I’d hit another low point in my life recently– not because of work, but because my creative outlet, writing, was smothered by work. Don’t get me wrong, working on television show sets is something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a boy – and it’s a far cry from a hated profession being the inhibitor – but nevertheless, if I don’t write, then a part of me isn’t living.
The primary target of my writing attenuation is my autobiographical cancer story about my treatment and life before and after such an ordeal. In the end, it will be more about life than loss. But with my desired occupation taking a good chunk of my time (then sleep requiring the rest), I’m left with little time to finish my goal: a first draft by the end of the year. Make no mistake, I WILL get this done, but the ambition has suffered– not my ambition, but the objective.
And while I’m still several chapters ahead of the current release schedule (and these next pieces are something of which I’m truly proud), I’m not where I want to be on this, the sixteenth of December. But something happened the other night. I had the “flow” to my current “ebb.”
I dreamt that I went to a Children’s Cancer Hospital and met this beautiful little family of a mother and her two daughters. In my dream, I expected the older daughter to have the ailment, but as I hugged her, I looked over to see the girl’s mother, now in Chemo attire – bald head, pale skin, sunken eyes, and a face mask – looking back at me. The mother’s eyes welled as she saw her daughter happy for the first time in a long time.
I awoke with the same state of eyes, reminded as to why I’m doing this. While the dream surely just attempted to recall how I missed visiting other patients and helping their family members, the subtext was not lost. I had lost my inner child. I spent so much of my time laser-focused on my career that I let my love and personality fall by the wayside. When I’m on set, I’m not my true self personality-wise, partly because my old “happy self” was also mired by frustration and backhanded combative sentiments.
Since I’ve been in California, I’ve devoted my focus on maintaining positivity, eschewing those negative traits, but since my ability to be sarcastic is handicapped, I’m also afraid to insult someone accidentally. And I’m trying to project a hard-working ethos with little room for immature errors of comedic judgment. Of course, I’m forgetting to be myself in the process, and come off as odd or dull.
After this dream, I immediately began a special project for a special little lady in my life, and it has made me more childlike and more aligned with my old comedic sensibilities of funny faces and infectious smiles.
I mustn’t forget who I was and the fact that this person is never gone, only masked.
This just in: Others will always be there to test your values…
#OnlyInLA: I was sitting at Coffee Source, popping my mental cork (this very piece), when some lady tapped me on my head. It was a playful tap, and I fully expected to see a friend of mine saying hi, but instead; saw a purple-haired scrawny woman in front of me, badgering me about something that I had “done.” She was incoherent, and I had never met her before in my life, but she then threw a small cup of water on me and partially, on my computer.
When she left, the gracious staff and patrons of this fine establishment were especially considerate and helped me dry off. They even offered me a new drink as the last had been doused by water.
What was most humorous to me was that my last line of this writer’s block-bluster was “I spent so much of my time laser-focused on my–” and then, I looked further down, scrolling through Instagram. Had I ACTUALLY been laser-focused, I would have noticed her approach and been able to prevent her assault.
Lesson learned here, folks: Keep your eyes open and your attention off of social media.
Thanks to all those at Coffee Source. There’s a reason why you’re one of my favorites.