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i used to be an “underdog”. it was a narrative that fueled me. nowadays i don’t have the external circumstances that support that narrative, so what do i do now ? no i’m actually asking. this isn’t rhetorical. i’m literally asking you, the reader, to tell me what to do now. you can send ideas to my managers, norm & derek, at mainstay entertainment.



Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy  00:06

I’m putting so much pressure on myself to say something interesting. We’re off to a great start folks. The last time I remember feeling as much pressure was when I’m glad my mom died came out. Before a book is published, it’s sent to critics. They get like the, the early preview of it and they read it and so that they can, you know, have the reviews. And you know, you hope to get good reviews because then that generates good buzz, whatever. My Book was sent to Booklist and Kirkus and another, I don’t remember the third big one, but it got the star review. So I knew going in like, oh my god, it’s gonna be critically acclaimed. That’s amazing. That’s, that’s cool. And I really had no expectation for how it would do commercially. Until I got an email that was I was not supposed to be on that email thread. It was supposed to be between other people. And in the email thread, it said, like, how are we looking on pre sales for McCarty’s book? Do we think we’ll make number one for like, the New York Times bestseller list. And I had I had, like, had high hopes that it would maybe make the list. But then when I saw that email that there was some expectation, or even pressure on it, landing in the number one slot. It was like I became fixated on that obsessed. i My heart’s like pounding even while I say this, I, it was all I could think about, like I needed that book to become the number one New York Times bestseller. This is I’m I’m, you know, a little embarrassed to admit this. But if the book had debuted, it did debut at number one, if it had debuted at number two, I would have you guys, I would have sobbed, I would have felt like a fucking failure, I would have felt so bad. And it’s because of that expectations because of that pressure. And my god, like that’s, that’s scary to admit. But that’s absolutely the last time I felt this much pressure. So that happened a year in a couple months ago cut to what is it? August, 14 month later, this podcast is coming out. And this is like my first project that’s being released to the public since the book. And so as you might be able to imagine, coming off of that success, I’m putting that much pressure on myself for this to be as successful.


Jennette McCurdy  03:22

The neverending chase of success, it’s a fun one. And by fun, I mean, somebody throw me off a cliff right now. I care about making things that are good and the content being good. And now this this this book has has exploded the way it has. And it’s, I believe, very good. I stand by every word, I really liked the content of it. And so now I’m putting this pressure on the podcast to have equally, you know, equal quality of content. And it’s also scary, because, like the book I had, I spent writing it, you know, over a year in some some odd months, and I had many drafts to really get it right and say exactly the right thing. And that’s a part of writing that I really love is nobody’s gonna be surprised here. But the control I love to have that control of, you know, I write it and I reread it and I reread it and I rewrite it until it’s fucking great. And this is like just me talking. I’m not writing these out ahead of time. I don’t know, I’m trying to own all parts of myself to like the instincts for control. That’s part of the purpose of this podcast is I just want to just be as transparent as possible because I’m, frankly like sick of how socially we have to pretend like we live in these little like narrow tiny lanes of emotional expression. You know, just the good ones. Even like jealousy. Jealousy has become kind of an acceptable emotion. It’s now one that like we can talk about at parties and what have you, and different emotions. I think take turns and being trendy or not. But like being controlling, not hearing anybody waving those flags, not hearing anybody quick to own those, and I want to, so I can win. That’s the most honest thing I’ve said. No, I really I really want to be I want to get there first I, I want to, I think I can I want to be honest and true and accept all parts of myself. I don’t want to pretend I pretended for too long. For those of you who don’t know, I, once upon a time had a career as a child actor. So my whole childhood and adolescence were sent were spent just pretending to be things that I’m not and now I want to like own all of myself, warts and all and just just try my best to accept it on any given day and some days it’s it’s a lot harder than others. Candidly, you know, some days it’s just like, Fuck, I’m disappointed in myself I’m disappointed with how small I can be in moments and how petty I can be in moments and I wish I was bigger grown and evolved past all of that but like it’s just those are all different shades of me. And I’m trying to accept all those shades and of course I love all those shades but that doesn’t reach you know what let’s just let’s just take it one step at a time. Except I’m just trying to accept those parts of me.


