Monday, May 13, 2013


Writing is all I ever want to do.

When I say this (which I do every night, while mixing a cocktail) it is usually met with an agreeable sound such as "mmm hmmm" or pinched, one-sided smile, long blink and nod of understanding, which- while it says nothing, also conveys all that you really can say. But I don't think that I have been able to convey my feelings on this topic properly. Saying I am unhappy in my current career path, or that I really want to be in another one seems like an easy problem to fix, so why am I talking about it? Surely, lots of people have found themselves doing one thing and realized they should be doing another. The skipped, hopped, jumped and bam! There they are, enjoying their new desk/office/park view. Right?

Like most things that we pretend are easy and we write sitcoms to illustrate how in 22 minutes you could find a solution to, this problem is far from simple. The complexities of the situation are both near and far, but come crashing together in the strangest way. The only way I can describe my predicament is being unfaithful.

Bear with me. Don't be a prude. The situation presents itself much like I am married to one person and in love with another and I'm talking myself into staying with my current partner instead of running off with my passionate lover. That is honestly how it feels when I think about how I am a writer inside and instead, I married being a secretary on accident. I was young, we didn't know better... we should stay together because now people have expectations. There will be a lot of head shaking and embarrassment. Which one will get the friends? Leaving your current situation, especially when you have a lot of connective tissue (amazing benefits, paid vacation, etc.) is not as easy as it seems. Not to mention your new lover/career doesn't exactly have stable financial footing. I didn't mean to be a secretary. I went to college, for Pete's sake! I graduated! With a real degree! And yet, the ties that bind are pulled tighter by the day. I got on the back of the motorcycle and heeded none of the warnings about following my dreams...

I am working on being a paid writer, but I am a writer nonetheless. You can be an artist even if you never sell a painting and any number of wonderful things you are able to do are not made less because you choose not to sell your time doing those things or because no one has seen how wonderful your art is and has heaped bunches of money on you for doing it yet (hint hint universe!).

You are not what you are paid to do. That is not what most of us believe and it is not how most of us behave, especially in social settings, but it is what I firmly believe. You are a person, with many facets, any of which are probably something you could get paid to do.The part of yourself that you choose to sell for the transactional receipt of money is not the definition of who you are. You can make it who you are if you wish, but no one else can make you be anyone or anything.

Part of writing this blog is a way for me to come clean about being a writer, and not hiding that part of myself. In another way, I write the blog largely while at work, cheating on my job and at the same time putting myself at risk of being found out. Isn't that what cheaters really want? To get caught? It alleviates all the secrecy, puts them in a place where there is now a forum to air their grievances and say what they would have said if they had possessed the courage in the first place instead of sneaking around. I know if I got caught that is exactly what would happen. The lid on this pot would pop off and all kinds of boiling, scathing things would come out. I would have nothing left to lose and no illusion of it working and would say everything I should have said in the beginning. Those fights are how these situations end.

But the one I am really angry at (like all cheaters) is myself. Not for cheating. Rather, for not having the courage to break away from what was never good enough for me. So instead, I sit here in the situation I made for myself and fantasize about what it might be like to touch the forbidden, wondrous, scintillating edge of freedom.

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