dream on

I’ve been thinking about writing this for a while but honestly, I’ve never really had the words to say to do it justice.

I’ve gone on long runs with sentences flying through my head like mini planets, orbiting in rhythm, and me trying to make sense of them but getting to the end, chugging some water, and my point disappearing into the gravity of what’s next on my daily agenda. I’ve been swirling the cereal bowl of my brain looking for sense in the mealy remains but not really finding anything but nonsensical leftovers.

Up until this moment, it’s always been abstract ingredients. But today, despite the sad circumstances and also because of them, I’m ready to offer up some food for thought.

If you’ve read anything I’ve written before this, then you know I’m a big believer in following your arrow. Going after what makes you happy, at all costs, no matter what. Doing that one thing that wakes you up in the morning and makes you lose sleep thinking about at night. Drumming solo, walking alone, a living breathing 80’s pop ballad in search of your own purpose. Dream on, brotha.

I’m an advocate for living the dream. For starting at the bottom, and arriving. To getting there. That’s why we’re alive right??

Now it’s there I hesitate. It’s after you reach there. It’s after you reach the world’s version of success.

And as time goes on, I’m beginning to think I don’t know what success looks like anymore. The dream seems to send itself straight into debt and rehab more often than not and I’m just running around mostly wondering if being happy and being successful are even the same thing.

If accomplishing your dreams means you lose all sense of self along the way, is that really success at all?

Very simply.. your dreams, for what price?

Several years ago, I caught Bieber Fever. Yes. True. I believed in the kid in purple, who started on the steps of a church playing guitar for anyone who’d listen. I believed in his earnest passion, his dedication to his talent. I believed he deserved to win big. To make it. To get there. I believed in Justin Bieber mostly because I saw myself in him. That desire to win, that steadfast sincere belief that someday he’d get there.

And he did.

But the cute, approachable, passionate Justin Bieber of 5 years ago, is long gone. In his place is a snotty, rude, entitled creation of a machine that we designed. However, as predicted, Bieber is extremely successful. At just 20 years old, his net worth is 130 Million. He also has the highest selling single in US history and the world record for three No.1 US and UK albums before the age of 18.

Several months ago, Phillip Seymour Hoffman died in his apartment of an accidental drug overdose. The actor was found dead on his bathroom floor after mixing heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines. Hoffman was nominated for an Academy Awards four times over the course of his life and won an Oscar for best actor in 2006. His estimated worth was around 35 million upon his death.

And finally, yesterday, one of the most talented and by all accounts, “successful” comic geniuses of our time committed suicide alone in his home. Robin Williams battled severe depression, addiction, and several divorces before he ended his life. He was 63.

Three different men. All wildly successful by societal standards; all troubled souls on an individual scale.

You can argue success doesn’t always lead to above. It can be humble and respectful, understated and modest.

But truthfully, who gets to the top of their mountain and whispers, well guys I made it. Time to go back down now and fulfill a quiet life on a suburban cul-de-sac with my neighbor Jedediah who likes to grill things and race his moped while his wife is shopping at Kohls.

Hello! If social media taught me anything, it’s that people don’t even need to be actually successful to pretend they have all their shit together. Screw keeping up with the Jones, we are the Jones! Keep up with us bitches!

So it’s not shocking when you do actually “make it” that keeping up appearances, and appearing as if you have it all together becomes ten-fold. You’re only as cool, as rich, as nonchalant, as funny, as successful as you appear to be. You are a facade of your own self.

And that’s the basis of my struggle here. To understand the very foundation of what success means to me. Seeing those lives play out once one achieves those dreams. How it often leads to cruelty, addiction, divorce, bankruptcy, loneliness, and so cold you can see your own breath unhappiness. How you make it to the top of your mountain and yell and yell and yell for people to look at what you’ve accomplished but then you realize, no one’s even listening anymore. And so you tumble-down.

And often, you don’t even care at that point if anyone’s going to stop you.

I don’t know if there is an answer here. I don’t know if it’s possible to pin point a time when the tables turn and your own prosperity pivots on you. All I know is that it’s heart-breaking to see what success does to many people. How it changes them. How we’ve come to expect drug overdoses, suicides, rehab stints, and messy divorces as a side-effect of achieving and living the dream.

Honestly, very simply, it makes me wonder what exactly I’m chasing and why on earth I’m even chasing it.

I’m running down a dream, and I hope when I get there, I respect and revere the path I took to get to the top. That every once in a while, I stop, reevaluate and remember why I do what I do.

