I’m baaaack. I thought for a while about moving this blog, how I wanted this blog to change, and what was the real reason to keep it going. It caused me a lot of trouble and I convinced myself it wasn’t worth it.
But then I remembered that this is for me, for me to be able to talk honestly and openly about what this wild career is like. And that means there are going to be hard conversations whether I like it or not. But that doesn’t mean I should silence myself.
So anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about invisible success. I spent 20 minutes looking at my bio this morning and it depressed me. All of my “big” credits are from 2021. Or at least the ones I can talk about. As the year ends I’m also very aware that I haven’t written as much as I usually have. One year I wrote 10 full-length plays and who knows how many 10s. This year I’ve written 3 full-lengths and 2 10s.
My immediate question to myself is “Am I falling behind?”
It’s interesting how we define success in a social media world. I think a lot about “pics or it isn’t real” but there are so many things that just can’t be captured that way. What does it mean to sit with success that no one knows about? Does that mean it matters less? Does that mean it’s not real yet? Not until you can show “pics” or really proof that it happened.
And as I often ask myself, what would be enough? The line keeps moving.
This should’ve been a really good year for me. I got staffed! I got to see an amazing production of Apologies to a packed house! I did a lot of workshops and had a couple of readings. I got 3 commissions! I’m working on two features right now.
So why doesn’t it feel that way? Why am I still panicking about money? Why am I so afraid all of it is fleeting and never enough? I’ve told myself and my friends for years “You have to come up with your own definition of success” but every time I reach it, I push the bar even further.
And sure a part of it is that it is fleeting and capitalism is horrible and with interest rates rising like they are, everything is just bad. Really, really bad. But there’s also–as embarrassing as it is to admit–there’s a part of me that doesn’t think it’s real until I can talk about it.
Which is a problem because some of the things going on I can’t talk about for years.
I’ve always known I was a basic millennial. I’ve never pretended to be anything else. I didn’t get a lot of praise (or any) as a kid so now I crave it. I need people to know (and to tell me) I’ve done well. I don’t like that I need that but that’s for me and my therapist to figure out. But as a basic millennial who prides themselves on being very honest, there are things I cannot say and that’s been really hard.
Yes, I know how whiny that sounds.
On the other side of it, there’s also that some of the “good” things that happened to me didn’t feel good. Writing for TV this time around was really, really hard and almost broke me. I thought for a moment that maybe I should just get out of the industry. It ended up being growing pains and I’m stronger for it…but whew, what a time… And I can’t really talk about any of that.
So where does that leave me? Is that why 2022 feels like a step backwards even though I logically know it was a massive step forward? Once again, at the end of yet another year, I’m asking myself: What would be enough?
I’m getting older. My mind is getting slower. I don’t have the energy I used to have and there’s so much more I want to do. But what I am really beginning to grapple with is if I get to do everything I want, achieve all of my wildest dreams but I can’t talk about it…….would I still be able to appreciate it? Why am I still searching for outside validation and what does it really get me in the end?
Can I keep my biggest accomplishments a secret? Does success need external validation?
I don’t have the answers to this yet but I really hope I can learn how to sit with what I’ve done and learn how to be proud of myself.
And for that to be enough.