Good news. Not related to my grief, unfortunately. That kind of good news would have me ignoring this blog and shouting from the rooftop.
The good news is related to the job search. Though I have spent more time since the interview worrying about whether it’s the right fit or not than celebrating, I have actually at least theoretically gotten a second interview at a job that might be a great next step. I know that “good news” sounded muddled in not good news and confusing language but that is because I AM CONFUSED.
In short, good news: had a successful interview that should supposedly result in a second interview. And I KNOW that to most people that doesn’t even sound like good news. But when you work in television, opportunities are few and far between, so I will take at least the second interview while I decide. I should say now that I haven’t given that enough weight. It IS exciting. As for the rest of it, it’s not exactly the job I want and the upward mobility isn’t exactly on the path I’d even want to be on but it’s money and it’s a job and it’s in TV and the show is interesting soooooooooo. I don’t know. But those seem like good things.
I don’t get to celebrate all that often, so I will take it. Side note – I spent the entire day in pajamas interacting with no other humans so that might be the real win for today.
Day 66 – Somewhat(?) Good News
Here’s the thing… The thing is… I can’t articulate the thing. I spent the evening at a work-related workshop I got invited to, and I can’t quite capture my feelings. On the one hand, it felt good to be in a space working on my craft. On the other hand, I don’t think I had a lot to contribute tonight. Maybe I was off my game. Maybe the material wasn’t accessible to me. Maybe the writing worked well enough that it was easy to ignore the flaws but not so well that it blew me away. Mediocrity, or something just north of there, is easy to gloss over because it’s hard to correct.
So, instead, I ate chips and thought about whether or not my stuff would land. Would I be mediocre without a solution? I had no notes for the first person, but I honestly thought it was okay. It felt like a scene I’d seen before (do NOT pardon the pun), so it must work because someone has put money behind that at one time or another and it probably met with some level of success. So who am I to say it doesn’t work? It DOES work, it just isn’t exactly what I would want it to be. But who am I?
Should I tell her that if I wrote it, I’d want it to show more push and pull, more fighting, more struggle, more frustration, more lightness, more everything? Or should I smile and nod while eating a seemingly endless bag of chips, which is what I actually did?!
And then there’s that very real moment where I had to wonder – really, really wonder – if what I would bring in is actually better. Or worse. Or the same. Or neither. I listened and I watched and I felt like I was truly being faced with things that needed a lot of work. Great. Let’s work them. But why these are all working writers and directors? What are they doing differently than I am? Maybe they’re not bitching about it online… Hard to know for sure. I don’t know anything anymore.
But then I left my confused state behind in that theatre momentarily when I got a text from my parents bringing me back down to the reality of my life. I hate those texts. I hate that I look at my phone afraid I’ll have one. I hate that I hate hearing from them and I hate that I hate the way even a confused moment can seem “good” in comparison. I just wanted a normal moment where I thought about my career and not about the pain and the struggle and the fears and the deep down awfulness of the rest of everything. Thank goodness for modern technology reminding me that that’s not possible.
Day 64 – I Don’t Know Anything Anymore
I got one little nibble today and even though it’s nothing, it’s still toeing the line with SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENING, so I’ll take it. I got a job interview for next week. To actually do something that I want to do. It’s a start, a step. A little part of me wanted to curl up on my couch and ignore it instead (read: a very big part of me), but I didn’t (yet) and I accepted the interview.
I really want waffles and eggs and everything covered in maple syrup – damn you, Parks and Recreation. There’s just something about the way that show deals with breakfast food…
To the important things: I had a mild-medium panic attack today. I have no idea if I’m ever doing the right thing. Work? Grieve? Nap? Move? Stay where I am? Curl up into a ball and cry? Watch comedy? Eat all the ice cream? Move back to Colorado? Keep on the path I’m on? Try something different? LIFE IS SO HARD! Who has the answers to these things? How does anyone ever figure out how to navigate the world correctly? Is there some like secret list of information somewhere that everyone is reading except for me?
I have extreme career anxiety. I believe very strongly in hard work and a good work ethic. BUT SOMEONE HAS TO HIRE ME. Yes, I also have to be a good fit for them. AND YES I have to earn it. Shhhhh, I KNOW.
But every day that goes by that I am not working gives a little caffeine jolt to my anxiety and then I return to the cry-nap-eat cycle I seem to be so fond of. I am amazed I have friends, to be honest.
Day 58 – Life Is Hard
I used to think Ron Swanson (Parks & Rec, obviously) was the hilariously out-of-touch sidekick to Leslie’s in-touch, hard-working persona, but I swear to you, the more I learn about the world, the more I like his off-grid, off-beat sensibilities. The fewer people I have to deal with and the less governmental interference in life (particularly with the current decision-makers in power), the better off I am.
I talked to exactly one person today. One. And she was trying to sell me a spa day on the sidewalk by being “willing to take my payment now” – as in, in person when I have no idea who she is, I was supposed to pay her money randomly as we passed by each other. I was listening to a podcast the entire time she was talking because I had grocery bags in both hands that I was carrying home so I couldn’t press “pause” on the podcast and she didn’t seem interested in noticing normal, obvious things happening right in front of her, so I just had to attempt to listen to her sales pitch while also listening to murder. Needless to say, the murder was far more interesting.
So she kept chatting to me about this super cheap spa day while I tried not to lose an arm to the weight off all the groceries I’d purchased, had murder on my mind, and was told that all I had to do was give this person I didn’t know on the street my credit card number – OR BETTER YET, SHE’D ACCEPT CASH – and then I’d be well on my way to having $700 worth of spa services, just take her word for it! It couldn’t possibly be a poorly disguised scam!
