Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dip Trip Flip Fantasia: Or things my English teacher should have told me

Remember when we were kids and we couldn’t wait to be grown-ups because then nobody would be able to tell us what to do?

HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA

Oh, sweet ignorance of youth, how I miss you so.

When we were kids if we didn’t do what we were told or didn’t do it well enough there were repercussions, like detention or being grounded or not getting that shiny thing we were so sure we couldn’t live without. As grown-ups if we don’t do what we’re told or don’t do it well enough we get fired and and they stop giving us those lovely paychecks we use to pay for things like the house we live in and the food we eat and if we don’t get someone else to give us and job and start doing what they tell us we end up down by the river fighting with plastic sporks to defend our cardboard box and collection of Barbie dolls heads we found floating in the muck.

If they had told us this when we were kids none of us would have made it past 23.

Growing up, daydreaming about being a writer, I imagined book tours that let me travel the world and have exciting adventures with interesting people, signing books for adoring fans and generally being fabulous all the time. I imagined days filled with hours and hours of writing. Back in the blissfully ignorant days of my youth when I imagined being a writer I imagined being a writer. That’s it. I didn’t imagine I’d be spending 40 hours a week doing other stuff for money and squeezing in writing in the few glorious moments I had a couple of brain cells to spare and wasn’t lured by the siren call of pizza, booze, telly.

What my 7th grade English teacher should have told me when she was encouraging me to be a writer was: “You should be a writer, you’re very good. But the most important thing you need to know, more important than writing every day or wearing sunscreen, is that you’re gonna need a fucking day job. And you’re just going to have to deal with it. You’re not going to get a million dollar book deal right out of college and be able to live the life I’m sure you’ve been imagining. You may never actually make any money for anything that you write and you know what? You’re just going to have to bend over and take it. If that doesn’t sound like something you’re up for you should maybe consider reevaluating your dreams.”

She didn’t do that so here I am, 30 years old, nursing a cold mocha at Starbucks on my day off, and trying not to think about the fact that I have to go back to work tomorrow. Still, this is what I want to do. As long as some of my words make it out there to someone I’ll continue to bend over and take it from the powers that be in exchange for a paycheck.

If Ms. Seventh Grade English Teacher had warned me instead of encouraging me to continue writing and giving me a pretty little journal at the end of the year I may have given the path I was on a serious rethinking and given up the long and winding road to literary obscurity in order to pursue the much more sensible dream of Broadway Stardom.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle: The Musical... as written by Johnny Marr and Snoop Dogg

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