I’m not entirely sure where I get this from, because my parents are very reasonable people, but whenever I’m feeling really lost in life my solution is to hop on a plane. When I’m on a plane I feel like I’m moving forward in life, but in truth it’s more like someone walking on treadmill; physically moving, yet going nowhere
I took a trip to DC a few years ago because a friend of mine had been relocated there for work and both of us were feeling displaced in our lives. We did what all girls in their mid-twenties do; drank wine and talked about everything from shoes to boyfriends. Our parents are all immigrants and as such we had a very practical mentality about life. But we’d also been injected with American idealism and so we both really struggled with the idea of going after the dream vs. attaining financial stability. We had the same outlook on life but our roads diverged post-college. I became a writer, she a lawyer, and we each envied the other. But neither of us could tell you why.
After a heavy night of drinking, my friend was comatose the next morning and I was wide-awake. Lawyers may have the reputation for being heavy drinkers, but trust me when I say a writer can drink a lawyer under the table every time.
Looking for some fresh air, I took a walk with no destination in mind. I was simply going to stroll and see what I stumbled upon. Wanna know what I found? The White House! No joke. I stuck my arms through the gate as far as they would reach to try and get the perfect picture and then quickly retracted them when I caught sight of the snipers on the roof.
I had been to DC before, so I wasn’t really interested in doing the “tourist” thing, but one of my favorite places to reflect, happened to be on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Maybe it was the history that surrounded the area, but every time I was there I felt like standing on the steps and shouting to the world that I too, had a dream.
When I was a kid we were really poor and I hate to admit this, but romantic comedies were the equivalent of “happily ever after” for me. What’s strange is it wasn’t the love story that drew me in; it was that “happily ever after” happened to everyone. I honestly thought, that we got to the age of 18 and just lived happily every after. That idealism was short lived, but the passion for rom com’s and great story stayed with me. I liked the idea of someone having a really shitty day turning on a movie that I made and laughing.
At the time I was working at MGM studios in the legal department. I was playing it safe in an industry that demands insurmountable risk taking. Needless to say I was very unhappy. The job itself was fine, the people were great but aside from the fact that I worked at a studio I wasn’t doing anything creative – at all.
Walking up towards the massive sitting Lincoln figure I felt like I was walking through history. He looked down on me with a slight shake of his head and said, “Are you kidding me?! It’s Monday. Monday! And you’re lollygagging around my ankles, 3,000 miles away from home, with the audacity to complain about your life?” – Abe, always the voice of reason.
But the thing is I was tired of being reasonable. Reasonable landed me at a job pushing papers for 8 hours a day just to earn a pay check that only paid the day to day bills. I wasn’t afraid of losing my day job, I was afraid of trying something new and failing miserably. At the end of the day though, the sun is going to set and tomorrow it’ll rise again so if I fail today I’ll start again tomorrow. So why not? I’ve got nothing to lose but time and it going to pass regardless of my failures or successes.