Five years ago, my husband and my friend, Jadah McCoy, set up a surprise party for my 50th birthday. They were able to corral all my writer buds and friends to come to Fleet Street pub for food, drinks and so much fun.
It was the best birthday party I could’ve hoped for.
And then, there is this year.
Birthday in a Quarantine.
Actually, it’s been really good.
Way back in January, in the Before Time, I had a weird itch to do something special for my birthday this year. I put in for an entire week of vacation.
I dunno. Maybe I’m psychic.
So, I have this entire week to Do Me.
And that’s what I’m going to do.
Well, I’ll be Doing Me* while alongside doing biology homework, writing projects and other Adult Responsibilities crap but…still.
You get the idea.
2020 has been a year of Big Thinks. So, I’m going to do a tarot spread, have a lovely Think and figure out what I want to do with the next 20 or so years in this Flesh Castle.
Man, the Universe can really kick you in the ass, can’t It?
Many moons ago, when I was a much younger Nik, I was having a very bad day.
My life was not going in any direction.
I had just graduated high school, gotten a job which paid $4.20 an hour, lived with my parents (which I did until I got married), had no social life outside the fantasy worlds inside my head, and was absolutely miserable.
I remember it was a Saturday*. I didn’t have any plans other than sitting around in my favorite chair and thinking about how I’d had already lost the race before I’d even gotten my sneakers laced up.
To be honest, I was contemplating suicide. Not my first time. Actually, back then, it was more of a past time.
There was a knock at my door.
It was a friend from high school. Nancy Phillips. She was a red headed firecracker. She was going to college and getting her life rolling. I hadn’t seen her in months.
“Hey, so I had the weirdest thing just happen. So, I was at this bookstore and this wooden plaque fell at my feet,” she said, handing me a bag. “I knew it was meant for you. I gotta go. Bye!”
And she was gone. I went back to my chair and opened the bag. It was a wooden plaque with a sailboat on the ocean at sunset. It had a quote from my favorite book at the time, Illusions, The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach.
It read: YOUR ONLY OBLIGATION IN ANY LIFETIME IS TO BE TRUE TO YOURSELF.**
The little gift really perked me up.
Now, Fast-Forward to NOW.
I’ve been having a lot of Big Thinks lately. I’m on the verge of my 55th year on this planet and, frankly, I think I’m due for some Big Thinks.
I’ve been reconsidering a lot of things. Trimming away some dead branches and finding new tribes.
But the biggest thing that’s been haunting me is whether or not to continue with this crazy dream of being a Writer.
You have to stop and think about whether or not this is really worth it? Why am I doing this? Why am I spending so much time and energy on fluffs of wordy farts?
I’ve got maybe 20 more years in this meatsack.
Do I want to spend it making up shit?
Do I want to leave behind boxes and boxes of manuscripts, notes, newspaper clippings, books, books and MORE books for whatever poor bastard is left to clean out whatever hovel I finally crawl into to die?
Maybe I should let go, leave behind childish things and do something more adult. More responsible. More useful. Because, face it, if I were to roll up to a car accident, the only thing I’d know to do is tap the poor bugger on the shoulder and say, “So, wanna hear this cool idea I have for a screenplay?”
So, should I give in? Give up. Just realize that I don’t have what it takes to make it as a writer. Maybe I did, a long time ago, but I’m old now. I don’t have the strength, the stamina or the goddamn connections,*** to make any of those dreams that Young Nik had so long ago.
It’s a question that has been haunting me because, goddammit, I don’t know what else to do other than make up shit! It’s what I am. It’s encoded in my DNA.
Anyway, much like that Long Ago Nik, I’ve been sitting around, brooding. Maybe not quite so dramatically to include suicide but, I haven’t exactly been a lot of fun to be around.
And then I got a *DING* on my phone.
It’s a message from Nancy.
Like I said at the beginning of this.
The Universe can really kick you in the ass, can’t it?
*Nancy, if you ever read this, I hope I’m not misremembering this story. And if I am, well, so be it. This is my life, my blog, and I prefer to remember it as such.
**I wish, dear readers, I could show you a picture of this plaque. I still have it. It used to hang next to my desk but, since the move, I have no idea where it is. I spent 30 minutes in the hot box that is my attic, going through boxes, and found nothing. Well, not nothing. I found some cool stuff that I forgot I had and plan on hanging because, ain’t that just the way?
***And, Fortuna Help Me, I don’t have it in me to kiss anyone’s ass enough to make connections.