gimme the beat.

Friends, lovers, strangers, random men who are reading this from Tinder–

IMG_0085Yo.

(Not to be confused with the hacked app)

Every single day, I have about 300 bizarre ideas pop into my head. Most I keep to myself. Some are far-fetched entrepreneurial plans that I know I will never put into action. Many are songs. Some are stories. Often, it’s an outfit or a food that I desire. (Just now even, I left this post to make myself some pickle toast. Which is toast with pickles on top. No, I am not pregnant or high. Yes, it IS delicious!)

670px-Make-a-Grilled-Cheese-and-Pickle-Sandwich-Intro

I have book ideas, and television show plots, and intricate plans to win the affections of Evan Peters from American Horror Story (who I know is blonde and that’s UNNATURAL and feminine or something but I’m into it, so buzz off), little lists to read certain books, sad nostalgic letters I write to previous friends, sudden reminders to call so-and-so back, grandeur pitches to editorial heads of magazines and online publications showcasing my writing wit and lengthy, limitless train of ideas. All aboard the Maggie Express, we’re going nowhere, and we’re going fast. 

IMG_9889

Sadly, most of my ideas, never see screen. They are passing shooting stars in the galaxy of my sleepy brain and on the verge of awakening, I quite often lose them to consciousness. It is a sad reality of having a head like a 25-cent grocery store sticker machine. Full of one-dimensional, glittery viscid cursive typography that never get to see the light of day. 

However. Sometimes! I have an idea and it sticks. Actually, it’s more like it bounces. With rhythm. I can tell a really good idea by its bounce. I’ll forget it for a second. A day. A week. But it keeps coming back. To the beat. That beat in my head.

 

 Today marks year 3 of LeftoversFromFriday. It is still the longest relationship I’ve ever had. I read back through old entries, reading 22-year-old Meg, gives me a certain clarity that I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in order to reach better ones. I read her hope that we can keep college alive, by living each day as if it’s a glory day. And I appreciate her near-sighted cliche adorable idealism, but 3 years later, I can confirm she is missing the big idea here. 

And that is that, you really can do everything you want to do. You really can ‘live the dream’. The problem is nailing that dream down. Keeping the sticker stuck. Permanently inking that idea to your forearm and looking at it everyday. Bouncing it again and again off your head until you have a rhythm you never get sick of and never want to stop playing. And eventually putting whatever it is onto some paper (paper of course, being whatever canvas you choose).

Screen-shot-2014-06-16-at-8.38.10-PM-375x373

Yes, therein lies the problem for many of us. The whole WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE/WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO seemingly endless limitless unanswerable question that used to keep me up in the middle of the night, burrowing into my brain like a sickening slow-moving ambitious virus that was the reason for and bane of my existence. The unbearable reality that I was wasting my youth, while also simultaneously not enjoying it the way I should be because I was so worried I was wasting it while also acutely aware that there were others my age doing bigger and better and more successful things, while I was simply wondering what it is I should be doing in the first place. 

Perhaps the problem is that our parents told us we could be anything. Maybe they should have told us we would all be disappointed, and therefore we’d all be satisfied. Imagine our ambition and drive and direction, if we all met our expectations by not meeting expectation! It’s economic inception. It’s the career-related matrix. I’ve discovered the loophole! Call Obama! Anyway.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve always known that writing is something that gives me energy and a high on a level that is far beyond “traits and skills you might have for -insert this job here-” I’ve always been very aware of my strengths and weaknesses. What I don’t and do want. 

But still, I’ve struggled with what degree I want to pursue my creative side. And how? And when? And where? It’s not so simple saying you want to write it turns out. It’s certainly a big step. But it’s like finishing a flight of stairs and your entire career is the Eiffel Tower and you don’t even know why you’re in Paris and you haven’t eaten and some foreign guy keeps shoving flowers in your face but when you take one he yells at you in french and you’re like ok I’ve definitely seen you on tinder before and you totally speak english, asshole. 

 

…Mass confusion. Everyday. Even if you don’t want to pursue something creative, you know what it’s like. Like I was supposed to be someone by now. I was supposed to have my shit a little more together. A little more direction. I certainly know that feeling well. Has it stopped me yet? Have I hung up my hat and settled for administrative purgatory and just writing in my diary on the side? Hell no. 

I have a lot of ideas. A lot of creative thoughts that surge through me every single day. But recently, I’ve been noticing a pattern. A distinct beat. A rhythm for a particular idea.

And that is that I’m very skilled at not only believing I’m on a path of finding my own dream and pursuing it, but also encouraging and believing that you all will find yours. If that’s really what you want. I think we are a generation that despite economic and employment disappointment, despite absurd outstanding debt from the colleges that were supposed to get us our “dream jobs,” despite being supposedly surrounded by others who society would have you believe to be doing and making more, refuses to settle. I think the previous generation often sees this as laziness and entitlement but I disagree. 

