Becoming the Black Swan

by MuminBusiness

How do you live your life? As the white swan or the black swan, or a weird blend of both?

Watching Black Swan the movie was a strange, strange and yet beautiful experience. I remember scenes of great beauty as the wannabe star swan (Natalie Portman) dances and dances trying to satisfy all the people in her life. Watching the film helped me understand what Swan Lake was about so I gained some culture by watching it, I am sure. It also made me rethink my daughter’s attendance at ballet school as it all seemed far too intense for her little mind!

Watching the seeming rivalry between the dancers as they all sought the top spot; pitying the outgoing star as she descends into self-pity and despair, feeling afraid for the new, incoming star as we watched her downward spiral into madness. The itching, the forgetfulness, the made up scenes - What was real and what was not?

Black Swan -the Movie

 I still do not really fully understand exactly what happened.  The end however is clear!

Watching a mother caught up in love for her child and yet also jealousy at her child’s success.  How easy would it be to fall into that? If you manage to coerce your child into doing the thing that you had most wanted in your youth, would you now be jealous if she succeeds where you failed?

Anyway, this is not about the mother-daughter dynamic but about becoming the black swan.

Have you watched the Actual Swan Lake?

The Black Swan's Daring

The thing that struck home to me about the Black Swan (at least the one in the movie!) was that she was real, she was daring, she commanded applause and attention, she strut her stuff confidently and could not care less for the reaction of those around her.  She knew what she wanted and she went for it.

Unfortunately the black swan did this at the expense of the white swan and ultimately it lead to disaster for the white swan.  

We can all do without the disaster, really. Is there a way to be the black swan without the horrid end?

Being the White Swan

Being Sweet is not always great

Life can be a pretty confusing place at times, especially for a white swan. You wake in the morning, determined to do your best. You fade into the background, not wanting to draw too much attention to yourself and yet, in a weird way, you do want to be noticed.  However you end up being ignored or taken advantage of.  All you want to do is live life in the most pain free way possible.  However, you feel resentment building up within you as you realise that yes, you are being ignored or patronised as no one can see the passion and ability within you.

You are obeying all the rules, doing what is asked of you and yet somehow those who flaunt all the rules and do only what suits them are winning.  They seem to be getting all the promotions, people love being around them.  Resentment continues to build.  “What is the point?” You scream on the inside but on the outside you carry on being obedient. You carry on serving the dreams of another.

The Black Swan Awakens

And yes, what is the point?  What is the point of living but not really living?  Why bother going through life without really showing yourself, putting yourself out there and putting yourself to the test?  Who knows what amazing thing you can do if you would open up and try?

One day, you get fed up of being one of the sheep and decide to become your own person.  You decide to take your life back and make a few choices for yourself.  A journey begins towards killing off the white swan.

You start to realise that things you felt you had no control over were just waiting for you to grab hold and make a choice – any choice.  You start to realise there really are no wrong choices, just defeatist reactions to consequences.  There are definitely times when you long to return to the orderly life that you once knew and yet it seems like too many steps back.

Unlike the Black Swan in Swan Lake, you learn that you do not need to trample on everyone around you to get your way. However,  you definitely learn to assert yourself.  No more settling for the crumbs everyone else has left because you begin to realise no one is any more worth it than you.

You no longer live for the accolades of others, you know you are priceless and you seek to leave your stamp wherever you go.  The accolades begin to follow anyway as well as the nasty gossip of the naysayers.  The Black Swan cannot help but be noticed.  B2

You live life with passion, you live life deliberately and your enjoyment of life multiplies.

The white swan in you is killed off as you realise you cannot return to life as you had known it. You wonder what took you so long to take a step.

Is it time for you to let your Black Swan out?

Updated: 02/26/2012, MuminBusiness
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