Monday, September 10, 2012

Failure to Launch

I fell down Runyon the other day and have a wicked bruise on my left leg. As I was falling in slow motion, i thought about 2 things:

1-George Clooney's Inside the Actors studio appearance was really good.
2-Please don't let me fall on my dog. She is tiny. I will kill her.

I got up with a little help from my friends and limped back to the car, eventually making it home. When I got home I fed my dog and was about to cancel my spin class date when I looked at my badge of honor, purple and blue and thought,  "F it".

While at Spin class, feeling incredibly proud of myself for being there, I started thinking about all the things I wanted to do and made a to do list in my head.

1-Re-watch a moment of George's Inside the Actors Studio
2- Edit my novel
3-Edit one of my screenplays
4-Edit my spec
5-Find work
6-Figure out the pesky health insurance thing
7-What the F is wrong with my car
8-The dog needs food
9-Where in the world are my sisters
10-Touch base with my brothers
11-Jesus, when did my To Do list get so long
12-When was the last time I went to church
13-Check out the Churchill
14-Don't fall down anymore hills
15-Stop making lists

And it went on. Suddenly, I was wishing I had stayed in my bed, bruise and sweat free. I had a moment of panic during the uphill climb. What was I doing with my life? Prince was singing, Purple Rain and I was pondering the meaning of my life. Purple bruise and now purple rain? Was the universe sending me a sign or was I just acting crazy, looking for signs everywhere in the hopes of getting a clear directive?

When our parents were our age, they were adults with children and steady jobs. Most of the "kids" my age I know, have dreams and worlds that don't revolve around PTA. Even my friends with kids have sort of alternative lifestyles. They take yoga, they might not own a home, they try to eat organic.

My overseas friends insist its a big city American thing. They are sure that in the big cities we are all big dreamers rebelling against conservative conformist ideals yet secretly making communes of our own where we want to grow cabbage out in the wilderness with some sort of family.

My city friends insist that they aren't hippies and that this "failure to launch" is due to the overwhelming amount of options they are now presented with. When our parents were kids the career paths were clear - Doctor, Lawyer, Homemaker, Teacher and maybe the artsy ones would be journalists, actors and in LA, a producer. Now a days kids can be youtube sensations, they can multi-platform marketing specialists and brand multimedia managers or skate board artists - and get paid for it. Our dreams have gotten so big and our childhood a bit longer.

The HBO show, GIRLS, deals with this. I love in the pilot when she points out that she's ONLY 24 and that in this generation, how is she supposed to follow her dreams without help? She still has dreams and feels some sort of entitlement to follow them despite the current state of the economy. Most 20 somethings can probably relate and we excuse them as 30 is the new 20 and 20 is the new 14.

But in your 30s when do we give up the right to have those dreams? When is it that we start feeling like we shouldn't be renting, we should be buying? When is it that we feel we should take that 9-7 job that we don't love because we need financial security? Is there an acceptable age? When I was 20 I used to think that number was 30 and now that I'm there, I know that I didn't have a clue.