Anyone who has secretly yearned for something in life is probably familiar with the feeling I’m about to describe. It’s a feeling that is particularly common among frustrated artists who slave away at work that is Other Than. It’s the feeling–no, I take that back, it’s the FEAR–that the universe might eavesdrop on your private whisperings and actually DO SOMETHING about it.
And nobody wants that. Not me, that’s for damn sure! Not unless I get to decide the What, When, Where, How–and ONLY IF it comes with a generous plan for health and dental. I want easy change. Pleasant change. Change that doesn’t frighten me and make my bowels transform lunch into liquid lava.
But Oh Sweet Saints of Valor, I don’t want the other kind. Not the fall-from-the-sky-swift-kick-in-the-pants-and-by-the-way-here’s-the-door-and-a-parting-gift-of-another-swift-kick kind. Not THAT change. Hell to the No. To that breed of the C-word I say, “Good day sir. I SAID GOOD DAY!”
Why am I inflicting this oh-so-foreboding post on a day like today? A perfectly well-behaved, innocent Tuesday? Well, like an idiot, I too have whispered sweet silly schoolgirl cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die secrets to the night sky. “I want to be a writer. A real writer. A writer who is paid extremely well to write what I want all day. Nights too. A writer who makes a fantastic living and has a publisher and a five book deal and a fat bank account and book signings that last until 1am in the morning. A house in the Caribbean and another in the english countryside wouldn’t suck either.” But I didn’t expect the universe to actually take that seriously. WTF? Can’t a girl daydream without causing an effing shift in the tectonic plates?!
Apparently not. And for my foolishness, I have received an answer. I was informed last night that the show I have been performing in for the past three years, at the company I have cherished working at for the past ten, is closing in two weeks.
Now, I love my day job. Dearly. I love it so much that this change is more than just the loss of income and stability. It is the loss of the absolute honest joy I receive everyday entertaining people from all corners of the earth. Most particularly children. It is a loss I will mourn for some time to come.
Now I have to worry about where the money will come for rent and bills and health insurance premiums and car repairs and food, dammit. To make matters even worse, I recently enrolled in graduate school. Double gah-huh. Talk about poor timing.
Personally, I’m not a big believer in The Secret. I do not believe that the universe is a sentient entity that sits around in a silk caftan and velvet slippers, waving wands and chucking magic dust at people, just waiting to grant wishes for everything from great parking to oceanfront property. I’m pretty sure the universe has more important things to do. It likely involves a lot of quantum physics. I try not to pester the universe much because math is hard.
I cannot, however, overlook the fact that every single time I have made a repeated, earnest wish for change in my life, something like this happens. EVERY TIME, DAMMIT! I do not dare to presume that I understand exactly how the universe works, and because of this, I have to leave a little room for the universe’s odd propensity for the mysterious; otherwise known as “The M Factor”. When things like this happen, I can only reason that it is, in some strange way, evidence of my world changing to accommodate what I have asked for. It isn’t change on my terms, and it isn’t change that I am comfortable with, but there is a very deep, very authentic voice that assures me this is exactly what is happening. Apparently when I said, “I wanna be a real writer,” the universe chose to answer, “You wanna be a real writer? Prove it.”
Did I mention that the universe also has a propensity for being a bit of an asshole?
So now the herald has sounded the call to arms and the time has come to pick up my pen and make the all-or-nothing commitment. I have no choice but to accept this change, heed the call, and hope that better things await. But there’s that fear. That DAMNED FEAR OF UNCERTAINTY. It sits on my chest like a slobbering, tittering hobgoblin and pokes my face with it’s sharp, dirty little talons. It drools and spits and smells like burnt hamsters. Yeech. It will no doubt give me nightmares; try to convince me that I’m a worthless, useless pathetic excuse for an unemployed human being. I hate that goblin.
So how do you navigate through the fear of uncertainty and come out the other side in one piece? Well, that’s a good question. I’m about to find out in a very real way and here’s what ima gonna do. I’m going to blog my way through this hurricane. It will give me something to do instead of wringing my hands and eating the five boxes of Girl Scout cookies I so arrogantly bought the other day whilst singing “Happy Days Are Here To Stay”. The Girl Scouts, by the way, are evil, moustache-twirling magnates. There’s no other explanation for the four-dollars-for-fifteen-cookies price tag. My Peanut Butter Patties better be filled with hashish.
Should you happen to be a security/stability junkie like me and be foolish enough to wish upon a star, and should the universe be cruel enough to grant you the opportunity to receive it, my hope is that these coming blogs will help you navigate your own dark waters. My plan for the time being is to cling to my desire to write like a rat clings to flotsam off a sinking banana barge. I’m going to look uncertainty in the face and say, “Up yours, you ignorant bastard! I’m not giving you the satisfaction of seeing me soil my inner undies, so F*** OFF!”
We’ll see how well THAT goes, huh?
I am unclear as to how you are feeling. 😉 I love the way you express yourself. You paint pictures and embrace layers of understanding. If you wanna read a book about unwelcome change, try Robert Heinleins “JOB: A Comedy of Justice”. You’ve got to time to read now, right?
OMG can I relate to this. I want to follow your journey. XX
I just read an article the other day about the most annoying things people say. One of them was, “Everything happens for a reason!” I am guilty as charged for using that quote, but have changed my thought process after our past few years of craziness. I think when we get to choose the direction our life is heading towards (such as your choice to perform/attend school/write into the wee hours of the night), even with chaos, there is most certainly a feeling of control over the situation. When the rug is pulled out from under us, however, how can we say that it is happening for a reason?!!
One thing I do know is that you’ve got this. No matter what you do, you are talented and strong and a wonderful role model for young women, especially our daughter. Now please, please, please give us more to read!
Wow – I’m really sorry to hear about the closing of your show. You and your colleagues are awesome, and I’m glad my family got to see you perform before the closing of the show. That said, regarding the writing – you won’t be doing it alone; you’ve got us to support you. Let’s do this.