I sit here on the couch uneasy, unsettled, unable to just sink into the cushions and relax. It’s not just me. We both feel the same way. A good movie, an afternoon nap, nothing feels quite right. It’s not that there’s anything wrong. Maybe the opposite. Life is pretty damn good. But just a few miles from our apartment movies are being filmed, sitcoms are being cast, careers are being “made”. And we sit. We’d need to recoup from the road but there’s always the nagging voice in the back of our heads saying GO, DO, NOW.
I know that moving to LA was a big step. A big scary step. I know that it took guts and gumption. I know that not everyone has it in them to bite the bullet and go for it. But since I’ve been here I’m having to face the fact that fear is keeping me from doing what I need to do. I’m afraid to submit for auditions that I won’t be enough. I’m too shy to just hang out at clubs and try to make friends with other comics. The thought of connecting with people I don’t know makes me queasy. While I know that I’m funny, I worry that my jokes aren’t smart to be on stage with young guys in hoodies. I worry that I’m not funny enough to be in the larger comedy festivals. I’m afraid to really go after agent representation that they’ll just laugh at my lack of experience. And while this all whirls around in my head I sit and do little to nothing. I put myself out there just enough to say I’m doing something, but not enough to make anything happen.
We make a descent living. We’re not rolling in dough, but we do ok. We could easily move back east, work a couple weeks a month and spend lots of time together, with our friends and families. We could spend weekends in the back yard laughing and having BBQ’s. We could travel and see the world. We could relax. Watch a movie, take a nap, go for a ride on the bikes. We could have the dream....a white picket fence. It would be easy. It would be safe. But would it be enough?
That’s the hard questions for me and if the answers is no, then why not? That’s what we dream of when we’re young isn’t it? To have someone that we love, a family, friends, laughter, a job that we adore, enough money to take vacations and do some things, and a house that’s just perfect. But somewhere along the journey we decide we want more. More money, more “title” at work, more things....and the dream we already have is no longer enough.
I know what the answer is for us. The answers is.... we’ll always wonder What If? Every self help book I’ve read says you have to let go of the past, let go of your decisions and live life NOW. Let go of what if. What if I had taken that job? What if I had worked harder in my marriage? What if I had been there more for my kids? What if, what if, what if? But, I know, if we walk away from the glitter of Hollywood and choose the white picket fence we’ll always wonder? If we choose the easy life then we’ll never be able to sit on the couch and relax, or take a nap or ride the bikes without that question being whispered in the back of our minds.
I realize now the very thing I always wanted has become the enemy....it means the death of a dream....the source of the lingering questions what if....that if allowed will haunt me the rest of my days. Damn you white picket fence. Damn you.