Well, time to get my shit together.
Three weeks back I turned thirty-three.
Mentally I feel as mature as a nine year old boy.
Other days I feel as tired and dreary as a centurian in an old folk's home.
What's worse is that I know why, and also that I'm not alone.
Even as a young kid I knew what I was supposed to do in life. I was supposed to write. I was supposed to create stories and tales and entire other worlds for people to experience. To quote Willy Wonka, I was supposed to be the "music maker, the dreamer of dreams."
But no. I took the low road. The safe road. The road more traveled.
And there's not too many days that go by that there's not an ounce of regret for that.
Oh, I'm doing well financially. Been doing advertising/creative whoredom on my own for almost 12 years now, and if it hadn't been for my talent in that arena, I probably wouldn't have the same type of home or a little money set aside for retirement and education for my kids.
But there also wouldn't be a small dark, growing spot that I can't see, but I know is there inside me. If I don't start taking charge, that little spot is going to keep growing until it consumes me. And I think that it doesn't matter much what age I'll be - if it does consume me, I'll be the old man in an old folk's home in my own head. And if I allow myself to get there, there's no getting back out.
At least alive.
Like I said, time to get my shit together.
In the past year, I've written a screenplay that peers judged to be better than the other 75% of entries. Better than 3200 other screenplays. It was my first one, and written in just under a month, although I must say the core concept had been kicking around in my head for about a year.
I've written (and rewritten, and rewritten) a short story that I'm pretty damn proud of, and jotted concepts and outlines for other stories that if I commit myself to completing, should be enough for two or three anthologies.
IF I commit myself to completing.
I don't want to, but if I'm to be honest, I've taken the low road way too many fucking times in my life. Because it was easier. The path had been beaten down before me, and it was easy walking on that path. But I finally realized that while it may be easier to travel, that road leads not to salvation, but stagnation.
I've come to the proverbial Crossroads that Robert Johnson fell down on his knees at years ago. Some might say that I've got a choice to make, but I know better. I never had any choice in the matter. You cannot change what you are.
As I write this, I'm surrounded by a teetering wall of cardboard boxes. I'll be moving in less than a week. But I've got my hiking boots ready. And I sharpened my machete.
Time to take the high road.