I always had members of my family (usually the older relatives...I had always been a hit with them) that would tell me things like, "We KNOW you're destined for greatness..." As nice as it was to hear, it also made me worry that I would never be able to live-up to that expectation. What if I failed? At everything?
When I was sixteen, I was the lead story on Access Hollywood for "touching Frank Sinatra's heart in his final days." (Believe me, they made it all sound a lot more dramatic than it was.) I still don't understand who else cared about that story besides people who were related to me, but I thoroughly enjoyed my fifteen minutes of fame. We watched the VHS at school the next day. I got applause! I was mentioned in the same sentence as Sting and Brad Pitt!
I figured that we only all ever get fifteen minutes of fame and my fifteen minutes WERE over and that they were gone before I even graduated high school.
Ah, well...it was fun while it lasted.
When I was 18, I was picked to be a reporter for Teen People magazine. I interviewed Jeremy London of Party of Five fame, hung-out with Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish and reviewed self-tanner. I was paid $1 a word. I was getting paid to talk to celebrities and couldn't believe my good fortune.
My contract ended after one year and, once again...I wondered if that was it...
Soon, I landed an internship with a Broadway PR firm and my name was listed in a Broadway playbill. I wasn't getting paid...but I had my name in a Broadway playbill. I talked to Patrick Wilson on a warship, stood under a tent with a bunch of Broadway stars (including future superstar and my future superfriend, Cheyenne Jackson) and learned what went on beyond the stage at Broadway shows. Although I came home crying several times, I still kept going back...I was hooked.
And then the internship ended and I was once again just some random girl who liked writing stories and plays and seeing shows.
Yes...this is all there is.
I graduated college, entered the most Frustrating Job Hunt Ever (edition 1) and when I finally DID land a job, it was also one where I got to, once again, work with Broadway shows, see everything for free and attend the Tonys.
Back on top!
And then I got laid-off.
Back at the bottom!
I was convinced once again that it was all over.
Soon, I landed another job, around the same time that a show I co-wrote made the finals of a writing competition. My job brought many exciting things into my life...and Jerry Stiller sent me flowers for my birthday.
That show fell apart after it made its world premiere due to artistic differences...and I was worried I'd never have anything produced ever again.
I was wrong...several shows followed, including one Off-Off-Broadway last summer. I was so happy! I felt so great about myself! I was surrounded by friends and relatives telling me how proud they were of me and people laughed at my words!
As all shows do, that one closed, and then I lost that exciting, glamorous job.
Lately, I've been struggling, ONCE AGAIN, with the feeling of, "Was that all there ever was????? Has everything exciting that is ever destined to happen to me already happened?"
Now, I'm really bored and being slightly anti-social.
I feel light years behind so many other people.
I'm writing like crazy (good thing), but nothing is becoming of that writing yet.
Should I have paced myself? Did I accomplish too much and now there's just nothing left to happen for me because I've used-up my fifteen minutes over and over and over?
It helped a lot to write all of this out, because I realize that, in the past, something newer and bigger and more exciting than anything else that has ever happened to me ALWAYS comes along and maybe if you didn't lose your job or have your heart broken it wouldn't have been able to happen.
I just have to keep going and realize that things will turn-around and when they DO turn around, they'll be better than ever and this path will make more sense.
Peter Cincotti has a song which includes the lyric, "I got a very strong suspicion this could be the day..." (I'm taking it completely out-of-context. The song is about the guy wanting his girlfriend to call-out of work and stay in bed with him.)
I think that's my new mantra. "I got a very strong suspicion this could be the day..."
I'm applying that to everything...to writing, to love, to jobs, to life. You just never know...and you just HAVE to keep on moving forward because you never know when something really wonderful is heading your way.
Maybe you really can't appreciate the good stuff until you've dealt with the not-so-good...