and the players
Who wrote the screenplay for my life? The reason I’m asking is because on New Year’s Day I set my intention and declared in writing that I am going to get to the bottom of my questions about money. Is there a plot twist coming that will save me from an impoverished old age? Who gets to decide?
I heard someone in the audience say, “Get a job.” I’ll deal with you later.
Is our personal drama being written as it happens, randomly? Or do events take place, and thoughts and feelings occur to us, all because of a big conglomeration of uncontrollable behind the scenes cosmic gears setting each other turning? Did someone plan this particular tragicomedy beforehand and now it’s being produced, dreamlike, with me starring and you all as supporting actors and actresses?
Do I have any power as the star of the show? Is it possible to go off script? Is it possible I am also the writer and producer?
Ok, I tried getting a job. I only lasted two days. I’m very rebellious. But also curious. Is the blessing of my personality actually the curse, or vice versa? What will happen if I do what I want (which often amounts to doing very little…)? That’s been my burning question for a long time. It’s a compelling, but also a scary, question. Do I want to take it one more step? Risk an impoverished old age, like the grasshopper, to play my fiddle now?
This morning I read an article by the writer Christopher J. Yates, who gave himself 10 years to publish a novel. His wife had a job all that time. I guess she agreed to the experiment. But it was about to end.
“Nine years, fifty-one weeks, six days and fifty-plus rejections into his 10-year deadline, Yates received an unexpected email.”
Christopher J. Yates Gave Himself 10 Years to Publish a Novel
It was a one-decade deal. I'd given myself ten years to become a published novelist, and now my time was almost up…
On his website, the artist Lucas Levitan writes:
“In August 2013, whilst lunch break walking on Redchurch Street in East London, a brick fell from the 4th floor scaffolding of a building site and missed me by millimeters. It made me think I should be doing more of what I love, drawing. It was a turning point and, I hope, my future. I went back to the office and resigned. Since then I’ve been doing more of what I like, drawing.”
Levitan has this to say about his work life now:
“I’m an illustrator today, filmmaker last week, photographer last month and art director last year. A new cycle might start again soon.
I search for inspiration in everyday life and turn ordinary objects and scenes into intriguing images that sometimes take shape as illustration, sculptures, installations, paintings or video-art. [I see] the world with a little twist on reality. And by de-contextualising the [images], I change the way they are perceived and engage the audience in a unexpected and playful way.
I try to have fun, basically.”
That’s what my brother says too — his life purpose is to have fun. But he has kept his job. I meet people who say they like their jobs. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a single job I’d really authentically like to have. Maybe I should start taking my social security now at the age of 62, against the advice of friends and experts who argue that I’ll collect almost twice as much if I wait until I’m 70. Do I have a choice? Because if I am going to wait until 70, I have to get a job now.
I love this dilemma, even as I stress out about it. My curiosity is tangoing with the doubts and questions. I have a feeling it’s all going to work out. I have a feeling the answer is “Go ahead and do what you want.” My inner guide, whom I made up and named Bob, has told me multiple times to go with that.
But maybe I’m crazy. Would you trust a made up inner guide named Bob?