That life is precious, fragile, and above all, short.

Don’t waste it.

We’re sorry we lost you to the dream, Mr. Williams. You will be dearly missed.

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Snap(ped) chat

Dear Snapchat,

That’s it.

We’re done. Finished. Caput. El FIN.

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And you want to know why?

Because I’m sick of this one-sided relationship. I’m sick of feeling used. Because I often find myself making little video/picture stories about my daily food decisions and my occasional day-drinking fiestas for no reason whatsoever. Because I constantly get mind-numbing concert seizure videos from my friends that for the record, NO ONE WATCHES. Because I would be lying if I didn’t say that I didn’t enjoy sending #DefinitelyASelfie pics out to all my cute little fun friends using your easy-to-use button functions.

But in all honesty? It’s over, Snapchat. Because you are ruining lives. And most importantly, you are ruining my life.

I feel like most of our grandparents wrote love letters. Long epic ballads about how much they cared for one another. These days I’m lucky if some guy I like sends me a 4-second picture of the beer he’s drinking.

And you know what the worst part of that is? I GET EXCITED ABOUT SAID PICTURE. Omg guys, so-and-so sent me a picture of what he was eating! Wait. Did he post that picture to his snap story? No!? Ahhhh omg, omg fist-pump/high-five, #PersonalSnap! That means that before he even took a bite of his meal he thought, hmmm I should send Meg a picture of what I am eating. Swoon. I’m LITERALLY like so incredibly touched at such a thoughtful display of poignant flirtation. This is truly the start of our screenshot-saved digital romantic love story memory box that I can like, #TBT when I’m feeling nostalgic. I’ll look back at our relationship and go: Honey, remember when you first sent me that 5-second video of that giraffe at the zoo? That’s when I knew you really cared.

I’m joking, but seriously guys. You know this isn’t far from the truth. When did this lack of communication become the main source of communication between all of us? When did this become second nature? Are you even reading this because it’s longer than 10 seconds?

It occurred to me just how lame this process has become as I became deeply offended yesterday that a friend of mine looked at my snapchat story and didn’t answer my text. Um, I’m sorry anonymous friend but I saw that you saw my 4-second picture of my delicious sushi dinner but you couldn’t take the time to write me a 4-second response to my text inviting you to said dinner? Did you really not have 8 seconds to spare?

Furthermore, are you really so freaking textually impaired that you can take the time to watch the entirety of my Saturday wine night but not answer where you’re going to lunch today? That story was a nonsensical intoxicated 65-second montage of a plate of cheese! I would know you asshole… I was there! Well anonymous snapchat friend. You have hurt my feelings. This will last much longer than 10 seconds I assure you.

And so this what you have reduced me to Snapchat. A neurotic, babbling, pathetic food photog who gets mad when my friends don’t respond to my texts but then watch my pointless snap stories and also get excited when guys send me 10 second videos of the John Legend concert they are at which FOR THE RECORD I can’t even hear, because your iPhone isn’t a professional sound system, you unoriginal, tone-deaf dick.

Sadly, I find that like most of rants about pop culture and the moral flaws that come with such, I am both appalled at the problem at hand, as well as being the problem itself.

And so today, for once, I’m not participating. I’m taking a stand! You and your snaps can all go to 24-hour expiration hell and I’m going to look at my shoes and enjoy my meal. Neither of which you will get to see. So there.

…I’ll probably be back tomorrow.

#SelfieYouLater,

Meg

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

Outside patio, day-time:

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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?

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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.

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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

TBT: Elle Woods vs. the Haters

Dude. Love Legally Blonde. Love Elle Woods. Next to my mom and Tina Fey, she’s basically my mentor/idol and next to Harry Potter and Santa Claus, I wish she were real/my friend.

This clip though. This is all I want to share today. Along with a few words, because duh.

This is that horribly sad but also necessary to move forward realization that no matter what I do, no matter where I move, no matter what job I get, or the success I reach, or the weight I lose, or the popularity I gain.. I’m never going to be good enough for certain people!

This is the moment where you kind of break a little inside. Because dammit, if that doesn’t hurt. But it’s also at this moment, we rise to our own potential. The potential we see in ourselves, the infinite distance we can go regardless if those people believe in you or support you or don’t.

Screw them. You don’t need them. You really don’t. You may think you do, but anyone who’s in your life right now who’s going to string you around, make you second guess yourself and what you are capable of whether that’s a job or a relationship or what have you is not only someone you need to cut out of your head immediately but also someone you will be so much more successful without.

