And its frankly depressing that I am still asking that question. I had hoped to be freakin’ fulfilled now, career-wise, leading a purpose-driven life full of meaningful sweeps of the hand and clear-eyed visions of a better tomorrow. But I’m not.
This is why I’ve returned to writing, something that I’ve vacillated to and from over the years.
- Writing is the answer!
- But no, it’ll never work, you’re not good enough and no one reads novels anyway!
- Dayjob is the answer! Dayjob is solid and dependable and really quite interesting when you come down to it!
- No, it isn’t! Dayjob sucks! Dayjob will never make you happy! You don’t care enough about the kind of things Dayjob needs you to care about!
- Writing! Writing is the answer!
I had a what-I-want-to-do-when-I grow-up moment about 10 years ago when I saw a documentary about the making of the sitcom Roseanne (which was really pretty funny and maintained some strong character arcs). It was called Feeding the Monster and was about the awesome difficulty of consistently bringing teh funny week-in week-out for seven seasons or whatever. This room full of (mostly) men eating pizza and writing funny scripts to a fearsome deadline had tremendous appeal to me.
So why aren’t I doing it? (And why do I eat pizza so rarely?). See above I guess.
Anyway, as I sat in a meeting in Dayjob this morning, full of people full of a passion that I can’t find it in myself to share, and as I doodled ideas for something I’m working on (good ideas too!), I was struck again by the aptness of this metaphor.
When I grow up I want to feed the monster. But the growing up and the feeding begin right now.
Because when it comes down to it, don’t we all have a monster within us? A dark cave-dwelling beast with fangs and poor hygiene that must be tossed scraps of metaphorical rotting meat to prevent it from tearing your (metaphorical) head off? (Or at least, I have a monster. You might have a kitten or an alpaca or something. But they still need to eat, right?)