Jennette McCurdy  08:57

So in moving kind of toward this next phase of my career I am met with this new reality or new how do we see this like having to reframe a narrative so an old narrative that I used to have was I’m an underdog always felt like an underdog. I’m undervalued was another one. I’m undervalued. I’m an underdog. This was one of my really key driving narratives. And let me tell you feeling like an underdog drove me to work my fucking ass off. I just, you know, had something to prove had that chip on my shoulder. I’m an underdog I’m undervalued it informed. Every decision I knew I was making. And even once I didn’t realize I was making like this just was was part of my chemical makeup, it was in everything that I did. And now I don’t have that narrative to lean on. Now, I can’t say, oh, I’m an underdog or I’m undervalued coming off of all of this success. It’s like, okay, I met with the need to reframe the narrative, and in reframing that narrative, find a new driving force. Because it’s a little outdated and expired if I’m using that narrative to still drive me. So what narrative have I replaced it with? I think it’s, I need to do it again. Okay. had that kind of success once check. Thank you very much. Now, I wanted again, I want to prove to myself that I can do it again. And see what’s interesting in that to me is that I found a way to make it about needing to prove myself again. It’s so obvious to me that that’s like the the leading unhealthy driving force in my life is this desperate need to fucking prove myself, frankly, I’m exhausted by it. Like, I am tired of it. I want to know what life would look like if I didn’t feel this constant, knowing need to prove myself. What am I even trying to prove? I guess I’m trying to prove that I’m smart, funny, interesting, talented. And every other positive adjective in the dictionary. It’s kind of true. It’s, it’s really quite sad. When you think about it. Like, there’s always like, the things that it goes back from therapy to right where it’s like, I’m trying to prove that I’m enough or that I’m worthy. And it’s like the those these words are so ambiguous.


Jennette McCurdy  12:30

I don’t fucking know. Like, there’s nothing to latch on to. But when I say smart, funny talent, I can actually latch on to those and I can save that. I know, I feel like I’m trying to prove that feels true to me. Maybe it takes more work to get to the place where I’m able to recognize that it’s like that I want to feel like enough or worthy of love or something. But honestly, there’s a part of me too, that even like, if I see somebody who I think who I assume feels like they’re enough or worthy of love. I feel angry. I feel pissed. I feel irritated at them. I feel like they’re so fucking annoying. Like, I have this. I have this like hobby of late night was like the thing that I watched before I fall asleep. Or watch vloggers like you guys, I’m watching teenage vlog. I’m watching like 18 year old vloggers go to home goods and buy Halloween decorations. What is happening? Oh, watch a watch housewives. Always with the husband named Wesley. He’s always named Wesley. That guy. They like show their pumpkin bread recipe and they’ll have like little yarn in their hair. And they don’t say G’s at the end of their words that absolutely have G’s on them. And be like, I’m just cooking. I’m just cleaning. I’m just having a lovely day. I want to fuck you. You’re not having a look.


Vivian Tu  13:56

You’re not having a lovely day. Like, they just have they just like ooze this okayness with life and themselves that I’m jealous of. And it makes me angry. Like, I don’t know. Am I jealous of it? Because it’s like, I also don’t want to be that I don’t want to be fucking making pumpkin bread and throwing yarn in my hair. I just yeah, it’s like, I like a lot of parts of me, I guess is what I’m trying to say. I enjoy hanging out in my company. I enjoy myself I enjoy being who I am. And my god have I worked hard to get here. So there’s aspects of myself that I really appreciate. But the thing that I would like to change is that being motivated by not being you know, enough or feeling worthy of love without I guess, being talented. I’d love to not be driven by this need to prove myself exhaustively, always constantly. Like I want to know what that you know what I honestly thought I thought I want to know what kind of work that would bring to the table. How would my work look then? Oh boy. So anyway, that’s what I’m thinking about how’s your Tuesday


Vivian Tu  15:15

There’s more Hard Feelings with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, and you can subscribe now in Apple podcasts. I’m Jennette McCurdy, the creator, executive producer and host of HardFeelings. It’s produced by Lemonada Media in coordination with Happy Rage productions. Our production team is Kegan Zema, Aria Bracci and Brian Castillo. Music is by Hannah’s Brown. Steve Nelson is Lemonada’s Vice President of weekly content. Rachel Neil is Lemonada Senior Director of new content. Executive Producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer and me. Listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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