For all my cynical, jaded NYer talk when it comes to life and love, there is a (some would call) adolescent part of me that clings to dreams. I don't feel it is okay to give up on them-- ever. Not if they're what you really want; not if they're what will really make you happy. I know there's a lot to be said for "growing up" and "doing whatever you have to do to feed the children" and all that jazz, but there is a difference between working a crappy job to pay the bills while still hustling and working a job that makes you feel so crappy you don't even have the energy to go after what you really want in your spare time...or working a job that doesn't allow you the spare time and therefore turns into a career of its own.
There's a part of me that still believes in signs, too. And for all my talk of how things don't happen fast or right enough for me, every time I've needed a sign to know I'm doing the right thing, it's been there. Sometimes I just didn't choose to listen. And the crapstorm that comes with the implications of ignoring is on me.
In December 2008 a little known independent film was put into theaters in a limited release. Tennessee told the story of two brothers on a cross-country trip to find the abusive biological dad they fled years earlier because one of them was now dying of cancer. In a very serious and somewhat dark film, there was a ray of light for me in Mariah Carey's single, "Right To Dream."
"Every once in awhile
there's a distance glimmer of hope
I find somewhere deep inside
someone strong still resides
and I know I'm gonna be fine; that's right...
I've got a right to dream.
There's more than this for me."
In December 2008, I knew my mother's cancer had returned with a vengeance, so the film hit a very personal nerve with me on the very basic level of life being gone too soon and family fading away. But deeper than that there were these themes of being held back-- somewhat trapped-- either due to external forces like a small town or another, controlling person, or due to one's own inability to let go of and reconcile the past. And in that I certainly saw more elements of my own life reflecting back than anything else. After all, in December 2008, I was at the Corporation for almost a full calendar year, and that was a fact that was sitting heavy on my heart. I never expected to be there so long (though for most, a year at a job is nothing at all, but that should just tell you my frame of mind!), and I was starting to feel like I was going to be stuck there for a much longer time. "Right to Dream" came along at the perfect moment to give me a swift kick in the ass and remind me that I didn't want any of what was at the Corporation, and I never had to settle for it.
Obviously a lot has changed since December 2008, but in the last two weeks I have been forced to start expanding my job search yet again to include things I consider pretty crappy but will pay the bills if writing isn't making ends meet, let alone overlap! It's one of those things that I just can't be happy resigning myself to, and it's really easy for me to fall into a "funk" about it and just stop working towards what I really want because I suddenly think there's no point. But then what was released this week to push me back and slap me across the face to wake me up to what really matters? "100%!"
"My life ain't defined by limits;
I don't need no permission to live it;
I'm gonna break through the door 'til I get in;
everything that I got I'm gonna give it."
So instead of sitting on my couch in my bathrobe staring at TV I didn't write and being pissed off that no one's reading my manuscript, I'm just going to start fresh. Query the hell out of the industry again, even if it means sending to those already pitched. Hell, the time has changed; maybe now those who passed would be a bit more receptive. And for the first time in about four years I am going to sit down and tackle an original television script, as well. Gotta 'make it happen' (so to speak) any way I can!
But most importantly, through "100%," I was able to remember that "I'm a believer, not just a dreamer," and that's really half the battle right there!