A Firm Case of the You Can’ts

This weekend, the fantastically talented and generous Kelly McNichols of the up-and-coming (and fabulous) Cadenza Photography volunteered to take some new headshots. They turned out awesome. (shameless plug).

Pictured: Awesome

And so, for the past hour, I have been staring a long list of deadlines, email addresses and mailing address,  trying to figure out, exactly, what it is exactly that I want to do with my life.

Again.

Right?

I’m sick of writing about it.

You can stop reading now, if you want. It won’t hurt my feelings.

I am a decisive* fucking person. Usually. (*except in deciding where to go to eat.) I wanted write, so I wrote professionally starting in high school. I thought poetry might be fun, so I performed at the Kennedy Center.  I want, desperately and with the majority of my entire soul to do Shakespeare somewhere and maybe get to teach people about it, and I…..sit here and think about how nice that would be.  It is so fantastically, beautifully, stupidly easy: Send headshot & resume to faceless email. Wait to hear back. For fucks sake, 9 times out of 10, I don’t even have to MAIL anything– and yet, here I sit.

Am I washed up? I’m 24, which I think is a little too early to fully decide my washuppedness, but sometimes– a lot of times, I feel like it.

It keeps coming back to this point. This very same exact (which is terrible writing but it’s accurate) place: me, sitting on my computer at 1AM, thinking about all of the things I would rather be doing than what I’m doing now, searching through grad school applications and auditions in far away places but juxtaposing those things with where I am and who I am and everything in between. Then my brain turns to mush, I give up and say fuck it until the next existential crisis comes along and I rinse, repeat.

I don’t know what it is. I want blue hair: I dye my hair. I want to publish some stuff: I send it in, it usually goes well. But then there’s the “I want to do Shakespeare” and my perfect storm of self-confidence and overachieving comes crashing down around me, and all that’s left are the pitiful shatters of my self esteem and a whole lot of angst about how one of my eyes is bigger than the other, no one wants a Juliet with a squinchy eye– like I could ever play Juliet, like I’ll ever be good enough, like anyone would ever hire me, why did I cut my hair, why don’t I just lose some weight or buy new clothes or on and on and on and on until there’s no sense of reasonable thought, just an obnoxious pity-party lousy with every dark whisper that tells me I can’t do this.

It’s stupid.

It’s just plain stupid.

I hate complainers. Maybe it comes from my childhood, maybe it comes from forcing myself to ignore the signals my body sends me every day, maybe it just comes from plain stubbornness, but I get so deeply annoyed by people who whine and  moan about how hard their life is without ever actually making any changes– because life, my friends, is beautiful and amazing. It is a fascinating adventure, every day— and here I am complaining about the same stupid thing I complained about the last time I complained, without change. I am literally the thing I hate most on the internet.

Maybe it’s telling? Maybe that’s the unanswered part of me that keeps wiggling its way to the surface– the part that knows I’m not going to be entirely content continuing on like I am. Maybe it’s telling me that I need to get up off of my ass and go for it this time– but there’s always that “you can’t” or “they won’t like you”.

What it brutally, honestly comes down to is that I’m scared. I am abjectly terrified to attempt to do anything I know I will not succeed at. Moving to New York with 50 bucks in my pocket is simply not going to happen.

I’ve talked about failure before. I’ve talked about this, all of this, before, and I know it.

It seems like my life rolls in waves: There will be a long succession of strange and fabulous and wonderful things that happen, then a long stretch of mundane life and grown-uppy stuff that takes me back to this place of “what if and why nots”.

So…I dunno. This doesn’t really have a resolution (these entries never do, do they?) but what it does have is a deadline.

I turn 25 in January. By the time I’m 25, I want to have at least gone for it. I want to be able to say that I tried, that I at least, on some small level, made the effort, amid the clamor and the whispers of the “you can’ts” that someday I might be able to shake–maybe doing something, anything, to affirm to myself, before anyone else, that I can do this, maybe some of those “you can’ts” will piss right the hell off.

And who knows, maybe the next wave is about to come in…which, in not so many words, is exactly what I said last time.

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