I believe that more than any generation before, we can achieve big things. We can make the big ideas in our heads our reality. You don’t have to take the first job you get out of college. Or keep the second job. Or stick with the third. Or screw it, even go to college. If you have the drive and the passion, history has shown us through successful person after successful person that a college degree and a resume of experience can be irrelevant. 

You just have to have an idea. And make that idea into a beat. And turn that beat into a rhythm. And keep creating that rhythm until you find a stride that you never get sick of and never want to stop playing.

And then one day, you’ll wake up and ask yourself that same question. The one question that used to wake you up in the middle of the night.

What do you want to do?

And you’ll answer, well.. I’m doing it.

And the beat goes on…

Happy 3 years-

m

2+2=5 (I know. I don’t get it either.)

Outside patio, day-time:

IMG_9766

This episode in my life begins with me on my suburban home and garden patio, soaking up the midwest sun before it fades into yet ANOTHER FREAKING RAINSTORM which is becoming borderline absurd if not, at the very least, incredibly annoying to my suntan and more importantly, my hair. As the final days of my unemployment draw to close, I reflect on my crazy anti-career victory lap that went entirely too long; though now closing in on the finish line– I can see something that looks like vaguely like a purpose.

I still don’t know exactly why I’m here. I think about that a lot, knowing how much I love LA and being in a big city, and yet somehow, for some explanation, I forge ahead where I’m at. There’s reasons things don’t work out and there’s reasons things do and unfortunately (and also fortunately) those reasons only really become apparent as time goes on.

I think back to 3 years ago and graduating, when I first started writing Leftovers From Friday and what a confused little character I was. Often, I wonder just how much progress I’ve really made. I mean, if I was watching a tv show of myself right now and at the end of the 2nd season I end up back in Denver– living with my parents (the horror, really) I would be sitting on the edge of my couch in suspense. Uh, whoa Walter White. Carrie Mathison. Frank Underwood. Did NOT see that one coming! What else are you capable of? The television version of my life is plot twist after unbelievable plot twist. I can’t stop watching. Because seriously, what happens next?

IMG_9767

Yet, here I am. I continue to surprise, astonish, and shock even myself.

It’s the greatest show I’ve ever seen, this whole not having a 10-year or even a 5-year plan. I like to pretend I’m an hour-long drama at times, but if we’re being real, I’m just a 30-minute sitcom, with no laugh track. I’m the real-life Seinfeld, a show that’s kind of about nothing, but also applicable to everything. Hilariously, I still keep trying to make life plans despite the fact that since graduating college, since leaving formal education, pretty much nothing in my life has gone according to “plan.”

But yet, as time unfolds, as the show goes on, I’ve learned that part of figuring out life is just as much figuring out what you don’t want to do, as what you do. It’s figuring out who you can count on, as much as figuring out who you can’t. Some episodes, I let people down. Others, I’m the one whose disappointed. I’m both the villain and the hero. Because you’re kidding yourself if you think you are always the protagonist in your own story. I can be my own (and my only) worst enemy sometimes. I can destroy myself with just my thoughts. Drive myself insane when things don’t go as I wanted them to, as I expected them to. Throw down mental static interference when 2 plus 2 equals 5.

“But it’s supposed to be 4!”, I scream to no one. Usually in the shower. I was told it’s 4! 18 years of education and my entire life still equals 5 and my commitment remote is broken, and what is that even and I don’t like who they’ve cast as the male lead in this show because… oh right there is no male lead and then I’m just like ok Liz Lemon, drop the hot dog, let’s take a step back and breathe here.

IMG_9672

And it’s here that you find me on my patio in suburb USA. Remembering and reflecting that I can not binge-watch my entire life although god knows sometimes, I try. I can’t speak for myself in 5 years. Just like I couldn’t speak for myself 3 years ago. And maybe there will come a point where I see the point, but until then, all I can do is watch what’s in front of me.

And what’s playing in front of me right now is a new job in a completely new city. There’s going to be a whole new set of stories. And characters. And failures. And success! And personally, I think that’s a pretty good premiere episode to season 3 of Leftovers From Friday.

And so in conclusion, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely going to keep watching to find out what happens next.

Rainstorm begins. Ominously? Refreshingly? Cleansingly? Forebodingly?

Regardless…end scene,

M

My bartending interview (aka how I got a reality surfboart to the face)

I’ve been meaning to tell you guys about the worst interview I’ve ever had.

9694656_13518416_b

When I first moved back to Denver, aka like 1.5 months ago, which might as well be a century as far as I’m concerned because I feel like I lived in LA during a dream hosted by Katy Perry and narrated by Snoop Dogg, and keep pinching myself back to the reality of my current life, BUT ANYWAY I digress.

The interview was just 2 days after I returned from my California Girlz Dreamlyfe and I was feeling pretty proud that I nailed something down so quickly. Go team Meg! This particular establishment was at a ComedyWorks in Cherry Creek, Colorado which if you know anything about anything in Colorado, that’s just a nice way to say where rich people go and politely laugh at up-and-coming comedians. And most likely get wine drunk and hit on the bartender which is where I was supposed to come in because my brilliant plan was to serve drinks at this particular establishment while I figured out my next life steps.

