I have no idea what I’m doing.
I’ve never tried to “be a writer”. “To Be a Writer”, as used in this here blog, I would define as actions such as “being published”, “making money”, “having a literary agent”, and so forth. Sure I had a Tumblr (ha!) for years that mostly my friends read. Then I “launched” this, which reaches more than just my friends. No one, thus far, has said, “hey you’re an absolute failure at stringing thoughts together in an interesting fashion maybe just quit or actually just never Internet again”, but there’s still time. I don’t have a large enough audience yet, I’ll bet.
I never seriously tried to “be an actor” before this Season of My Life (this Season being a crash landing back to Ohio after moving through space for 5 months post-grad).
No one’s ever told me what “to be”. Not even Shakespeare posing the question shook me. No one–to my admittedly faulty and selective recollection–has ever said, “you should be X thing!”. People, family, friends, what have you, have always been encouraging and supportive. “Have you considered…” or “have you ever tried…” are often the beginning of good suggestions/opportunities/advice. My parents never pushed us to be anything other than good citizens of the world, and happy (and ideally not engaging in premarital sex or drug use, but I never miss a state or federal election so is anyone really worried?).
My friends never said, “maybe don’t”. Often they actually just say, “maybe do”, because I’m terrible at follow-through and try to couch it in being an “Ideas Person” which is really just a bullshit excuse for someone else to actualize your bomb ass script ideas (Corpus Crispi and The Poultry Geist , I’m looking at you).
I think about Flashdance a lot. I think about Jennifer Beals being a stripper and a welder and trying to get into dance school while also dating the worst Love Interest casting in a major motion picture for the entirety of 80’s cinema. No disrespect to Michael Nouri, I’m just saying. The matching was a miss, if you will. I think of her hustle, her living in that incredible warehouse, dancing to ballet broadcast on TV (do they even do that now?! Even on, say, Bravo??) with her beautiful pupper. And I want to be that.
But that’s fiction, dammit. Jennifer Beals–who is incredible and an inspiration hi please write me I love you–looks well-rested and poverty-chic because it is just a story. There are women, men, out here hustling just as hard. Maybe their hair isn’t as perfectly coiffed, maybe their warehouse space isn’t as lavishly yet subtly decorated. But they’re real. They’re real. They’re inspiring. Sometimes they’re on Huffington Post and other times they’re friends on my FB feed. I think, I’m fairly certain, I am also one of them. At least my stress-related breakouts, dwindling bank account, and suspiciously frequent emailing would indicate such.
So why am I telling you this? Namely, because it’s my blog, which translates into a enormous note to self. That note to self could be boiled quickly into: HEY GIRL DON’T FUCK UP.
Be a good citizen.
Don’t fret the premarital sex.
But I’m telling you this also because I trust you. I love you. I value your opinion. I like knowing you’re out there, listening, judging, maybe even rooting for me. I’m rooting for you.
I’m telling you this also because that is what I’m going to be. What I am. A writer. An actor. I took a leap, like I said I would. A parachute and a good pair of boots, remember? All of it, or as much as possible. I took a leap on settling down (weird thought, but real). I took a leap on a relationship. I took a leap on honest, uncomfortable accountability with friends. I took a leap on a new job. I’m basically a frog at this point. I’m going from lily-pad to lily-pad (let the metaphor live, dude), and maybe not perfectly sticking the landing. But! (I imagine me holding up one finger here to punctuate the point) I have yet to sink to the bottom of the pond. I’m above water. I’m growing fat on flies. The view’s nice.
This week has been a lot of anxiety-induced comparison. I look at her and wonder, “is this because she doesn’t have piercings?”. I look at him and fret, “if only I’d gotten that degree.”. I look at them and think, “how do they afford it that??”. “I want to go there!” “How did they land that gig?” “Well of course that worked out for them, they’re lucky.” “They’re pretty.” “They’re taller.” “They have the right parents.”
Those thoughts are high on the list of least productive thoughts I could entertain. They fall underneath Being a Professional Athlete and Ending My Relationship Because I’m Scared of Vulnerability, but well above Learning to Crochet and Never Getting Out of Bed.
I’ve tried this new job for a week. I’ve been acting “more seriously” (I never took the time to define that, kind of squirrelly on my part. We live. We learn. We listen to Alanis Morrisesette.) for a month. I’ve never even tried to submit my writing, so a big WTF to myself for holding my breath there. Choices have to live. They have to expand and take on a life of their own. You adjust accordingly, I think. From what I’ve seen.
This is the work. My god, there is only the work. So the work isn’t what I envisioned it would be when I leapt again and landed on a thinner lily-pad than planned. So the work isn’t immediately glamorous. Forget that. Teddy Roosevelt said, “I have to urinate,” at least once in his life. He also said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
I’m choosing the second quote to adhere to.
I have no idea what I’m doing. That’s all I’ve ever done–the Grand Not Knowing. I’ve gotten better. I’ve learned some things along the way. I’ve had a Montana sized amount of help.
I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m not going to stop doing it.
I will have all of it, or as much as possible.
I love you. So much.
I miss you. I see you and am proud. You move me.
I hope to see you soon.