On Turning 23, My First Job (and Lapses of Insanity)
I guess, you could say, as a child I was wildly ambitious. I wanted to be an astronaut and a spy, and a doctor and soldier all at the same time—but who as a child wasn't so naive and carefree?
In my head, by the time I hit 23, I would have it all figured out. A life map laid out in front of me and I all I had to do was not screw up and everything would fall into place.
I was wrong. At 23, I now know only one thing: I have walked into a cliche and am as lost as ever.
All I knew (for a while) was that I was tired more often than not. I stopped waking up in time for work. I didn't finish the poetry that I started to write (despite how promising they seemed). I've left three stories hanging in my head; three film plots, one potential play. I couldn't seem to find it in myself to have the energy to do the things that I loved; the most surprising of all of this was that I couldn't write. The only things I did finish were the books I drowned myself in. That, to be honest, was my saving grace. Without these books, I think I could've gone crazy.
Whatever it was, this shadow that came over me, it started to manifest in a lot of ways, bleeding through the cracks that seemed to hold me together, seeping into my relationships, my work, my personal life. This resulted in: a lack of enthusiasm in almost everything: work, the projects I was doing with friends, my writing; a constant need to be away; my lack of energy to be around other people; a detachment from even my best of friends; short-temperedness directed at the littlest of things; and an apparent unhappiness (the kind so tangible, you can feel it).
It had gotten so bad, that I spent the morning of my birthday crying over an anxiety I couldn't place.
I knew something was wrong. I just couldn't figure out what, much worse how to fix it.
A Rude Awakening
I spent the eve of my birthday trying to beat a deadline at the office and leaving at around 11:50 pm, 10 minutes before turning 23, telling my Art Director that I did not want to spend my birthday there.
I realized then and there, that I was done. That right there was the root of all my unhappiness. This was not how I wanted to live my life. In an office that I was no longer happy working for, doing a job I felt was not contributing to society (in any way), for people whose philosophies were so different from mine.
I wanted to make a difference, I've known this for so long. But I knew that it wasn't going to happen inside the walls of my office (in a place I could not even call home).
I got home, June 9, midnight. Turned 23 in the car. And then decided to spend the rest of the day at an Art Museum with my family, away from everything.
This is one of the biggest decisions I've made; a complete change in my career. I'm leaving my stable job in publishing, to delve into development and film production (with the hopes that one day I can get to produce my own Documentary Series about the advocacies i feel strongly about). I would be lying if I didn't say that I am currently shit scared and constantly worrying about money (especially because I promised to help send my sister to Italy for her birthday, and am considering adopting a new dog soon); and my future.
But if anything at all, I feel hopeful. I feel like since I've made the decision to pursue development and production, things have started falling into place.
Yesterday, I met with one of the founders of Works of Heart, and I've signed on to be one of their writers. Tomorrow, the producers of Stages of Love 2015 are semi-announcing something big. And on Wednesday, I have a meeting with a potential client for Arete Productions (the production company Tony and I put together in college).
I know for a fact that all my decisions starting now have to be calculated, and that it's going to be tough. It's going to be hell. But I feel hopeful. More hopeful than I have in a long time. I just hope that with this decision, I will feel as at ease with myself, the way I did when I spent my 23rd birthday in the arms of an art gallery with the people I love.
Here's to being 23. To a clean slate. And new beginnings.