I must once again emphasis how badly this particular interview went. Not to stay so topical but it actually was “comical.” In like a watch a hamster try to eat a piece of cheese on a string out of it’s reach kind of way. For reference, I’m the hamster here.

The interview went as follows:

Interviewer: “Ok, so I’m first going to tell you about the position and then I want you to name some kinds of alcohol, how to make a few drinks and then finally pour a shot for me.”

Me: *IMMEDIATE PANIC AT THE REALIZATION THAT MY MIND HAS BLACKED OUT EVERY SINGLE ALCOHOLIC BRAND EVER* “…Ok, yeah, cool.”

Interviewer: “The sound the teacher makes in Peanuts comics because no one is listening to anything they are saying…”

Me: (inner monologue). “Ok Meg. You can do this! You’ve been drinking since you were technically 18 years old. Probably before that. Sorry Mom. You can name a few brands of alcohol. How hard could this possibly be? Vodka. Ok Vodka. Svedka. Grey Goose. Uh.. Skyye? GREAT. I have vodka down. I hope he asks about vodka. Ok what about rum? Uh.. Bacardi. Captain Morgan….

Interviewer: ” So, that’s the job! Now ok these questions. Let’s start with bourbon. Can you name three brands for me?”

Dammit. What is the difference between bourbon and whiskey again? One is nicer? One is smoother? Shit. Who am I kidding? I don’t know.

Me: “Knob Creek.”

Interviewer: “Nice. That’s not one people normally name.”

Me: “My dad drinks it.” Lies. My dad drinks one kind of drink and that is Miller Lite. Which is actually kind of LAME dad. But it’s ok. I just know Knob Creek, because duh the word knob. Hilarious. Also I like the label. Minimal with a kind of vintage feel. Good work Knob Creek.

Interviewer: “Can you name any others for me?”

Me: “Uh… no?”

Interviewer: “That’s fine. How about three kinds of red wine?”

Me: “…Cabernet. Um. Uh.”

OH MY …..GOD!? This is possibly the most eye-openingly embarrassing experience in my alcohol-related adult life. I kid you not, I literally could not name 3 kinds of red wine. Am I a girl? Am I human? What have I been doing for the past 5 years? What is going on? Is this the matrix? Jesus Christ…. Would be embarrassed right now.

Me: “Sorry.. I don’t know three kinds. I mostly drink whiskey?”

Not an excuse. I know ok. But I was grasping at straws here. Melting a la frosty. Hey interviewer, do you want to build a snowman?

Interviewer: Laughs awkwardly. “Ok.. what about the ingredients in a mojito?”

Are you EFFING kidding me right now!? I don’t think I have ever drank a mojito in MY ENTIRE LIFE. I don’t like that bitch sugar bish. Alcohol gods, why have you forsaken me?? Lord. Mercy. Help.

Me: “Uh.. no. No, I can’t.”

Well, why don’t you just wrap me up with a bow and feed me to the unemployment sharks now, asshole.

Interviewer: “… ok. Well, that’s about it! Thanks for coming in today Meg.”

Me: “Yeah, of course! When will you guys make your decision do you know?”

Why am I even asking this? I am never getting this job. Like ever. LIKE EVER.

Interviewer: “Next week sometime.” (You’re never getting this job. Like ever.)

And so concludes potentially the worst interview of my existence. I spilled out of there like a flubber. Like green toxic slime. Wow. That could not have gone worse. I’m an idiot?

And also apparently know nothing about basic?? alcohol preparation.

I got to my car and I burst out laughing. What a performance ComedyWorks! There is actually so many hilarious components to what just happened I didn’t know where to start. I guess, I mean, I wasn’t like walking in there with my alcohol pistols slinging like a bartending Annie Oakley but I’m not like an exclusive sprite drinker or anything. I drink regularly, and I’ve been to liquor stores before and ok, whatever, I get it. I’m not explaining myself to you guys. I have much to learn. And much shame.

And which I suppose this leads me to my bigger point, which if you know me at all won’t be the least bit shocking. In that, you can think you know something so well, but really you just know what you think you know and nothing more and it’s just a piece of the picture but hardly the whole truth.

For instance,  I have lived in “Denver” for almost 16 years of my life. I should know A TON about Denver right? Well… I don’t. It’s the bartending interview equivalent of previous city dwelling experience. Somehow, despite my many years of being in Colorado, I know almost nothing about Denver anything. I know the stereotypes, that flat-bills reign supreme and that everyone get stoked wearing their Merrells while drinking their micro-brew beer. And when I first came back here, it was my lack of knowledge about this city that made me so opposed to it. I assumed I knew it. I assumed I understood it. I didn’t and I don’t. And that’s a lesson in itself.

