maybe find a partner, and then you're supposed to get married, and each time, right, we're putting happiness or enjoying life right. Right at the other end of once I have money, once I have that, once I do all this, who can honestly say that they've gotten one of those big milestones? It's been everything they ever imagined. Right, Because for most people, that's a high level of self-actualization to be able to do that right. Most people are running to the next thing, because when they got to the point that they thought was going to bring them this, this land of happiness, it felt just as empty as they did before, if not more. Because it compound which is like why I feel like I have been like. Repeating it over and over is like stop chasing happy and start chasing peace.

Lauren:

Yeah, yeah, I definitely resonate with that because I mean, I tend to be a bit of a cynic. And so there's that scene where, like in the beginning of the movie, where Barbie is just like dancing, she's like do you guys ever think about death? And I'm like, ooh girl, yes, I do Just being able to sometimes counterbalance like getting so focused on like the destination and it's cheesy, I know, but you know, focusing more about the journey and looking back and going like wow, like look what I accomplished, or like look at where I still have yet to go, you know the world is my oyster and that can be really overwhelming. I get it. And sometimes I think, because I'm a person that has not done what she's supposed to do, I mean, yeah, I went to college, took me six years to get my associate and then another floor to get my back. I just love hold on.

Kristine:

We cannot skip over this. You brilliant woman and you know I just love the word right. How long did it take you to even say it out loud?

Lauren:

Well, of course, because, like of course, the joke that always gets retorted to me is like and you're not a doctor, and I'm like hell. No, I'm not a doctor. I took my time because circumstances I had to work, I had to put myself through school, I could only afford to go part time and then, once I was done with college, I got the degree, but guess what I didn't do. All the supposed that were supposed to come after that.

Kristine:

I want to say one thing about what you just said because I think it really does matter, and that is when people say like oh, this or that, or like they. What you said, like yeah, there's a million little reasons why you made the decisions you made. It was definitely not because you were like I'm gonna be like this really great registered nurse and who has to like keep a secret in our closet about like taking six years to get here. I often just either to myself say this and to my clients I'm like stop blaming your yesterday self for what you know today, cause, quite honestly, who the heck would make if they had all the information of what, exactly what tomorrow would bring if they took a certain path? Who would not choose the best path for themselves? Like that's ridiculous. You do the best you can with the information you have, based on right, your understanding of your internal needs, your understanding of the situation and research, and you know you also family pressures, societal pressures, there's all these things that make you decide any one thing, and that's why I think too just why knowing that internal landscape is so powerful and truly seeking and finding balance and a baseline, so hold on before we continue any further, like I would really like to spend some time on what internal landscape means.

Lauren:

What does that mean, christine?

Kristine:

Okay, so I will be clear. This is like a Christine made up thing. So when I talk about internal landscape, I'm talking about your conscious, your subconscious, your emotions, what is happening and coming up for you in every interaction. It's about your decision making. What weighs on your behaviors, what are your beliefs, on your feelings? What is your internal dialogue look like? Because most of ours are terrible. We are so mean to ourselves internally, like and you know, I think again some of these buzzwords from mental health would like negative self-talk. Right, it can feel so, in my opinion, quite honestly, like not even close to how bad it is, and because people have like pushed it aside as just another one of those things. How many times do you say I should have done this? That is bullying yourself, I think you know. And so all of those things internally and why we do them though that makes sense, lauren, it probably does. I'm crazy about this.

Lauren:

No, no 100% it does. And if we're getting personal, I definitely suffer from imposter syndrome, with a lot of facets in my life, I know from a work perspective, like the. So, you know, when I was a nurse in the hospital and this isn't to like take away from the experiences of the various departments, because there are specialties that you have to like know a little bit more, be like a little more acutely aware of, like what's going on with somebody's body system, depending on where you're at. And that's the beauty of nursing, right? Is that like overall, yes, you wanna just make sure that you're on top of things so that you're keeping people alive. Really, if you think about it, like it's just keeping people alive. But each specialty has its own little quirks and so when you're in the hospital and I've worked in a myriad of different departments Nursing is nursing, is nursing is nursing. And at the root of it is like, yeah, we care, we care, we care. But once I stepped outside of a traditional hospital setting or a clinic setting and started transitioning into clinical research or a little more of that, like not so regent well, I shouldn't say that, because clinical research is very regimented and it needs to be, but working for different companies, it just what's a nursing when you stepped outside traditional what's a nursing what traditional? nursing is, yes, exactly, I was still using, and I still do, my nursing skills. But the higher I climbed on that like career ladder, the more I felt unsure of myself and just like what the hell am I doing here? I don't know what the hell I'm doing. And so, in a professional sense for sure, in relationships, a new relationship, when it gets to be like past, the like newness of dating, I get into this like what do they see in me? And so, whether it was in my example, with work or personal relationships, I think that's why, when she sits down towards the end of the movie and says that and is just like, you can see the exhaustion and feel it through the screen. And that's when it just starts speaking to you that it's so fucking exhausting to try and stay in this balance of equilibrium. When it's just, it's so loud outside of our heads and guess what, most of the time it's even louder in our heads and it's like there's no reprieve.

