Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Dang it, I’m a week behind again. I’m going to see how many I can turn out today.
So, the story has changed.
I started out this blog talking a lot about story. My move to California was the story of pursuing dreams, of the ups and downs of doing the thing that people often just think about doing. It was the story of love and loneliness, as Michelle let me go pursue while she stayed home.
Now, the story is coming home from dreams.
Movies always end with the main character reaching his dreams, or driving away to pursue something. They’re like a good improv scene, where you end with a laugh, you let the scene play out, and then you end at the height of it. One of my favorite, and meaningful movies, Good Will Hunting, ends with a shot of him driving across the country in his old car to see about a girl. It was the perfect place to end the movie, I wouldn’t have wanted to watch him arriving and them settling in, and all that stuff. But, real life isn’t like that. I had my moment where I got in my crappy car and drove across the country. Then, I got home. There were no credits rolling.
It’s kind of weird.
I remember when I arrived in LA, I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t really in shock the first few weeks, when, now that I look back on it, it’s obvious that I was in shock. I think I’m recognizing that I’m in that stage again.
I had held onto the ideas of making it in Hollywood, or acting, or writing, or comedy for a long time, long before I actually pulled up and moved. Plus, the experience was pretty affirming that it is what I like to do, and it was affirming that I’m good enough to do it. Now, I’m not sure what to do with those dreams. Do I force myself to abandon them? That feels disingenuous. Do I still hold on to them? That feels unrealistic, and I can’t make my life as busy as I had before, when I pursued them in all my spare time. I’m having a hard time extricating myself from those hopes, and there is no time when I feel that tension more than when I’m looking through job postings. They aren’t all bad, they’re just a lot of “meh.”
I’ve put too high a hope on what my next job will be. It’s like I want to explain to the invisible they, “Yeah, I had to come back from LA, but at least I got a job working as a ______” I’m also trying to avoid, “I loved it out there, and now I’m just working as a _____” Luckily, for that thought, I’m getting to the desperate mode, so I’m willing to get a job doing whatever. Unluckily, for life in general, I’m getting to desperate mode. Trying to explain things to “they” is an empty, disheartening task. The other day, I heard the money amounts from Michelle about what we have in our checking and savings now, and what we had at this time last year. It’s one thing to say, going for your dreams is an experience you can’t replace, it’s so worth it, but it’s another thing to say, going for my dreams cost X amount of money. Knowing that X makes things seem less worth it. I’ve always stayed on top of where we’re at with money pretty well, but this last year I couldn’t really get myself to look at it. Now I know.
The small income things I used to have like freelancing, and the Mystery Hour would feel like a million bucks right now, but I temporarily gave those up, and I’ve got to do a lot of work to get them on track.
So, yeah, I’m pretty discouraged right now. I think I need to just get a job doing whatever. There aren’t lofty stakes (besides health insurance) attached to everything. However, my ego thinks there is.
For a story to be good, at some point, the main character has to be lost and down, and not know how things are going to work out.
In which case, maybe this new story is a good one.
The only way to the other side is through.