You can think you understand a job, you understand a situation, you understand a relationship. You understand your own plans, your own life. You understand an entire metropolitan city. You get it. You have the upper hand here. You’re in control. Driver seat. Walk in like Beyonce. Sit down like Jay-Z. Like a boss. But then, BAM. Knowledge Surfboart. To the face. Makes you completely reconsider and reevaluate yourself. Makes you look at everything from a new angle. Makes you realize you know nothing at all. And you just can’t help but laugh. Because life man.

And it’s good for you. Those little life zingers. Maybe I don’t have this figured out. Maybe I don’t know this as well as I could. As well as I should. And then you stand up, shake it off and then, most importantly?

Well.

3 kinds of red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec.

Mojito Ingredients: Rum, Lime Juice, Sparkling Water, Sugar, Mint

Bourbon Whiskey is a kind of American whiskey, aged in a barrel, made primarily from corn. Maker’s Mark, Evan Williams and Wild Turkey are all types of Bourbon.

….just be better next time.

Cheers,

M

9527091_1570948_b

 

 

 

 

 

Chug.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

IMG_9331

Yo Charles Dickens though right?? Who knew that dude was such an unsung hero for 20-somethings! What a bro. #RealTalkLiterature

I’ve always struggled with moderation and extremes. I’m a tale of two Megs, if you will. Either I’m on top of the world, or holding it up by my shoulders. Somedays I walk around with air under my feet, and others I can barely breathe from the pressure of the atmosphere around me. I tend to go off the deep end on my quest to keep the good times going, and it’s definitely led to the best of times. But it’s also led to the worst.

I don’t know how to sip liquid. I chug coffee. I chug water. I chug beer. I was quite a hit in college, but these days, that often ends in more pain than pleasure. I was binge-watching tv before that biz was commonplace. I’ve never been good at committing to a show on a weekly basis. I’m the original netflix series. The definitive, “But why should I wait, when I can have IT ALL RIGHT NOW??” And at the time it makes sense, it’s that instant gratification, it’s that kid in Matilda who has to eat that whole damn chocolate cake. At first he’s like eff yeah cake man! But at the end.. well it nearly kills that poor little chunk.

So as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I struggle with patience. I’m a slave to my own pursuit of the best time ever. And dammit if I don’t have a lot of fun. I’m a fun girl. Confirmed. I bet that’s an adjective you would definitely use to describe me. Oh that Meg! She’s a hoot and a half. If you say things like that. Otherwise maybe you just say, oh meg. And leave it there. That’s probably more of the truth actually. Anyway, in my constant never-ending pursuit of fun.. I’ve found myself occasionally financially, physically and yes.. emotionally drained.

Driving away from LA a month ago, after diving head first into a plan that people looked at me with awe and also concern, it finally hit me what I had done. And that’s not a bad thing. I believe in my own plan, my own destiny. But aww, perspective. You sly little bastard. The teach me how to dougie of the life lessons world.

tumblr_lvcqorOvJr1qh3rjlo1_500

And if you’re wondering why there’s been radio silence on Leftovers From Friday.. it’s because this shit has been HARD. And for someone who has a sentence, a statement, a thought, an opinion on just about everything.. I can tell you that sometimes, words just aren’t enough. You just have to live through tribulation. You have to wake up some mornings and tell yourself, today is going to be a good day. And really hope and pray you are correct.

It’s been a little over a month since I moved back to Denver. I moved back with my parents in a suburb outside the city in a neighborhood that is suspiciously similar to an undercover retirement community. I’m the youngest person here and I think my existence has brought new vitality to an otherwise cookie cutter sidewalk sing-a-long that is Lonetree, Colorado. Or at least I would like to humbly think so. At the very least, my new neighbors are really benefitting from my daily shower concerts involving the entire Frozen soundtrack and an occasional Mariah Carey “All I want for Christmas is You” (A classic that never gets old regardless of season).

Another thing. I still don’t have a job. I debated sharing this as it is a major point of contention in my life right now. I mean no one LOVES getting up and going to an office and sitting in front of a computer all day. At least I sincerely hope you don’t love that. I guess if you’re a passionate graphic designer or a professional video game tester or maybe you’re in love with someone in the cubicle next to you, THEN yes ok. That’s fine. But otherwise, a job is a job is a job. HOWEVER, it’s still your livelihood. It gives you purpose in a weird way. You make money, you buy things, you do things with your friends and family, you make memories, I’m pretty much summarizing life but you get the point. It’s incredibly frustrating not having that.. structure.

But hey little fat kid from Matilda, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You make choices. You make rash decisions. You grow impatient. You deal with the consequences.

And before you go and think this is a poor, poor pitiful meg tale, let me remind you that I’m a peaks and valleys girl. The best of times and the worst of times often go hand in hand like a really good first date. And I’m currently of the mindset that you going through hell at points in your life, because going uphill makes you appreciate the view from the top.