Kristine:

And so it's like, finally, this quote that just like summed it up, and I think that's why my heart, I literally had a visceral and physical response, texted both you and busy and I was like we are dropping a bonus episode because I do not want to not speak on this, because that's how much I felt like it resonates and like one of those things that opens the conversation and we have to keep talking about it, even if you don't agree with what we're saying. We have to keep talking about it. We have to be okay with expressing what is happening to us and, you know, not everyone's gonna be a safe person to do that and that's totally fine, but like you're still allowed to feel what you feel and explore those feelings Absolutely.

Lauren:

And guess what? You're not the only one that feels these feelings. So many people struggle with their internal demons. Some people can just get through the day, maybe a little easier, or four. They're always fine. Getting to that you're always fine. Really, to me means evaluating and reflecting on that internal landscape so that it kind of brings us back to center, it brings us back to ourselves.

Kristine:

And I think one of the really cool parts about kind of going on this journey and really investing in like who the hell am I? You kind of start to get to this space where everything outside of me is really not my deal. You know, like I have so much control and so much power. If I'm able to, for a fraction of a second, believe that I can change something, I can do this. Then when someone calls you out, when someone makes fun of you, whatever, it takes away the power because you don't have any blind spots.

Lauren:

Also, too, I think I say this to people when I'm discussing mental health, because I realize I can sit here and you and I can sit here and have this conversation about internal landscape and self-actualization and the journey to get there. Some people aren't ready for that yet, though. Some people because of circumstances especially when I think about jobs some people don't have that luxury of just being like you know what? This isn't jiving with me, so I'm just gonna go leave to go find myself.

Kristine:

But you do have options. I just wanna be very clear though. You do have options to create boundaries. You know what. This doesn't jive with me, but this is about them and not me, and so I'm not giving emotional energy going to try to prove myself in a place that you can't prove anything kind of.

Lauren:

I do recognize, because there have been times I know for me where it's like I've wanted to leave a department because of the toxicity, because of the unsafe conditions and the transfer. The change couldn't happen fast enough and so I did. I really had to like dig deep on those days that I was still having to trudge into that department or that office.

Kristine:

Oh, can you tell the story?

Lauren:

Lauren, which story?

Kristine:

The one about your dad sitting down with you.

Lauren:

Oh my gosh yeah, my dad he was ever on this podcast. He's had some things to say about Lauren's anxiety and just her need have found that I tend to worry a lot about the things that I cannot control or the people that I cannot control, and as much as I like to think that I have that influence, like my dad, at one point I was just getting so flustered with the situation and he just let me keep going. He's like are you done? And I was like, okay, yeah, what, what? And part some fatherly wisdom and start that anytime you want. Ed like let's go, his name is Ed. And so he's like all right, well, I'm gonna tell you something. I was like okay, here it goes. He goes, actually I'm gonna draw something. I was like okay, and I will never forget. We were sitting down at our dining room table at the time. So he pulls out this piece of paper and a freaking mechanical pencil and like this nerd. This nerd is about like she knows math, I'm sure. And he starts drawing of like a Venn diagram. And he was like he goes, I want you to picture all the things that you think you can control. Or no, sorry, it wasn't a Venn diagram, it was just a circle and he goes. I want you to for this situation, I want you to put everything in the circle that you know, not that you think that you know for a doubt about a doubt that you can control, and he goes and then everything else. I don't even want you to write it on the paper and I don't even write it, but I want you to put everything that you know and if I start to see you writing down something that I don't know you can't control that he's like I'm gonna erase it and I'm like, oh gosh, so when it, when I was with what I was left with on the paper, there really wasn't a whole lot in that circle left, but I'll tell you what was in that circle. It was definitely the things that I could control. And do you know what? It was centered on Me? It was centered on me and how I reacted, what I thought. You know about the situation. And so every now and again, when I start to ramp myself up because it's so easy to do I remember you know his hands drawing that circle, that stupid pencil, and like starting to write me, starting to write everything, and so it really is when you start thinking about it and I know that is so oversimplified, but really with sometimes the clearest answers really are the most simple, and the most simple answer is a lot of that time it's, it's within, it's within.

Kristine:

Absolutely. The reality of it is is like you really are always fine, because, guess what, you always have the power to like access those parts of yourself to make sure you're fine, and you have to do that, though, through showing up yourself every day and understanding that internal landscape. Going through the journey of self discovery, you have to challenge and question everything that we think we know about ourselves, because, most of the times, there's a lot of external things that are coming down on that identity, and so, you know, embrace the vulnerability and allow yourself to authentically pave the way to create the life you want to live.

Lauren:

And it's not always going to be pretty, it's not going to be perfect and your road will not be straight. It's going to zig and zag, it's going to drop off sometimes, but you can pick it right back up when, when you're ready and you have the bandwidth to continue that journey. But keep going. That's the most important part.

Kristine:

Absolutely when you are today is never going to be where you're going to be tomorrow. So until next time, find your health. Seriously, you're fine. You're fine because you have the power to access your place of peace anytime you need it. However, if you get stuck or right at the palm of your hand to help check out our show notes for this week's source list, recommended content and cabana live group schedule, we'll catch you next week for a brand new episode of You're Always Fine.

Barbie clip full monologue
Destination mental health
What does internal landscape mean?
Creating control