Because you may never be good enough for them. It’s true! But you know what? They’re not good enough for you. Remind yourself that every time you see them. Either you believe in me, or you don’t. Either you support me or you don’t. Either you care about me and want to be there for me, or you aren’t. There is no grey. There are no excuses here. There is no half-way communication. No last-minute indecision. No second-guessing, no lame limp noodle lack of response. If you approach every relationship as such, you will know your value every time. Simply, I can do this. You can support me. But if you don’t.. I’m still going to win.

Maybe this is corny. Maybe this is silly. Maybe it’s an Oprah moment you’d just rather not. But like hell we all don’t need to hear this at least at some point during the disappointments this life presents. And for some of you, that’s right now.

This Thursday support group brought to you by Elle Woods and all her imaginary strength. May we all take some for our own today.

 

 

An open cover letter to that person possibly reading my job application

To whom it may concern,

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter!

I assure you, at least in terms of breaking up the monotony that is hiring a new employee, it’s the best decision you’ve made today.

 I’m sure you’ve received dozens like it, promising exciting job-applicable traits like “Team-Player!” and “Hard-Working” and “Dedicated” and “Passionate!” I’m sure all of them have various examples of such traits like “That one time I saved a several hundred thousand dollar deal from falling through the cracks just because I spell-checked every word in a 200-page memo (showcasing their dedication, attention-to-detail, meticulousness, potential brilliance)” or “That other time I was involved in landing an account that you may know of by the name of HUGE TECH COMPANY (demonstrating their perseverance, persuasion, competitiveness).” I’m sure they are well-spoken individuals, promising longevity, increased revenue, innovative ground-breaking ideas, extensive connections and above all, a personality like a glowing ember, able to light up a room and provide optimistic warmth to even the darkest of situations and workplaces. 

And with such prospective candidacy, how could you possibly decide between any of us? We’re like a litter of adorable puppies begging for attention, pleading you take us all. What an incredibly difficult decision you have before you. I for one certainly do not envy your position!

And so by now I’m sure you’re wondering. Say Meg, enough about your competition. Tell me. What is it ABOUT YOU that sets you apart from all these inherently perfect corporate robotic life forms? What makes you so much more stellar in the planetarium that is our email inbox of shining super-star future employees? Why should I keep reading this letter?

Well. I’m glad you asked! Because I’ve thought awhile about my answer. And it doesn’t lie in experience. It doesn’t lie in a laundry list of personality traits, or accomplishments. In the grand scheme of things, I suppose I am the runt of the potential employment litter-box. My mark on the world is chalk-status, in that it’s visible but slightly uncertain, brush up against it and I often feel I’m just a smudge of foggy possibility. There’s never been the word manager, or senior, or executive in front of my name. I don’t have 4-5, 6-8, 10-12 years experience. I’ve never been in charge of any multi-million dollar accounts, I don’t have a masters degree, I haven’t saved any living thing from a burning building and I speak exactly one language.

So by this point I’m sure you’re thinking alright, wise gal. Wrap up the reverse psychological babble. We have a lot of people who can do all of these things waiting in the ranks. Applicant number 6 can speak 4 languages and regularly saves newborn kittens from trees. You’re out of your league here sweetheart.

And maybe I am. If it comes down to what I’ve done so far in terms of creative accomplishment, I suppose I don’t have too much to bring to the interviewing table. And that is always the struggle I suppose. The battle between what I have already done and what I could do if given the right opportunity.

And so I sign off with my one shining accolade. Potential. That is what I offer. The promise that despite my rather short resume, my youth, my inexperience, my lack of prestigious titles and lengthy accomplishments, I am untapped talent and endless capability. And I say that with absolute confidence. Without flowery statements or grandiose declarations.

Very simply, I believe in myself. And I think you should too.

But maybe that’s not you. Maybe that’s not today. Maybe this is merely as I say above, a chance to break up the tediousness in another 9-5 Monday morning. Maybe potential isn’t enough here. Maybe you need more. And that’s ok. Because someday, sometime, someone will read this and believe it. Believe me.

And then, at that point, I’ll go down to the great chalk board of life, grab a sharpie and write my name in big black permanent ink.

And that will be merely the beginning.

But in between now and then, thank you once again for taking your time to review my application and I wish you the best of luck in your search for your next great employee. May they really be all that they promise they are.

Respectfully,

M.N.R.

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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