The most successful people in this life, in my opinion, are not those who merely had their dreams handed to them. They are not the richest or prettiest or most powerful. They were failures. They were losers. They were freaks. They made bad decisions. They said yes too soon. They went on really bad dates. They invested in situations and relationships they shouldn’t have. But they also just kept going. They kept believing the best of times was right around the corner. That the worst of times can only be for so long. And occasionally you get to sit down in front of a giant piece of cake, eat the entire thing and leave with a smile. Throw your napkin down and say you know what perspective, this time I’m going to teach YOU how to dougie.

Life is ying and yang, good and bad, best time ever and worst day yet. I hate the world today but yet I believe that tomorrow could change everything. I’m impulsive, I’m spontaneous, I’m currently STILL unemployed, I live in a sea of chain restaurants and two car garages and my roommates are named Mom and Dad but if you think this is me throwing in the towel, well then YOU, my friend, just don’t know me well enough.

62759082-f6a9-4435-a37f-00699da31b70_20140226T052018.jpg.650x650_q85

Summer is coming….

m

There’s no business like show business

Oh hello.

Did you think I’d forgotten you?

Have you been waiting for this one?  I guess I’d like to think you have. If there’s been a certain vagueness to my response rate the past couple weeks, maybe you can understand I was waiting for the exact right moment. Nothing like a little time and a lot of caffeine to give your thoughts some legs and walk them out into the spotlight naked in front of a murky shadowy audience.

But hey, that’s show business folks. So, shall we? Let’s get this circus on the road! Let the games begin! Bring on the monkeys! Let’s come out and say what’s on all your minds. Or rather, I guess, what’s on mine.

Turns out, in terms of big news, there’s two types of people. The genuinely inquisitive and the nosily intrusive. Luckily for you, it has finally ceased to matter on what side of the audience you sit on. Because after a drumroll in the form of 2 weeks notice, I’m about to tell you the truth.

But first, I’m going to tell you a little story…

Act One

Slow fade into a close-up of ten fingers meticulously (rhythmically even) clacking on a keyboard. Gradual zoom out to a row of these fingers, then hands, then arms all in their own little percussion section symphony of clicking, clacking, tapping on collective home rows. (ASDFGHJKL). The silence in contrast to this rapid cadence is somehow much louder. Deafening, even. A row of young bodies, button-down shirts, pleated khakis and work-appropriate heels, hunched and squinting at little glowing glass orbs in front of them. Every few seconds someone pauses to answer their phone. The uniformity is military. Even the greeting is the same.

“One moment please, let me see if I can reach him.”

“Don’t have her right now, can we leave word?”

“We will return, thank you.”

Narrator (Voice Over):

 40 days. 960 hours. 57,600 minutes. I won’t even bother you with the seconds. It’s not worth our time. 

We see our lead, directly in the middle of the row, 3rd from the left, 3rd from the right. Visibly struggling, uncomfortable shifting in her chair though we don’t know quite why just yet. She is glaring directly ahead with a determination that might burn holes through any solid barrier, though something tells us that it’s a little more than just a drywall in front of her. At this point we also realize the lead and the narrator are the same, though the narrator speaks to us from some vague time in the future. Maybe 2 weeks ahead. Just an educated guess.

Narrator (Voice Over):

This is me living the dream guys. THE. DREAM. Because this is what you do you know? This is following the dream. This is the coveted spot you wait for on your way to your quote, unquote, the dream. …This is what I wanted.

Our lead stands up. Taking off her head-set, she walks purposely into the office two doors to her right. She raps on the door. Click. Clack.

Narrator (Voice Over):

Or at least.. I thought it was. 

She enters.

A woman sits in the office, visibly annoyed by her presence.

Girl-

Hey. Do you have a minute?

Boss-

No. I don’t. 

Girl-

Ok.. Well good thing this will only take a second then! 

She closes the door. Emphatic. Final. Click.

Outside, the keyboards maintain their droning march. The phones continue to lightly twinkle, the robotic greeting echoes. Every once in a while someone hacks or sneezes, but above all the silence resonates.

Narrator (Voice Over):

40 days. 960 hours. 57,600 minutes. That’s not a dream. That’s a coma. And today.. I woke up. Found my place. Spoke my lines. Took my bow. Exit stage.

We now see a side angle of all the arms, then hands, then fingers clicking and clacking. Cut to Girl’s empty computer.

Narrator (Voice Over):

 But you know what they say in Hollywood…the show must go on.

Fade out to black.

END OF JOB/story

I’ve been reading a lot scripts recently. Can’t you tell? That was my favorite part of my job. It’s pilot season right now after all in the world of entertainment. And what does that mean? Well, it’s like 4th quarter in the Superbowl. It’s the last moments in championship game of March Madness. The rose ceremony of the Bachelor. Where boys become men and girls get a ring on it. Ok enough pop culture/sexism.

It’s the time of the year when talent agencies and talent management companies are flooded with opportunities to get their clients (budding hopeful actors and actresses) in the creme de la creme of Fall 2014 TV Pilot line-up. It’s a numbers game. X many pilots + X many potential roles= X many opportunities to become the next big thing. However, it’s also not a numbers game at all. You could get into every single room. Get in front of every single casting director. Do your very best job and still wake up 2 months from now and be just as unemployed as you were when you first started. That’s not the dream. That’s the reality.