Thus ended any interest I had in speaking with other humans in person today. I went home to my dog and my fresh foods and enjoyed the silence/chocolate-covered graham crackers.
Day 57 – People Are Annoying and also I Love Ron
Sometimes I feel like I put effort into things that other people treat like a whatever, bro, no worries type situation and they generally turn out to be correct. I work hard at something or I worry about making sure I’m on time, fulfil my responsibilities, honor my commitments, do the work, and truly give it my all when other people are just, like, I’ll do it later if I remember and then they don’t and THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES.
None. None consequences. But I don’t know any other way to be. I don’t know how to be un-committed to things or chill about literally anything or do half-ass work and not completely stress and lose sleep over it when other people seem to have NO ANXIETY WHATSOEVER about these things and they are no worse off for it. BUT I HAVE NO CHILL. NONE. I was taught that it matters in school and in life that you give it your all 100% of the time, when, in actuality, it seems like it doesn’t much matter and those people get just as far IF NOT MUCH, MUCH FARTHER in life without that same level of responsibility and work ethic.
I always come back to this idea. No matter how sad or how down or how worthless I feel, I know that I am always going to outwork anyone else on the job. The problem is, I’m not the one who gets the job in the first place. It’s the person who didn’t worry, and kind of did some of it last minute, and mostly just winged it who got the opportunity. What the actual fuck, life? WHAT? No one told me this is how it would go.
I guess it’s the whole: The good die young. Life isn’t fair.
Day 55 – I Have No Chill
We have a very weird divide in the US, maybe in the whole world: you are either street smart, or you are book smart. I thought I bridged that gap. I’m all book-reading and navigating the world like a boss. An unemployed boss.
But then I realized that I both undersold and oversold myself. I AM both of those things, but I’m not the best ever and I can learn a thing or two. And I AM book smart, but that doesn’t seem to matter as much in real life. I am NOT (yet) Life Smart.
I am very Life Dumb. I am motivated when someone gives me a specific task, but I have to be in charge. So that works when you’re the lead in the play, or the director, in school and you have a specific task, but that task is to be the greatest badass boss lady around. If I am given an essay assignment and one person gets to present their essay, you better bet I will write the best essay around and win that spot. Someone needs to sacrifice their own tennis match so that another team can be captained because they have a better shot at the championship? Well, how about I win my match right now and then go captain? I’m on it.
But real life doesn’t seem to work this way. You are either your own boss, in which case all tasks and successes and pay checks are up to you, or you work for a company/corporation, in which case you do whatever narrow job you’re given with very little autonomy and hope you someday get to move up the ladder.
What about those of us who fall somewhere in between? I haven’t figured out what that job is yet, but I want it. I am book smart, I am street smart, but I am TERRIBLE at the other stuff. Motivation? I don’t know. I want a team to work with, I want to be the captain/boss of that team, and I want someone to give me some structure or guidance about what to do next. SOMEONE GIVE ME SOME STRUCTURE!!!
Day 53 – Boss Lady Fails
Every once in a while, you have a day where you are reinvigorated to continue to pursue your dream and/or wake up tomorrow at a normal time and actually brush your teeth and perhaps interact with other humans. One or the other. Am I right? I had one of those days today. Something happened that reminded me that this life is definitely the one that I am (unfortunately) going to have to continue to pursue BECAUSE I HATE/LOVE IT AND IT HATE/LOVES ME BACK. And THEN I was reminded that my career choice is also the reason for 95% of my anxiety. So… winning all around.
Also, side note, I like to eat chocolate after 11 PM on top of the two other desserts I had. I like to take naps on my couch. I like to re-watch shows on Netflix that most people wouldn’t even watch once. I like to talk about working out but rarely do it because it’s time consuming and boring and difficult and finding parking in LA is like finding a needle in a haystack and it makes me want to murder people. I like to eat pasta, in fact I like to eat all the pasta I can find. I like to turn on as many fans as possible and point them directly at my face because I sweat a lot and I seriously hate the heat. I like to write at night when it’s quiet and no one can annoy me. I like to cuddle with my puppy but I hate taking her for walks because she’s a terrible walker, it’s hot out, and I don’t want to be where the people are. I like to drink coffee in the morning because I can put a lot of creamer and sugar in it, not because I like the taste, which is like dirty, bitter water. I like to hint to people that I need help getting more writing jobs, but I hate using my friendships to get them so I kind of casually mention them while acting like it’s not a big deal and downplaying my talent and basically talking them out of helping me, even for free, even at all. I like to wait until it’s too late to do my laundry and then the laundry machines are full all day on the day I decide to do it, leaving me with no clean underwear. I like to be out of quarters as well when I finally DO try to do my laundry. I like to check my phone every few seconds to see if anyone has texted or called while also hating everyone and hoping no one has texted or called; when I see that no one has, I like to be devastated that I don’t have any friends and mope around for a while before eating my feelings in the shape of desserts. I like to talk myself out of being good enough for jobs and then when I get so tired of doing this, I like to fall asleep on my couch with my head at an awkward angle on the pillow so my neck hurts all night. AAAAND rinse and repeat. I’m a treat to be around.
None of those things take away from the fact that I did, actually, feel reenergized about the passion I have for my career, even if it didn’t in any way clarify how I’m supposed to get there or motivate me to do anything other than sit on my couch. Still… A good day overall.
Day 49 – Things I like and Pursuing My Dreams