i think we all fantasize about our lives being portrayed in a movie one day, in a full-length feature film where people laugh, cry, and leave the theatre inspired to be a better human or something. and if you don’t fantasize about this, you just gotta know that i do. i mean, i also walk around convinced my life is ‘the truman show’, but that’s mainly because of the weird dramatic twists and turns it has taken and the strange amount of times i feel like people are following me around. but, i digress.
in this movie of my life, i imagine someone strong and charming and kind of quirky playing the lead role. like, someone with Olivia Pope’s bad-ass attitude, Amy Poehler’s charm and humor, and Blake Lively’s hair and boobs (it’s MY movie, okay??). i know i’ve only lived 27 years so maybe there isn’t a lot of material quite yet, but i do think about this movie a lot. it makes me feel like the things that happen are significant somehow, and that i have a lot of time left to make an impact.
currently, however, i think i am in one of those montage scenes. there’s a cute song playing, something by Sara Bareilles or Ingrid Michaelson. oooh, or maybe they would write me a duet that would debut in this movie?? (again, it’s MY movie) there are all these clips of me filling out job applications while wearing cute glasses and a slightly-off-center-messy-bun. i sit in a coffee shop and type away at my resume and a group of tween girls would giggle and gawk at me because i look so grown up. there are scenes of me walking the streets drinking cold-pressed juice and taking time to look up at the sky and just breathe. i would have cute bangs (never been able to rock them IRL) and an endless amount of money to buy lattes, even though there’s no job to pay me. you’d see me getting drinks with friends and reading at the beach and by the end of the montage i would look more real, more put-together, more whole. and after 10 minutes of this nonsense, i’d have a job! and a new apartment! and friends! and a life! and meaning!
ok ok so clearly this montage thing is crap. i mean, does anyone’s life work like that?! no. and if yours does, can i take whatever pill you take that makes you skip through the hard parts and get right to the better parts?? i don’t even like cold-pressed juice. the only time i tried to, it cost $9 and tasted like ass so i threw it away and got chik-fil-a breakfast. come to think of it, my montage would actually just be different scenes of me eating junk food and stealing free wifi in public. anyway…
the real-life in-between stages are painful and boring and long and slow. but i’m learning that this isn’t necessarily just a phase, it’s me figuring out my new normal, my new reality. above anything else, i just feel really lonely and i’m trying to squeeze into it gently. someone told me recently that losing your job can be like losing a member of the family — it is so true. a job that i gave my whole heart and all my evening hours and extra thoughts to is now gone. it is such a tough pill to swallow most days. i have tried to set boundaries, which doesn’t make sense to some people but i guess i just have to get over that. i do a lot of things all by myself, my least favorite way to do things. i have tried to convince myself to do laundry for the last four days, but i can’t seem to find enough reasons to have clean clothes. i apply for all kinds of jobs, everything from the kinds i am probably not qualified for, to the kinds that ask for the name of my high school. and i just…wait.
it’s shameful to talk about how i feel, especially because all my emotions are kind of depressing. i struggle every day with this question: is it better to feign happiness so i don’t make people uncomfortable around me? or is it better to just be myself, and risk the people not wanting to be around me at all? for some reason, it always comes back to this for me: i would rather be unequivocally myself, as sad and lonely and frustrated as i am currently and be rejected for that, than to be accepted for something i am not. i am not fake, i’ve never been good at it. i am too real sometimes, too much of myself. and it might cost me certain friendships or my place in certain circles. this process, it’s hard. it’s long. it’s lonely. so here i am writing about it on some little corner of the internet that i’ve called mine for a few years because that brings me a strange sense of progress, like i’m making an impact. even if it’s just for me, i can deal with that.
i don’t feel like Olivia Pope most days, but someone wise recently told me that just because you don’t always feel brave, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. it’s like this little stone in my pocket that i always carry around. sometimes i feel it shifting against me, reminding me of its presence. other times i am searching in every box and purse and drawer to try and remember where i put it, only to find it right where i left it; with me, in my pocket, at all times.
so, maybe this is just for me today. maybe i am the only one who feels less than brave, less than perfect, less than normal. but in case that’s you, too, please know this: we are so much braver than we give ourselves credit for. and no offense to the talented actors of the world, but montages are for the sissies. skipping through the hard stuff is for the weak ones, and i do not want to be a weak one. i want calluses on my hands and sweat on my brow to show i’ve worked hard and kneaded through the tough stuff, even when it all feels like tough stuff.
i still would really like to be able to rock bangs, though. and have spontaneous dance scenes erupt around me as i walk to work. #lifegoals