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“Being Diane”

In case you haven’t seen or heard about “Bojack Horseman”, it is a drama-comedy show on Netflix. It’s about a washed up star from a 1990s sitcom trying to find himself in the limelight again. Being a self-loathing addict, Bojack finds himself in a never-ending self sabotaging cycle, and that’s the titular character in a nutshell. However, that's just one of the troubled characters in the show, despite the fact that the characters in the show are a mix of humanoid animals.

“Being Diane” — 20.12.2021
By Team Foci Collective

Image Credit: Odyssey
What makes this show worth writing about are the complex characters that represent each and everyone of us, or at least partly. What this show does is illustrate the reality of most things in life, how unfair it is, how we blame each other for it, and how we fail to see that we are our own undoing. Fair warning, this isn’t an article that’s supposed to inspire or motivate you, it merely sparks self-awareness.
Despite how great the show is, this is not an article of what I liked about it. It is a dissection of a character that resonated with me the most — Diane Nguyen. A short introduction to Diane, she’s a writer who’s married to an annoyingly positive dog-person. In the beginning, she seems happy with a seemingly perfect life, but as episodes go by, the character unravels to show her true cynical self.
Image Credit: Pop Sugar UK
After countless struggles to find fulfillment in her career, Diane finally put her foot down to write a profound treatise on damage. It would be about how the damage she suffered in her childhood formed the person she is today. With the battle against her depression and the pressure that surrounds her, she failed to write something that she truly liked. Distracted as her mind wanders off, what she wrote was far from what she imagined. She wrote  “Ivy Tran: Food Court Detective”, a teen fiction novel.
Long story short, everybody liked it, but Diane was reluctant to publish her teen novel because if she couldn’t put her damage into words, all she went through was for nothing, she could’ve been happy. She was hoping to tell other “little Dianes” that they’re not alone, but was convinced by her manager that maybe this teen detective book could do the same thing.

Image Credit: BojackScenes via Instagram

“When I was a little girl, I thought all the abuse and neglect, it somehow made me special, and someday I decided I was going to make little girls like me less alone, and if I can’t write that book, then-”

“Then maybe write this other book, maybe this book does that too.”

I guess my main takeaway from this is to embrace change. Through time and time again in my career, there would be countless revisions, this applies to all the creatives who work for brands. Sure it’s a norm, but we rarely stick to our initial drafts. Sometimes, it might even go to a point where the work strays from our primary intentions, it almost feels like a survival tactic because we need to get the job done.  However, what drives us to push forward are the results we see in our work.

Through countless efforts, seeing numbers grow can be fulfilling, and it’s nice to help small brands grow, to be the aid  in their achievements. Looking at the bigger picture, we’re all just helping each other be the best version of ourselves. At the risk of sounding like a middle-aged Karen, maybe it does get better when we see matters  from another point of view that makes us happy and fulfilled. On the other hand, we shouldn’t settle for what we have now, the thought of doing better needs to prevail, because that’s how we know we can and will take a step further.
The summary of this article isn’t about me saying “you should be finding joy in what you have”.  I think the best we can do is to embrace the uncontrollable forces in our lives. To do our best to produce work with the prime intentions, and hoping those intentions come through in our work. It’s up to us to know what fulfilment means to us and work with what we’ve got. Until we’ve managed to have a little control of our lives, we’ll just have to make do with what is in front of us, and maybe by the end of it, it’ll be worth pursuing.