Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Semi-coherent musings on stuff...

I forgot that that's the subtitle of this blog, which is good because it frees me up to just go on and on and not feel like I have to make much sense and not worry about whether there's a point to what I'm writing. Because, honestly, at 10:16pm after a long day of writing and working at MTV and staying on hold for 15 minutes with the IRS and eating gnocci for dinner, my brain is too fried to find a point to much other than crawling into bed. Even thought I specifically ordered a cup of (decaf) coffee at dinner so that I could stay up really, really late tonite. Like, say, until 11:30.

I'm going back to L.A. for Memorial Day weekend. It's only my second time back since I moved away. I don't miss L.A., but I do miss my friends so I'm excited to see them. And I miss certain restaurants. And Target. And the 4:15 yoga class I used to take at Center For Yoga. And hiking in Fryman Canyon. And the coffee at Kings Road. And the coffee at Urth Caffe.

But I don't miss the traffic which, sadly, seems to be the first thing I think of when I think of L.A. and makes me want to stay away even longer.

Yesterday I was thinking about how people always say "Don't worry -- things will change" when you're going through something bad. Only the really misanthropes say it when you're in the good phases. But when the non-misanthropes say it, I smile and nod and say "I know, I know" but secretly I'm rolling my eyes (at least in my head) and thinking "But what if it doesn't? What if the way it is at this moment is the way it's going to be forever and ever and ever and it's like a Beckett play? Because that would just SUCK."

I said to someone the other day "The two words I use the most are 'always' and 'never'." As in "It's ALWAYS going to be this way" and "It's NEVER going to change." But that's just the leftover drama queen in me. The truth is, it ALWAYS changes...sometimes it just takes a while.

The reason I was thinking about this whole always-never thing is because there were a bunch of years in L.A. towards the end where I really struggled. Like really, REALLY struggled. I had left the executive ranks to write and the writing didn't come together as quickly as I hoped (like, say, the next day) and I blew through all my money, and I was doing a bunch of horrible odd jobs -- including putting Christmas gift baskets together at this catering company and working at an advertising agency where the minute I'd get in my car after work I'd start to cry - all because I wanted to write. And I WAS writing -- I just wasn't getting paid for the writing. And I had to sell all my fancy designer shoes on eBay so I could pay my rent (it wasn't like I needed to be wearing Manolo Blahniks with my yoga pants to type) and there were times I'd go to the supermarket and I'd hold my breath as the cashier was ringing up my stuff because every penny counted. And I'd lie awake at night trying to Figure It All Out until I got exhausted trying to Figure It All Out and when I stopped trying to Figure It All Out then some crazy little miracle would happen and I'd get a freelance writing gig that paid just the amount of money I needed to pay my bills for the month. Not a penny more, but just enough.

So it always had this way of working out, but it was very, very stressful. And people would say to me "Don't worry--it won't always be like this" and I'd smile and nod but inside I was saying "Yeah, well, it's been like this for YEARS now so I'm not quite sure why and when you think it's going to change, but whatever -- if saying that somehow makes you feel better, then knock yourself out."

And then...it did. It wasn't like the change happened in one day, because it didn't. It happened over time. Like over the course of three years. It just got a little bit better, and then a little bit better, and a little bit better until finally I felt like I was on semi-solid footing. I say semi-solid because the truth is we're never on solid footing (hello, recession). It's not like I'm rich or anything, because I'm not, but I also no longer hold my breath when I go to the supermarket any longer. And if I want to buy three pairs of $19.50 sandals at Old Navy now instead of one, I do it without feeling guilty. But here's the thing - what I know now is that if for some reason, I end up back in that place -- not that I have any interest in that happening because I don't - but if I did, I do know that it wouldn't stay like that forever. I know that it would change. Eventually. Not as fast as I'd like it to, because I tend to be one of those people for whom instant gratification takes too long, but I do know that I could sit through it until it did without feeling like I was going to die any minute from the fear and uncertainty.

I have no idea what any of this has to do with anything. Probably because I'm going back to the scene of the crime, so to speak. But I guess what I want to say is that if you're going through something that sucks, keep going.

And if you're rolling your eyes as you read that, that's cool. I get it. Because if I were you, I'd be doing the same thing. In fact, I did the same thing just this weekend when I was talking to a friend about something and she said "Don't worry--it'll change." Luckily I was on the phone rather than sitting across the table from her at a restaurant so she couldn't see me.

So roll your eyes, or - even better - say out loud "Who the hell is this chick spouting all this Pollyanna b.s.?" Because you can do whatever you want - it's still going to change.


Man. Hat. In. said...

But I guess what I want to say is that if you're going through something that sucks, keep going.

Thanks! This whole thing was really helpful. Esp. this sentence.

I also want to write a list of everything I miss about LA because it is a lot.

Urth Cafe! Yay!

Anonymous said...

Robin, what a great and inspiring post! Glad to hear you're visiting Millbrook this w/e, it should be a fun day. FYI I'm a YA author & journalist, and when I'm not in NYC, Millbrook maintains my sanity ;)

peace, Juliette


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