I meant to start this blog as an outlet for my depression. I accidentally, on the way, found a new outlet and it’s taking over my life a little bit. I’ve been using all my words up so I have none left to write for my blog. I’m not complaining here. It’s been fucking great!
I spent two hours today sitting in a Del Taco (with a play center for kids!) watching my kids play, eating “street tacos” and writing my screenplay. I have 3 finished scenes. I have the entire script planned out, and every scene outlined. I can’t believe that I’m actually doing this.
I have an editor! I connected with an old high school friend who just so happens to have a lit degree, worked for 8 years as a journalist and writes comics. It’s been great! He’s helping me yank some feelings out of my boarded up chest that I’ve kept buried for a very long time. It hurts and it made me want to get violently drunk (I didn’t) but it’s also so incredible. He’s actually the perfect counterpart because he’s all heart and motivation and structure. And I’m all grammatically correct, logistically solid and semantically precise. He’s making me get messy. Super helpful!
And now, to bring it back down. There’s one unfortunate aspect of this. When you become disabled, you begin to mourn. You go through the 5 stages of grief (again and again and again) for the life that you lost. The life that you would have had were you not sick. That process started for me 6 years ago when I had to stop working. I mourned.
I mourned the me that had plans to move to NYC to become stupidly successful. The me that was ambitious and determined and devoted to doing whatever was necessary (and unharmful) for me to get where I wanted to be. I had to become okay with less. I had to be okay with my life becoming smaller. Find contentment in the littler world that became my space. I had to turn my career work ethic into parental work ethic. I had to learn to find greater satisfaction through the things I could learn, see, and hear rather than do or experience for myself.
My son was born during this time. I loved being pregnant with him and have loved every single day of his little life. He has made the adjustment from an ambitious motivated doer to a sedate, tranquil watcher much easier than it would have been otherwise. But he’s 3 now. He demands much less of my time.
That brings me back to my screenplay. What I found last month when I was lost and depressed was something like hope, and ambition and commitment. I haven’t had those things for a long time now. I’ve learned to live without them. I’ve learned to do “what I can when I can” and not expect more from myself. Because for a long time, there was nothing else to give.
So while this is great and fantastic and inspiring, it’s also a bit painful. And startling. And terrifying to be honest. I wasn’t prepared for this jarring change in my life. I wasn’t prepared for this rock dropped in my pond. What if I end up just hurting myself? What if all I end up doing is failing.
That thought is almost enough to make me stop. To self preserve myself into a coma. But I’m not okay with that anymore. I’ve felt that spark of hope in my chest. I have that kernel of inspiration in my head and it’s not going anywhere. I will be cautious. I will be practical. But I am going to do this work. And in the end. I really am fucking excited about it.