Well, some people might call it that. I called it A Certain Longing: for peace...for quiet...for a little patch of green that I might call my own. And I started my strange, Saturday-morning p0rn routine:
- Wake up at The BF's
- Make tea (and no, that's not code for anything)
- Pad into office and get online
- Surf for real estate offerings in Small, Midwestern College Town
A little weird? Perhaps. But you try living in Los Angeles as a middle-aged, middle-class person for 16 years and see how you react. I've "been there, done that" with the U.S. Majors (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) and while I love urban life as least as much as I loathe suburban life, I remain somewhat in the dark about the in-between. Color me Small Town-curious, I guess.
Anyway, upon ascertaining that I could basically buy myself a phat pad in said Undisclosed Small Town for cash in hand, my fantasies grew more vivid and active. What, I thought, about a job? Perhaps I could throw away this freewheeling life of self-(sometimes-)employment, given the right opportunity. Could there be any opportunities worth throwing it away for?
It was a quick hop/skip/jump to the university's website. I mean, hell, here was the major employer, right? Why not give 'er a look-see?
Lo & behold, there was a job with all but my actual name on it.
And yet, I was a kinda/sorta retired actor. Who was...who had seen many winters.
Who'd been living a semi-dissolute life off the company payroll since 1992. Translation: a woefully inadequate, almost 100% irrelevant rÃ©sumÃ©.
At least I still had one, I thought. And passion. I had shitloads of passion. Plus, that sense of humor. I mean, it had to be worth something.
Still, I was unemployable...right? Who would even look at me? A 45-year-old broad, who'd been off the market for years, tilting at crazy windmills like acting and TV writing?
Naturally, I did the only sane thing: I applied.
I drafted a crazy letter, and included a strange, not-especially-applicable, certainly-not-asked-for bio/one-sheet of my own devising. (And yes, I threw in an outdated rÃ©sumÃ©. Why? Who knows. Old habits die hard, I guess. Plus there's that Cornell thing, that impresses some people sometimes. Might as well use what Dad paid so dearly for.)
I sent off the Kit-'n'-Caboodle, expecting nothing.
A couple of weeks later, when I'd all but forgotten the escapade, I received a reply: "Missive received; continue communication." Okay, I'm paraphrasing, but there's a point to all this.
Never assume, as many foolish applicants to a dream job with Seth Godin did, that the Ordinary Route will serve. It will not. It may kill the deal.
Never mistake, as so many of us do, the un-thought-of for the impossible. They are not the same. People invent crazy stuff out of nothing every damned day. This country was founded on people inventing crazy stuff out of nothing. Embrace the wacko tradition. Let go of the bullshit notions that lash you to the mast of mundanity. They are not your friends. You are your friend. Innovation is your friend. Change is your friend, as scary as she may look from across the dimly-lit pavilion.
Sometimes, the trying does not work. Usually, the trying involves a bit of a leap. In the words of my beloved poet, soprano Beverly Sills, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
You'll fall. You'll fail. You'll fumble.
I didn't get the job, you see. Bowed out too early in the process to know if it would have been offered. Boyfriend not ready to move. Me, not ready to move. Bottom line: while I flatter myself that the interview went well, I'll never really know. And I'm still in L.A., in the same, small (but beautiful! and rent-controlled!) one-bedroom apartment, two years later. Still muddling along with my own crazy, dream-fueled, solopreneur cocktail of endeavors.
No matter. It's the reaching out that makes the woman. Going out of your comfort zone, sniffing out something not quite in your reach, dipping a toe in the waters well outside your purview that matters.
This, I have done.
This, you can do.
Draft a crazy proposal. Reach out to other people and express, share, offload your crazy dream.
Crazy dreamers and crazy trying are the components of change.
And change, while scary, and yes, a little crazy-making, is the currency of growth.
Grow this world. Do the nutso thing.
Change the world, change your world.
Or die for crazy trying...