It’s funny how life imitates art like that.

Yes, it’s more than numbers. It’s about relationships. It’s about personality. Sure, it’s even about talent. But mostly, I think above all, it’s about luck. I think every actor or actress who have quote, unquote, made it, if they were really honest, would tell you.. they just got lucky. They met the right person, at the right time, at the right place. And the stars aligned and the stage lit up and the crowd cheered. And just like that, zero-to-hero, billboard, bright lights, big city, fame.

Boom.

But I’m getting side-tracked. This isn’t about some other person’s dreams and ambitions and luck, it’s about mine.

I was told for so long that taking a job at a talent agency would change everything for me. It’s how quote, unquote YOU-GET-A-JOB-IN-A-WRITERS-ROOM, after all. You could be the next Tina Fey! The next Lena Dunham! And I guess they were right. It did change everything.

I sat down, shut up and did my best to fit in. But unlike that of my peers, the ones I sat next to, the ones I passed during lunch– suits, ties, hair gel, haggard but hungry, I just couldn’t fake enthusiasm for something I’m not, anymore.

I realize that makes me a little alternative. After all, tons of people dislike their current employer. They hate their jobs, and they despise their bosses, and they stay because they are saving up for some dream in the future. All the things they want to do when they have the money, the time, the clout, the power, the influence, the WHAT HAVE YOU to do so. They stay because they’re scared. They stay because they’re comfortable. They stay because they truly believe they have no other choice. You do something so long and you start to think it’s the only thing you know how to do. It’s the only thing you are good at. You power out 40 years, and then like the holding your breathe through a tunnel on a highway you reach the end and you take a deep exhale and go AHHHHHHHHH…. retirement.

Yeah. That’s America! That’s the dream.

But that’s not me. I didn’t need 40 years to know that. Hell, I didn’t even need 40 days. This job wasn’t making me a better writer. And it certainly wasn’t making me a better person. I don’t deny the definite benefits. The networking potential. The information I would learn and be privy to by just being a part of the company. The skin-thickening, sink-or-swim life skills I’d learn along the way. Sure. But more importantly, what would I lose?

I felt artistically drained, creatively bottomed out, a sad little shell wearing neutral colors mindlessly checking for double spacing between sentences in formulaic emails. Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same desk getting home long after the sun sets and happy hours ended. Helping others pursue their dreams, while pushing mine aside.

And so I took a deep breath. Put down my headset. Stood up. And resigned.

I exhaled. And I called my parents and told them I was moving home.

And well… if you’ve ever worked really hard for something you thought you wanted, and then you get there and realize it’s not what you thought, you kind of just go to Narnia. And I don’t mean you go crazy. I mean you start thinking about life outside the wardrobe. Outside the quote, unquote dream.

And for me I realized– if this job isn’t going to make me a better writer or even a writer at all, is staying in Los Angeles going to make me one? What could I do if I just let myself let go?

And then I just knew. What I need, what I’ve been granted is, perspective. The opportunity to be limitless. The chance to get away from what is expected of me, to do what I want to do, in the way I want to do it. So I’m selling all my possessions, everything I own– that I worked so hard these past 2 years to call mine, saving up some cash, and going off the grid.

And tha-a-a-a-a-attt’s all folks. That’s the show. That’s the curtain call. That’s what you’ve been waiting to hear. The punchline. The season finale climax. This is what actually LIVING THE DREAM looks like. Not saving up for the dream in the future, not the dream when I can get my money right, right here, right now, living. That I’m not waiting 40 years before traveling. And I’m going to write, and create and make something of myself on my own terms.

So.. what’s next?

Well. As I said, as in Hollywood and in life, the show must go on. The plot doesn’t stop here. A really good story merely changes, catches you off guard, keeps your own toes, makes you pause, gasp even, consider what could possibly happen next. Pushes you to leave your own reality for a second and live someone else’s. Make believe for a second it’s your own. Get lost. Escape.

This is my story.

This is my show.

You’re welcome.

Now get back to work.

theatre curtain

M

One time I almost died (A first date story)

I have been on a lot of first dates in my day.

A few tinder dates. A few blind dates. I’ve been on a few met you briefly at a party, give me your number dates. I’ve been on a couple you hit me up for free drinks and I hit you up for your digits dates. I’ve been on grocery store dates and awkward forced double dates and an obligatory let’s get breakfast I guess dates and oh wait is this a date? I thought we were meeting for work drinks dates but through all of them, I can tell you one thing: I’m still pretty single and I’m still pretty ok with that. And I still feel exactly the same about first dates with total strangers.

