When Nick was sick in Portland we watched seasons one and two of Barry. The love interest, Sally, is taking acting classes and trying to make it big. She is “hovering around the age agents start telling up-and-comers they might be past their sell-by date” as Ariana Romero put it. She has no partner, no children, and is working a dead-end job to achieve something she’s extremely unlikely to achieve. That’s pathetic, right?
But as I watched, I slowly remembered that whether or not Sally becomes a full-time actor doesn’t determine whether or not she’s a pathetic person.
I’m afraid I’m like Sally, spending my time and energy going after something any idiot can see I’m unlikely to achieve. I’m afraid of being delusional about my talent. I want to read and write about things I care about full-time someday. Justice things. Things that are hard to monetize. And I’m afraid that’s only for other people. People who are smarter, more likeable, more energetic.
Today I signed up to pay out of pocket for a holistic wellness coach. Being sick and tired has been my excuse for not pushing myself for a long time. Maybe I’ll always be sick and tired but I want to be able to say I tried everything to feel better. It’s going to start with an elimination diet, which means no alcohol for 30 days. I cannot tell you how long I’ve dreaded this. How long I’ve justified doing nothing with my belief that nothing I can do will help.
In the end, I know that it truly doesn’t matter whether my health improves or I achieve my dreams. There’s no happiness waiting for me on the other side of anything in this life. The joy and meaning are found in the pursuit. And in the relationships. Pathetic isn’t giving up easier things to go for something hard and failing to achieve it. Pathetic is giving up on the hard things. Truly pathetic is giving up before you try.
I’ve started to begin trying again.
“She is each and everyone of us striving to be seen and terrified she never will be,” Romero writes of Sally.
I was scared to start blogging again. But I did it anyway and it’s been amazing to hear from people who are enjoying it. I’m still scared, but I’m starting to do things anyway.