If You Build It, They Will Come.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

e p i p h a n y

It's happened again. I think I hit that point where I'm taking charge again. I was just on the phone with Erin, and I felt it. I've been down a lot lately. A lot of it from being in Kalamazoo, a lot from feeling lonely, a lot from feeling like everything I knew in L.A. has come to a halt. I felt like this when I got to Lexington. Very insecure, very quiet, very timid, very afraid, and not at all in control. But somehow tonight, I had a moment of lucidity, the same as I did in 10th grade. In a moment, something I've always known became extremely clear and uncomplicated, and I saw how simple it is.

Over the next few weeks I'm going to change absolutely everything that I hate about myself.

It might take a while, it will probably take more than a few weeks, but what I can't change in a few weeks I'll have put myself on the right road to fix as soon as possible. But every problem that I have imposed upon myself, I am going to solve.

Starting now.

I'm not my father. I never will be. That I know. Today I stop comparing myself to him, because we are two different people with two different lives. I have been too hard on myself for being 25 without a wife, a steady job, a house, two cars, and three kids. I've been feeling like a failure since I was 19, because I wasn't good enough to be as good as him. That stops now. I love him. I am very proud of him. I am very lucky he is my dad. But I need to stop comparing myself to him. I need to stop getting down everytime I think of what he had accomplished by the time he was my age.

I am going to pick up the pace though. I'm going to become self dependant. I am 25, and even though I'm a very recent graduate in a very competitive and non-local field, I need to be able to get by on my own. Everyone needs help at some point in their life, and I've had my share. It's time to grow up.

I am going to find a job. I am going to accept that no matter what job I find around here, I'm more than likely going to hate it, but it will be temporary. I am going to accept that no matter what job I find around here, it will not define me. I am a writer, I am a director, I am a filmmaker first. I'll be a fry cook just to pay the bills. I will not let this get me down.

I am going to stop worrying about Kalamazoo. I have friends here. Sure the creative flow isn't as great here as it is in Los Angeles, but I wrote two feature screenplays here. The town isn't causing this writers block, and if I moved to Denver tomorrow, I'd still be in the same boat that I'm in now. Jobless and behind on my bills without a story in my head. I am going to take care of that before I move.

I am going to stop feeling like an outsider. In all aspects. Yes I am a private person, but sometimes I feel left out. I know I moved away, I know I rarely call, I know I don't keep in touch that well. That's going to stop. I know I'm usually busy, but I was always bummed when my family would go to Florida without me. I'm not good at golf, and that's cool. That's my brothers thing. But sometimes I feel a little out of touch. Not just with my family. With everyone.

I am going to stop being afraid of people. I'm so worried about people's opinions of me, people who I'll only see once in my life. That's so unlike me, really. I'm always the quiet one at the bar, at parties, at gatherings. I'm the guy who sits back and watches everyone else have fun. I used to be the guy who ran down the hill with orange triamenic stains on my shirt. I used to be the guy who took a camera on campus and asked people if they'd sponsor a cafe with shaved monkey waiters. I used to be the guy who claimed he saw a penguin on the side of Clever Lane. I used to be the guy who got up and sang Meatloaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love" in the LeFevre cafe at 7am. One time in Los Angeles I stood up in the middle of a crowded restaurant at CityWalk and sang "Let's Get It On" because it was playing quietly over the speakers. I'm going to be that guy again. That guy isn't so chicken-shit to talk to new people. So much so that he hasn't had a date in years.

Most of all though, I think I'm just going to smile more, and have some faith that all the luck and blessings I've received in my life, all the good fortune, all the friends and family, all the support, all the fun, and all the gifts I've been given had to have been given to me for a reason. I'm going to accept that this is a trying time, and it's something I deserve, because nobody should be as lucky as me, and be able to glide through some things like I did. This is a test. Nothing in my profession will come as easily as it has in the past, and I need to be ready for adversity and be able to work my way out of it. That's why this is happening. I'm going to relax. I'm going to breathe. I'm going to organize and compose myself. I'm going to focus and I'm going to persevere.

For the first time in a while I feel great. I feel like I'm walking the long road instead of crawling. I feel much higher, much more prepared, less intimidated. Less willing to make excuses and feel sorry for myself for not being what I wanted to be, and more willing to just become what I want to be.

My dad once wrote me a note, a note that I still have, that says "Only you can change your stars." It really is as simple as that.


  • Bravo Joseph!! And all the happiest, healthiest and greatest of thoughts and wishes are with you. Only you hold the keys to the doors yet to be opened :) Hope to talk to you again sometime...until then.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 29, 12:24:00 PM EDT  

  • This is why I love you. Schmoo

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 29, 09:47:00 PM EDT  

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