For the past year (abouts) I’ve been blogging regularly. I’d like to talk about what has changed for me. Please indulge.
This time last year I attended a party thrown by my friend for his girlfriend Kelly. She’s an actress and was heading off to NYC to try to do the professional acting thing. Her plan was to give it a year. I wrote about anger yesterday and it reminded me that at that party I felt a low-level anger toward Kelly.
I wish I wasn’t typing this because she’s the nicest person in the world. I’m excited to know her and this in no way reflects anything negative about her. Okay, let’s get back to me being pissed off. I felt that what she was doing was irresponsible – who goes to NYC to make it as an actress? The odds are against her! I just found the whole thing silly and a waste of time.
I’m not proud of these judgments – but at the time that’s what was happening.
Later that night I ran into an acquaintance. She’s a lawyer at a prestigious firm, and at this moment I can’t recall her name. So, we’ll go with Flo. She’s obviously not Flo, but that name is funny. Flo had just made partner to which I heaped praise and congratulations.
I asked Flo if she had always wanted to be an attorney, if it was her childhood dream. I assumed it was.
She laughed and told me she never had any interest in law at all. Not even though undergrad. I think Flo was an English major and didn’t know what to do after graduation. So she took the LSAT and went to law school. I told her she wasn’t giving me the whole story, and that you don’t just go to law school without having a strong interest in the field. But she kept insisting she was not really into law. Even now, it was just “okay” to her. She wasn’t complaining – she said they paid her extremely well and she was good at it.
I asked her if law wasn’t her passion, what was? All of a sudden her eyes lit up. She talked about Italian archaeology and said that was her one true love. Now, she’s not Italian and I didn’t even know that was an actual subject. Flo started talking excitedly about how she’s going to go back to school, get her masters and then Ph. D. and then split her time between dig sites in Italy and teaching college students. Her plan was to quit law in ten years which would give her and her husband enough savings to allow her to pursue this dream.
Now I found myself angry with both Kelly and Flo. Here she was, an accomplished lawyer talking about throwing her career away and pursuing this other love.
Within the next hour it dawned on me. Here were two women chasing their dreams. I was not chasing my dream. This was about me.
I live only about five blocks from the party. Though it was midnight I walked with powerful and heavy steps home. I was mad. Something had snapped, and at 35 years old, I knew I could no longer go another day without giving this writing this a real shot.
While I have never fancied myself a writer, I do know that I’m funny. Very funny. It’s my gift and I’ve studied it most of my life. I just never knew what to do with it. I had this blog, but I never updated it.
As I walked home I decided the only way to see what was there was to put my head down and do it. So, I committed to writing. A lot. Over the past year I’ve realized that being funny is only a little part of what people connect to here. I’ve added other parts of my life such as sadness, fear, vulnerability. While I’m a funny dude and social, I am also quite serious and dark.
Many time I’ve been afraid about sharing the deeper and shadowed sides of me. Thank God you guys appreciate more than just a great fart joke.
I don’t believe I’m a good writer or that my blog is important. I do think I’m funny, honest and vulnerable. It’s nice to know that there are people who relate to those qualities. I’m grateful this technology exists and that I have enough discipline to keep going.
I thank you for your patience through this experiment. It’s odd putting your daily life out in the public domain, and I’m glad that you have shared some of your lives, too, through the comments, social media, and email.
I don’t know how to end this one so I’ll just say keep reading. Or I’ll hate you forever. And that’s a long time to be on someone’s shit-list.