April 25, 2006

The Balancing Act

This morning when I was gently awakened at 5:00 a.m. by my loving boyfriend I cursed him. I cursed the social service agency I work for, and I cursed the light of day itsef. I absolutely, undeniably, indesputably abhore getting up in the morning to go to work. Not only do I have to go to work, but I have to go to work for someone else. And I have to provide a service to people who unabashedly try to beat the system. Being behind the scenes at this little do-good social service agency has made me jaded in ways I wish had never occured.

But I am independent, have a lovely home, and have been forced to learn and practice social skills beyond the realm of "how-do-you-do" as a result of my persistent struggle toward an early retirement and decent pension. And I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. While it takes every fiber of my being to drag my ass out of bed every day and present myself as a clean, well-groomed and polite person to others who haven't the decency to respond to "hello," I am nearing the finish line. I know once I cross the finish line I'll be glad for the whole experience and proud of my accomplishment.

Mustang Sally e-mailed all of her friends and informed us that she had quit her new job as a graphic designer. She lasted a whole two weeks at this one. She claims the work environment was less than she desired and the demands she presented to her superior couldn't/wouldn't be met. One of her complaints was that her job didn't support her dream of becoming an actor.

I'm completely befuckled. The only explanation I have as to why this woman refuses to support herself, honor her debts, and spare her parents from her whiney-ass presence in their home is that she believes she can have a life completely devoid of everything but the theater. She will stop at nothing to achieve that. Her lack of education in the field, her lack of talent in the field, her lack of connections in the field, and the lack of the field itself where she lives are of no consequence to her. She believes her higher power will bestow upon her the life of which she dreams. Be damned all you who struggle through cab driving and table waiting while you hope for your big breaks. Starving artists are but an illusion.

Perhaps I put too much value on independence. Perhaps I'm too realistic. Perhaps I'm painfully resentful of the fact that Mustang Sally feels no remorse for sponging off other people while I am compelled to be responsible, at least so far as to pay my own way through life.

Tonight I'm going out for drinks with a friend who is an aspiring writer like me. Neither of us is published, but we don't expect anyone to pay our way while we pursue our dreams. This doesn't make the dream less valid, nor does it put the dream further out of reach. We sacrifice here, compromise there, and one day we will be published writers. We support our families, and contribute to households and society. And we write.

And then we write some more.

No comments: