The clouds are hanging low over LA today with a fog (or is it smog?) blanketing the mountains that just won’t lift. It’s cold and drizzly and it suits me fine. I’m not in a bad mood, I’m just in a mood; I’m a little bit quiet, a little bit sulky, a little bit heavy. Not really unhappy, just pensive.
I have a lot to think about, a lot of decisions to make; every person I talk to since I got back from my all-you-can-jet adventure has asked, “what’s next? Where are you moving? What’s your goal? What job are you looking for?” And all I can say is “I don’t know.” I. DON’T. KNOW.
Somewhere deep inside me, I know it’s OK that I don’t know what’s next. Deep in the core of me, I am trusting that things will come into place and that I’ll find the answers in my own time and that where I am now is where I need to be now.
That’s all very zen of me, very positive and inspiring and blah blah blah. But my brain is FREAKING OUT, people.
For the first time in my life, I have credit card debt, I’m unemployed and directionless. Nothing, absolutely nothing is calling my name, making me feel any passion whatsoever. The thought of acting makes me feel frustrated and tired, moving is overwhelming, travel reminds me of my empty bank account, and a “grown-up job” gives me dread-filled heartburn.
Honestly, the only thing that inspires me at all lately is writing for you.
Yes, I realize this is uncharacteristically negative of me. I’m not depressed, really I’m not, but every time someone asks me the well-intentioned questions of “what do you do” or “what’s your plan now,” I feel like I’ve been given a final exam that’s 90% of my grade, and despite all my hours of studying, I’m drawing a complete blank. Just like in a nightmare of the same nature, all my fears are magnified.
I’m scared of staying in Los Angeles and getting wrapped back up in thought patterns that make me miserable.
I’m scared that moving somewhere is just running away and won’t actually change anything.
I’m scared of putting my whole self into something (a career, a relationship) and having it fail, end, scar me again.
I’m scared of never even finding anything worth putting my whole self into again.
I’m scared of looking back with regret.
I’m scared of being broke, of getting sick without health insurance, of always struggling.
I’m scared of wasting my life.
I’m scared of always being alone.
I’m scared of being unfulfilled and uninspired, and boxing myself in.
I’m angry with myself for not being able to let these fears go. I have had a truly remarkable year, and yet when these feelings take over, it’s as though everything amazing I’ve done means shit. All I can see is what I don’t have.
It’s a struggle to let go and trust. It goes against everything I’ve ever been taught as an AP Honor Roll student and good kid and responsible adult. It’s hard when people ask what’s next, expecting a plan of action, and all I can say is, “we’ll see.” It sounds exciting, I know, and I feel like it should be, and sometimes it is, but more often it’s just this weird state of limbo and waiting.
Am I expecting too much? Am I being too passive? Is this trusting patience or is it suspended animation?
I feel like I should (there’s that “S” word again) be taking action, making something, anything happen. Like I’m being unforgivably wasteful with this time I’ve been given. But I’m afraid of taking action in the wrong direction when I don’t feel strongly in any direction.
And then sometimes I have this creeping feeling that something absolutely friggin’ AMAZING is just around the corner and this period of inactivity is a break I should savor because the shit (the good shit) is about to hit the fan.
My parents gave me a sculpture by my favorite artist, Brian Andreas, when I graduated High School. It is an angel, it hangs above my bed, and written on it is: “In my dreams, the angel shrugged and said, if we fail this time it will be a failure of imagination & then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand.” It has always really inspired me but lately it feels like a warning.
The world is in my palm, and it’s terrifying. Imagination don’t fail me now.