So yeah, you may have noticed a certain lack of bloggatry up in here.
…I got nothing. Everybody’s healthy, nobody’s in jail, no evil Gods from the Norse pantheon have attacked the city, I just haven’t been writing. I don’t really have any excuse. Aside from having a toddler and a full time job.
Oh yeah, I have a toddler and a full time job.
What the hell am I doing blogging?
That’s a punch line, but it’s also the question of the day here. I got bread to earn, dishes to do, diapers to wrestle onto a fast-moving bum, language & motor skills to foster, mamas to relieve and don’t those grandparents need the most recent pictures? Plus, plus, somewhere in all that I have to sleep, eat and infrequently wash myself. Why, oh, why do I then impose further responsibilities on my pitiable self? Why assume the additional burdens of deadlines and grammar when my current load is enough to crush a well-rested childless 20-something?
I work in theater, as I’ve mentioned. I work on the technical/production side – we make the sets, build the costumes, set up and run the lights, we keep the paperwork up to date and call people who are late, and if we do it correctly you never know we’re there. And I love it. It’s awesome. I love where I work, I love the people I work with everyday, I love that quite often the problems I encounter at work can be solved by repeatedly kicking something.
Try working as a CPA and saying that.
To be paid a living wage to do what I do is a rare privilege,. And to get here, you have to put in far too many midnight calls, miss far too many holidays, and collect far too few paychecks to ever say you’ve “settled” for this job. And I’m proud of what I do here. I don’t feel unfulfilled in my career and I have no plans to go anywhere anytime soon…but in all honesty, this isn’t my dream.
Yes, stagehands have dreams, too. My dream is to be Batman.
Failing that, a writer.
That is actually what drew me to theater, but ignorance of how to go about it, low self confidence and the realization that there was more (and more lucrative) work to be found as a stage manager or carpenter saw me leave writing for later. Things progressed and I found myself inclined and suited to backstage life and writing became something I kept meaning to go back to…eventually. After this show’s down. When I’m a little more stable. After this episode of MacGuyver.
And here I am.
And now I have a son.
While it robs you of any lingering illusions that you’re still a kid yourself, having a child makes you see yourself through their eyes. It confronts you with all the inadequacies of your so-called adulthood, and leaves a papa with the powerful urge to be better. You come to understand, as you swear in traffic, as you pick your nose in public, as you watch Hoarders – you understand how closely a baby observes you, how much they actually understand and adopt. And you realize that the best (maybe only) way to guide them towards being a reasonably stable adult is to model that behavior for them.
And I don’t have any romantic notions of quitting my wonderful, steady, well-paying job to somehow ‘get by’ while pursuing my dream. But at the same time, if I stand before my son knowing that fear and ignorance kept me from pursuing a dream, then how can I expect him to pursue his? And if I’m not doing everything I can to help him towards his dreams then what the hell good am I? I might as well be on Jersey Shore for crap’s sake.
And so I write. It’s not important that it lead to fame or fortune – ask the Velvet Underground how important the money was, then ask Vanilla Ice how important the music was.
I write because I breathe. I write because I want to look my son in the eye.
I just have to take a break once in a while to do the dishes. Let’s not go crazy.