I’ve gotten fairly used to getting my ass kicked.
There’s this feeling of inadequacy that I have because I started late, because I don’t have the perfect pedigree, because I’m starting with less than ideal circumstances. I know I’m not the most talented guy in the room, I’m not the smartest guy in the room, and I’m sure as hell not the prettiest guy in the room, but this is what I’ve chosen to do. The only way to try to attack all of that is to work incredibly hard. I’m not naive enough to believe that it isn’t a competition, or that ‘my time will come’. Everything about this industry is cutthroat and I accept that.
This means studying, practicing, and trying to be better every day at acting, writing, and producing. Hours and hours every day, tearing apart everything that I do trying to find some way to be better than I was the day before. And still, most days I am rejected and subjected to failure. Then, you get up the day after and do it all over again.
Like I said, I’ve gotten fairly used to getting my ass kicked. Failure and rejection are old friends. The thing is though, in order to catch up, I’ve had to throw a lot of things out the wayside, mostly socially. I’ve caught up on most of the health stuff this past year, but I can’t remember the last time I was on a real date, or anything resembling anything constructive in my lovelife. To be honest, I’ve gotten used to handling things alone. Melancholy is my default state of being, and there’s a certain solace in solitude.
Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t the constant failures and rejections that reminded me of this solitude, but it was the moments of elation. I would come home after a good day and a victory, no matter how tiny or seemingly insignificant it was, I would just want to share it with someone, and there would just be no one. I’m blessed with incredible friends, but it’s different when you have that one person. To not be able to share the joy, the relief, the unadulterated bliss with someone…it dulls the moment and leaves you with just the slightest hint of ‘what if’ to remind myself of what I gave up. It’s as if in my head I can picture a whole other life, not a better one, but a different one. A less lonely one.
I don’t know how to do work-life balance. The only way I’ve ever been successful at something is to go full-tilt. As you get older, you get to know yourself better. I know that I’m most driven and fulfilled when I’m chasing something, whether it’s a goal, an idea, or even a feeling. And I don’t stop, I can take the rejection, the seemingly endless torrent of misery that comes with abject failure, all of that I can numb. But it’s still such an ass-kicking when the good things happen and you come home to nothing. I find solace in the fact that I’m not alone, but there’s still something missing; the small and sure intimacies that come from sharing the minutiae, which gives you the courage to share the big things.
Who knows, maybe one day. But until then, just the next day. Eyes front, head down, keep fighting.