They don’t work. It’s a scratch-off lottery ticket experience. Tell me I’m wrong guys! You pay a wad of cash, to scatch at the surface for awhile and just to find out you’re dealing with yet another total dud. I’m sorry. I just don’t really actually believe in long-lasting longevity beyond “first-dating” a complete stranger. Maybe I’m a sad cynical person but I can’t remember the last time I went on a first time outing with a guy I hardly knew and I thought WOW! When’s the next one because I’m going to hang up to call you right back Usher style. I like you enough to wait in 45 minutes of traffic. I like you more than my University of Kansas sweatpants. I like you enough to want to do this again. And again. And again.

I  think we can both pretty much tell within the first 10 minutes of talking if this has any kind of legs to go anywhere. But at the same time, I mean out of respect, we both signed up for this night so let’s just enjoy the mutual unspoken agreement that ultimately, we really aren’t meant to see this thing past a bowl of tortilla chips and a couple of strong margaritas. We hug awkwardly goodbye, and never hear from each other again. Hooray. Peace out homie, thanks for the free burrito slash small talk about your obsession with The Real World season 29. REALLY. SEASON 29. Just throw in the towel already, MTV. Jesus Christ. Anyway, goodbye forever.

It’s just not natural. I’m supposed to spend 1.5 hours talking about myself but not really telling you anything. Because if we really told eachother the truth well then we’d have to be real, and real is kind of heavy you know, bro? Leave that personal shit at home in your diary you keep under your bed Bridget Jones. First date table manners demand you have 1 slice of bread when you want 4 and that you eat a salad when you’d really love the chili cheese steak. First date manners demand you do not gush, you do not whine, you do not talk about the fact that you are terrified that the life path you are going down isn’t really right and maybe you know you’re supposed to actually do something entirely different. You are fun and interesting and balanced and ambitious and intelligent but only slightly because don’t want to alienate the person across from you with your own vocabulary LOL, hair twirl.

I’ve been on a lot of first dates.

So it was my first time ever at a Korean BBQ place and I had a little too much too drink and mistook the moist toilettes at the end of the meal for marshmallows. So what? I still find this is hysterical, disgusting but also extremely informative for future Korean BBQ outings. Honestly, I think I did him a favor. He definitely thought they were marshmellows too. I saved us really.

And note to self, do not word vomit for 35 minutes about how sorority recruitment works to a guy who went to a small Catholic private school in like New Jersey or somewhere.

Oh, if you plan on going on a date with someone who’s an athletic boxing celebrity and he never drinks but then of course tonight he does and he has 4 drinks and is literally toasted like a quiznos flatbread and then he insists that he will drive you home in the morning  and you JUST moved to Malibu and have zero friends and so have no choice, and then he can’t find the key to his house so he throws A FREAKING ROCK THROUGH HIS FRONT GLASS DOOR and you’re like omg, this is how I die…. You will not die. But you will probably never speak to him again which will be fine because hello, first dates should only be awkward, not therapy-inducing/life-threatening.

And if you’re at a restaurant and the guy orders everything for you and you tell him you don’t actually like chicken because it grosses you out and then he orders everything on the menu with chicken in it “to be funny” and doesn’t let you pick one thing, you should probably just leave. Because wtf dude!!!! Also, why are you wearing flip-flops? Come on.

And fyi, men just so you know, “Why don’t you come over and I’ll make you dinner and we can watch tv” isn’t a first date. It’s a cop-out booty call, and you know it. So put away your Dave Matthews band playlist, the only song you know on your guitar (Collide, Howie Day.. how original), your signature steak rub, and man up and buy me an actual meal.

Finally you know what? Because I’m already venting just once I’d like to get to the end of a first date, you know the moment where you are both awkwardly sitting in his car and he’s probably thinking should I kiss her or…. and I’m thinking no. Do not do that. Please. Please do not try. Then I’m silently plotting as to how I escape this car without it being uncomfortable or mean or rude but also at the same letting him know I like him and all but not enough to weirdly kiss over the console in his 2008 Toyota Camry, at least not yet.

At that moment? I would like to lean over and gracefully inform him,  “I had a great time. I’ll call you, ok? ” Exit vehicle, sans awkward terrible kiss. Sweatpants. Netflix. String Cheese. Chillin’ wit no makeup on. Drake. Done. If I was any more in command over this situation, I’d be a remote control.

Sadly, this is the dating equivalent of walking away from an explosion without turning around. This situation just doesn’t occur in real life. Because in real life, girls, we sit in the passenger seat, like a lab rat. At the mercy of the scientist to our left.

But yet, we keep trying ya know? God love us. We are a bunch of hopeful little rabbits, all trying to get our claws on something real. First dates are the mannequin version of our love lives. This is how we’re SUPPOSED to look. This is how I’m SUPPOSED to appear. But in reality, I accidentally ate a napkin thinking it was food and I know I look put together right now, but 45 minutes ago I was in my bed sobbing over yet another casualty on the Walking Dead. TBT: NOT LORI!!!!!!!!!!

