I’ve been stressing about being an early success since I was a teenager. Maybe even before then. I wanted to be good, and I wanted it as soon as possible. The thought of not having my success until I was middle-aged was depressing and discouraging, and seeing people my age who were already talented only made it worse.
Then I saw the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild interviewed on TV. This director is 26, and his film is nominated for four Oscars this year. Again, the envy and discouragement took hold of me… but then I saw something new. Watching him do this interview, the way he sat, the way he talked — he was just too young. I couldn’t take him seriously, no matter how important what he was saying was. And I realized that’s how the world would see me if I were to have any kind of success at this age.
I still have a lot of time — and a long way to go. I’ve heard this advice countless times, but I finally understand it now. I should just keep my head down, work, and improve. I’ll get there one day. It doesn’t need to happen now, and perhaps it’s better if it doesn’t.