Monday, April 16, 2012

1 Year Later

So. Here we are. A year ago today, I started an experiment to see where life could take me if I quit a job that was making me increasingly despondent and pursued an entirely different life. I had a long list of assumptions about the year and a whole world of expectations. Nice to see all of those have come true.

Or not.


Assumption: If I'm not working, I can spend every day working out.

Reality: I have spent zero days working out.


Assumption: If I'm not working, I can take dance classes every day.

Reality: I haven't been in a dance class in four years.


Assumption: I'm going to try a lot of different jobs by taking different internships.

Reality: Zero internships came my way—most seem to require that you are enrolled as a full-time student. Student of life does not count.


Assumption: I've always wanted to really learn how to play tennis.

Reality: Still hope to learn to play tennis.


Assumption: Maybe I'll take a cooking class?

Reality: Nope.


Assumption: Maybe now that I don't have to be up by 5am every day, I'll date.

Reality: Hilarity.


Assumption: I'm going to travel again.

Reality: I'm giving myself half points on this. I have flown more this year than I have in recent years, and I've certainly logged more time in the car than ever before. Still haven't managed anything exotic, though.


Assumption: I'm going to go to Santa Barbara on a random Tuesday if I want.

Reality: Check. Check. Check. Hell, I went up there because I wanted breakfast at a certain place.


Assumption: I will spend more time going to cultural events in Los Angeles.

Reality: Check. Even though I've always had theater tickets for major productions in town, I really have started seeing much more of the city. Some of these events have even been at night—which never used to happen before.


Assumption: If I want to go to a local lecture about art, I will.

Reality: Check. I've indulged in tours and lectures at the local museums on a number of occasions—though more in the fall than lately.


Assumption: I'll be shocked if I'm not working again by September.

Reality: Welcome to my shock. To be honest, I did work nearly right away after leaving my job—just not for money. It took quite a while to actually focus on being out of from under the old job and that schedule. In fact, there are times when I still feel attached to it. If someone came to me tomorrow and said that I had to return to my old place of business, it probably wouldn't surprise me, and I'd just pick up where I left off. I suppose that is a sign that the transition hasn't entirely settled in my mind yet.


Assumption: At the end of the year I will know exactly what I want to do and will be well on my way to achieving the new goals.

Reality: Ummm. This one is tricky. I know what I want to do: I want to make a living wage as a writer (and/or producer). That's a good thing. This is solid progress. I'm not wedded to a particular platform. I want to do it all. The one thing I have learned is that until I've signed a contract and a check has cleared, I will have no idea if I'm close to achieving the goal or miles away from it. Things just change too quickly. For someone with my personality, I'm not sure I won't end up being very cranky with this reality. In fact, I'm certain I will. And I am realistic. Eventually, I'm going to need to pay rent and need a job that takes care of that reality. But I'm not ready to give up quite yet. Next week…well, that's a different story.


Assumption: A year is a really long time.

Reality: It was over in a blink of an eye.


danielletbd said...

Jonathan Larson once said all he wanted to do was wake up every morning and write. Technically he got to do just that. But it's one thing to be happy writing but quite another to make a living at it-- or make a living at writing exactly what you want to write. Maybe we should be more specific.

Kate, Dating in LA said...

Specificity is good. I feel like I need money for another year now that I've narrowed things down.

Helen said...

I think you have actually made some profound changes in the past year. You were on the road to getting out more and exploring before last April, but you have really stepped it up. The trip to San Diego where you went out to watch the game by yourself, going out to parties/wine club taking in a variety of cultural events in LA and the spur-of-the-moment trips to Santa Barbara are pretty significant changes.

The biggest change, however, is saying out loud what you want! For so long, your answer was "I don't know what I want." We always said you couldn't get there if you didn't know what "there" looked like. Now you do. It may not be easy. There may not be a direct route, but knowing the destination will allow you to find your way.

Liz said...

I totally agree with Helen, the changes you made in your life were HUGE and you should give yourself absolute credit for that! Don't sell yourself short.

How many people can say that they took a risk and went after what they really wanted in life?...Not many!

One of my favorite inspirational quotes and one that I try to live by even if I'm terrified of the unknown is:

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”- Ralph W Sockman

AND he was born in Ohio so that's something. I've met and Ohioan or two that have been very wise! ;)

AG said...

"Assumption: A year is a really long time.

Reality: It was over in a blink of an eye."

This was beautiful. And so very, very true.