Monday, July 20, 2009

To Be or Not To Be...

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  What do I want to be?  Rich.  Happy.  Successful.  Thin.  Wrinkle-free.  At some point in our lives, we make a decision about what we are going to be – what career or life path we will take – and how we want to be seen in the world.  Inevitably, our personalities follow us along this path.  How we move in the world is shaped by what we choose.  Living a life of great adventure vs expected convention, of spirituality vs logic, of intellect vs enterprise – all of those decisions we make consciously or unconsciously around the time we take our first job. 

About twenty years ago, or maybe its more now, I decided I was going to be an executive rather than a screenwriter or director.  I decided this because at some point I told myself that I was incapable of writing or directing.  I told myself that I was untalented, that I was a person dictated by logic not creativity.  From that moment on, the story I told myself, the narrative I wrote for my own life, was that I am a great facilitator of other people’s visions – that I can support talent, nurture and guide it because I have none of my own.  That I am an editor, not a creator.  And that I am a multitasker and thus better suited in an executive or producorial capacity than in a creative one that requires a more singular focus or vision. 

All of that may very well be the case. But it would be impossible to know for sure because the truth is I never tried.  I never tried to write a screenplay.  I never tried to direct a movie.  Or a tv show.  Or even a commercial.  Because, and here we can go back to the theme of this blog, I am a chickenshit.  What if I tried to write a screenplay and it sucked?  What if I tried my hand at directing and it turned out that I am singularly untalented?  What then?  A person who never tries can never fail.  The oldest cliché in the book and I’m living it.  Fabulous.

There is no shame in being a talented executive, a skilled multi-tasker or a great supporter of other people’s talent.  There is no shame in anything we choose to do as long we dedicate ourselves to it and do it well.  Write a script, raise a child, be an executive, wash dishes.  But do it well.  At the moment, I am not doing my job well.  Because I am spending my time worrying about what I have not done.  And thinking about my fear.  My chickenshitness. 

This blog was born as a result of fear.  And dedicated to a year of self-fear-exploration.  A year may not be enough time.  And as I blog away, however infrequently, I spend time NOT doing those things which might free me of the shackles of my decades of fear.  Time blogging is spent NOT writing a screenplay, or a book.  It is time NOT spent reading history books or studying a different language.  But it is spent writing.  And that alone is a step in the right direction…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

did you choose only out of fear? or could it also have been that the job you chose had its own satisfactions? expertise, ability, security, authority, other?