But that’s the rules of engagement. That is how it is. You just have to keep throwing yourself into a big ‘ol vat of awkward small talk soup and hope, hey! Maybe this time I won’t have to go home and purge the memory of everything weird I said tonight from my brain because I’m pretty sure I referenced zombies at least 10 times. Also, I forgot to put my phone on silent and now he knows that the Harry Potter theme song is my ringtone.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Steve from Tinder just asked me if I wanted to “chill sometime”, and I have a witty pun about an ice cube I’m going to throw his way in hopes it inspires him to find his long lost arsenal of more original pick up lines.

Ba-dum-ch,

Meg

 

insert status update on life here

Enter scene: There I stand at the inside of Trader Joes entry-way, various grocery products in brown paper bags after ONCE AGAIN DAMMIT forgetting my reusable stock pile of canvas bags in the back of my car. I put on my good samaritan penny pusher armor (sunglasses, check. Fake phone call, check. Mysterious randomly violent hacking cough, check) take a deep breath and proceed to walk through the glass sliding doors.

Once outside, they come at me with all they have:

“Help me save the mutant children!”

“Don’t you care about gay rights?”

“Did you know for a dollar a day for the rest of your life you personally can start a college fund for whales in the Ukraine?”

I hold up my hand freezing the rabid clipboard mongers around me, matrix style.

No, ok? No. I don’t want to help you. I don’t even want to know what is coming out of your mouth. I just want you to let me make it past you so that I can eat my kale chips in my car in peace where no one can judge me or accuse me of being cheap, or poor, or rude, or homophobic. Of which I am none. Minus poor. Which brings me back to my original point, that no, I don’t want to help you. Sorry. Except not really also because you are verbally assaulting me.

It is a peaceful pleasant rare experience that I enter a Trader Joes without being assaulted by various “do-good” philanthropists begging me to save the baby orcas in the Indian ocean and/or helping orphans in Somalia go to Ivy league schools while accusing me of being unhelpful, ungrateful and unAmerican. The worst part is when in a last ditch effort to get you to join their cult ahem, cause, they start going after the fact that you are alone and possibly need their guidance as your upcoming future boyfriend. How original. Please leave me alone with my poverty and singleness before I stab you with my unopened carton of almond milk.

Today has been one of those days.

It is Sunday,  I have finished grocery shopping, I am still single, full of ambition, and apparently a rude asshole who won’t donate to the turban-less tribes of Saudia Arabia. Also, most notably, I have officially finished one week of work at my new job. I consider this  to be a pretty stellar personal accomplishment. People have asked hey Meg, how’s it going? To which I (wittily, thank you) reply, ya know what? It’s going guys.

People have also asked Hey Meg, what exactly are you doing at this new gig? To which I reply, I am a spy. Then I walk away. I like to leave an air of mystery everywhere I go, so I’ve chosen this line as people rarely know how to respond to it and also, it gives me a chance to run away before we have to regurgitate the mundane activities of our days. Which I if possible, I usually choose not to do. And if I do, it’s much more interesting, like making my co-workers into characters in the storyline that is my life and me just the fly on the wall observing and quietly taking notes on the environment around me. See? Spy isn’t all that far off.

My first day of work, I ate my lunch in my car. I don’t share this to sound pathetic or socially inept or to liken myself to the work version of the new kid at school eating her school lunch in the 2nd floor ladies restroom, but rather because SENSORY OVERLOAD. And I honestly just wanted 45 minutes of peace and quiet in an environment that wasn’t completely new and unfamiliar surrounded by people I had known for less than 5 hours. Also, I was starving and I wanted to inhale my salad in the quiet comfort of the 3rd floor parking garage without having judgement passed on me by various co-workers who were unfamiliar with my eating patterns. I didn’t for one second feel bad for myself and you guys shouldn’t either. Being alone is occasionally nice. Furthermore, I want to let everyone know that friendship is probably right around the corner as well. I’m thinking week 2 were going to break through some serious social bubbles and really start connecting. I can feel it.

Beyond that? I’m trying to keep my head down and my nose clean. First impressions are everything and it’s been a little difficult to leave my sporadic-singing, wise-cracking, casual Friday self at the door. It’s funny how quickly I’ve forgotten that just 2 years ago, I’m sure I had to do the same thing. I didn’t start off at Conde Nast the way I ended, and I have to remind myself that relationships take time to develop and feeling a little uncomfortable in a new environment makes you learn how to adapt. But for now, I shove my feet into some uncomfortable heels, plaster a can-do attitude complete with a crest worthy smile on my face, and gosh darnit, I do my best. Which at the end of the day, is about all you can do.

I don’t know at what point this became an introspective diary-like entry, and for that I apologize. But I guess I just wanted to give everyone who cares a small status update and let you know that I’m still in it. I’m still on board with my decisions. I’m still a smiling, yes girl who wants nothing more than to do my job right, follow my arrow and go grocery shopping afterward while avoid the humanitarian charity paparazzi vermin so I can eat my kale chips in my safe place, which apparently through the writing of this blog, has been established as my car.  Shoutout to orange Honda Elements errywhere. Shawties you da best.  

Bring on week 2.

m