I suppose this is my obligatory New Year’s Resolution post. After all, a new year is approaching and it would seem silly not to at least set a few goals. This year though will be different from past years. 2013 for me has to be an important year for me. If it’s not…fuck.
In January 2011 I decided that if in two years I still was interested I would move to Los Angeles to further pursue my desire to have a career as a television/film writer. I could have simply said screenwriter but technically writing for a PowerPoint means you’re writing for a screen so I refuse to use that word. Through 2011 and 2012 it was all I could think about. It seemed so perfectly scripted for my life to head in that direction. I worked hard at writing as much as I could during this span of time. I’m not proud of much I’ve done with my life, but the amount I produced and the quality I believe I consistently achieve at this point is something I wish I could brag about and have someone understand how far I have come.
(This was not one of those clever ideas I had this year)
Life doesn’t always work out the way we want it. I got as far as filling out an application for an apartment I visited while out in Los Angeles in October. The stress and fear of moving across the country began to hit me not much after. As fantastic as it would be to drive off into the sunset with a big fat middle finger sticking out the car window it was not realistic. I have no valuable skills to offer at a job. Worse, I have no credentials that would get me much further than where I am now with my desired career.
Instead I opted to move to New York City which is much closer and still can offer me what I want, at least for now. New York City is complicated so I settled for North Jersey, close enough where I can actually see the skyscrapers in Manhattan. I actually have to walk down a couple blocks to see the view, but it’s there and I’ll probably never bother unless I have absolutely nothing else to do.
The hardest thing about it all is I am still getting rid of nearly everything in my life. I just have less of a distance to drive and also won’t have to pay $5 for a gallon of California gas. In fact, I won’t need a car at all anymore. After spending the last 3 years driving an hour to work it’s almost arousing to know in the coming days I will have gotten stuck in my last traffic jam for a while.
(I’m not going to miss looking at another person’s bumper. I should really get my blood pressure checked now and then again after a month without driving just to see how much of an early grave it has sent me to already)
Growing up I was always told two things when it came to happiness. The first was bite your tongue, life sucks now shut up and play goalie fatso. The second was if you’re not happy you should fix it. Well, I spent 25 years doing the first. When something bothered me I remembered how much worse things could be. Yes there’s a hole in our bathroom floor but at least we have a bathroom. No matter how much things bothered me, no matter how miserable I would get at times, I never really did much about it other than hope someone would cross my path and save me. I feel like a woman writing that last sentence but I think it’s true for men and women. It’s easier to have someone else do all the work when really you’ve got to always do it yourself.
I’ve quit my job I have had since I was 17 which may have been the most consistent thing in my life. I had no problem quitting because it never brought me joy and it never let me do anything close to what I wanted to with my life. It became clear to me long ago that working there my entire life could be possible. I could have continued working there and driving an hour back and forth. I could have continued coming home to my apartment each night to no prospect that something incredible might happen. Nobody was going to show up at my door. Nobody was going to rescue me from complacency. As scary as it is and as scared as I still am, getting comfortable in a routine of loneliness is not healthy and eventually it will catch up to you.
(Typical Jeff Goldblum. Always running away from the problem without a real solution in mind. That ain’t me)
So what are my expectations for 2013? I’m starting the year off living in a new town, no job, and knowing exactly what I want out of life without too much of an idea on where to start or how to get it. My simple expectation for 2013 is to do whatever it takes. I want to get involved in whatever I can with whoever I can. I’ve spent my life surrounded by apathetic people who mean well but don’t offer me what I need. I used to have people I wanted to be. Now over the last few years it becomes clearer how the time for me to try to become the hero is here. I’m probably not going to rescue anyone from anything life threatening but I certainly hope I can at least lead by example and inspire others to do something amazing with their lives.
Most importantly I’m making these changes because I want more than I have. My current lifestyle is not something that could one day support a family or really get everything out of life a person should experience. A person shouldn’t have to give up so young, which I try telling everyone my age who seem to do it with ease. One day I want to be able to afford to go out to fancy restaurants maybe with a wife and kids. I want to be able to own a home where I worry about it being built on an Indian Burial Ground. In my life I want to be able to go on vacations and love my job so much that I spoil the fun for whoever I’m with. The direction my life was headed, I could somewhat attain these things. And it’s about more than money of course. It’s about feeling valued and most of all, valuing myself. There are not many things I need or want in life. One of them is to actually enjoy waking up with who I am and what I do.
In 2013 I expect to a year from now be so exhausted from all the hard work and good times I’ve had that I write something short enough you actually read entirely through. Let’s kick some ass and take some names in 2013.