Keeping the light on.

Whenever I get off the train home, it’s always on the wrong side. This results in having to stand and wait for a shortcut to my street, one that will only open up when the train gets moving again. This takes a couple of minutes, and makes you wonder if the damn thing is really a shortcut.

Whether that actually matters or not (It doesn’t.), every day I wait those few extra minutes before trudging home, there’s always a clump of people waiting with me. We all stand there, tapping our toes, checking our cellphones, sighing obnoxiously, giving the poor conductors a narrowed gaze that they really don’t deserve… And then the train takes off, and the rat race to get home begins.

But before the train’s out of my way, I always wind up watching it go over the tracks, right where the dirt meets this stretch of blacktop. The rail sinks under the tremendous weight every time, and bobs back up again, only to get shoved back down a moment later. And then the train is gone. But it’ll come around again, and the routine will continue.

I sympathize.

When it’s one thing after another keeping you from goals you believe to be rightfully yours, it’s hard not to. Always something just out of your control, always some idiotic thing that could’ve been avoided, always something. And since I’ve gone over that, I don’t want to dwell on it. The idea was to whine less, so I’m just going to talk about what happened today when I had breakfast with my aunt.

Not a single solitary soul on the elder side of my family approves of what I’m doing. Being a writer, being a filmmaker, being anything artistic is not a solid job. It’s foolish, inane, and it’ll only lead to financial ruin.

Okay, point made. But gee, do you have to drive it home like that? It’s kind of rude.

After updating my aunt this morning on the ins and outs of my life,where there was unfortunately mostly ‘outs’ to speak of, she shook her head at me sadly. “Sara, don’t you think it might be a good idea to give up school for a year, put some money away, and try again? What about giving up altogether and getting a job, or working at some kind of trade?”

My answer was instantaneous; No.

People who do well at a trade, who’re happy doing that, should absolutely do that. But that is not me. I’m creatively geared, and always have been. When I was a kid, for various reasons both good and bad, my life practically hinged on my ability to entertain others. When I realized I could do that by writing down words to form nifty sentences, that opened up a whole other slew of doors.

And when I realized I could go even bigger than that, get whole groups of people together to do something I developed myself, and collaborate with them to make one shiny piece of work? That was perfect. I felt the click immediately. I know this is where I’m supposed to be.

To the best of my knowledge, you’re not supposed to get that unless it means something. It means you’ve figured out your wiring. And if you’re hardwired a certain way, how’re you supposed to rework how you think/act/live to fit a life you can’t even fathom living?

People do it all the time, I know that. And some of them even wind up happy in the end, I’m sure. But all this ridiculous struggling, all this work to figure out my wiring and what that means to me, it has to go somewhere. I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t.

This is the downside to that click. Once you have it, nothing else really works. Everything else feels like a compromise, and a grand one at that. Down the line, you might rethink that idea. But right off the bat, you’re sure this is how you’re going to make your mark on the world. This is your identity, your reason for existence.

Cancer didn’t kill me. Epilepsy hasn’t killed me. Getting sick at random for idiotic reasons hasn’t kill me. I haven’t committed suicide. I don’t have a problem with substance abuse. So far, there’s nothing particularly dangerous on the horizon that’s going to bring me to a premature end.

And if that hasn’t happened, then all this ridiculous struggling has to mean something. If it doesn’t, then what am I doing here, and why should I bother? I’m a writer first, a director second, and everything else follows. It might come off stubborn and stupid to some, but it’s how I keep moving without becoming spiritually bankrupt. Whatever works, right?

That’s what I thought.


~ by Sara on November 2, 2011.

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