This is my 101st post on eclectickle. And it’s my birthday, so I’ll pontificate if I want to.
It’s been 4 months, over 100 posts, almost 10,000 views since I started this little writing exercise. Yes, it’s become more of a graphical showcase, an entertainment column, and a Flashpoint fan site than I’d ever intended but life is what happens while we’re busy making plans.
Nonetheless, I am grateful this year.
As it stands, I haven’t a single wrapped gift in my hands today. I’m not throwing a birthday bash at a university residence. I doubt there’s a surprise party lurking around the corner tonight. I have no plans to get pickled (despite what some may be scheming for Friday). And my chances at birthday coitus are less than the chances of Rob Blagojevich regaining public trust.
Nonetheless, it is a happy birthday.
Last month, I obtained a pile of belongings I’ve had in mothballs and out of reach for almost 10 years. 10 years seems to be the theme of my 37th year. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten around to exploring a little of that time-capsule treasure trove. Almost immediately, though, rummaging through those out-of-sight (and thus out-of-mind) belongings gave me a new-found perspective of the journey which lead me to here and now. And, like I imagine it’s been for most people, it’s been a helluva decade.
Regardless of the nitty-gritty details, here’s why I’m grateful and happy: It could have been worse.
In fact, I’m lucky to have had the troubles I did. And, better than that, I’m lucky to have had the fortunes I did. In that stretch of time which involved everything from being a well-to-do, career-minded marketer to pushing a catering cart in a hospital, I’ve rekindled a dream which had been too long set aside.
When I was younger, I swore that all I wanted to do in life was tell stories. I decided that this pursuit was to be my mark on the world and that I would never compromise that goal. And then I went about thoroughly compromising that goal despite the support and encouragement of dozens of people.
Not anymore. Earlier this year, events led me to re-evaluate life in a very real, very tangible way. Then, I had those articles of my past life returned to me after so many years and, again, time to contemplate what was, what is, and what can be.
Today, on my birthday, I am struggling to make ends meet as I take part in two different growing businesses while residing in modest yet comfortable living circumstances. It’s the truth of it. Art Director? Film Producer? Titles are nice but the bottom line only sees numbers. And yet I am — possibly for the first time in 10 years — truly happy. I’m toeing the line of poverty with considerable aplomb but I’m grateful to be in this position. I’ve been happy and grateful for months, now — long enough to know it’s not just some euphoric upswing of Charlie Sheen Disorder. Regardless of the tenuous complexities of my current life, I have the greatest gift for which I could ever have wished (though I wouldn’t have known it well enough to want it before now).
I have clarity.
I’m going to tell stories. I’m going write books. Maybe a television show. Maybe a movie. Maybe a comic book. Maybe a self-published fan-fic. Maybe a really sensitive porno. Okay, maybe not that. I don’t know. Whatever it takes to continue this journey towards being a storyteller, that’s what I’m going to do.
For the next while, I’m going to do what it takes, listen to who I must, pay whatever dues need paying, and eat as much crow as is required. If I have to be someone’s lackey or go back to school or flip burgers for the next 10 years, I will. I will do all these things and I will do them happily and I will do them on my own terms. It’s all in service of one thing. At some point, if the universe allows me to live long enough (and it has been rather kind of late in that regard), something new will get out there which has “Written by Angelo Barovier” attached it. That’s my drive. That’s my promise. That’s my ambition. That’s my rekindled dream.
And I’ve already started.
“Life is what you make of it.” What a silly, rose-coloured, poppy-cock notion! I mean, really! As though life and the pursuit of Chris Gardner happiness can be distilled into one Twitter-friendly adage. What sort of fool would ever take that to heart and believe it?
Oh, yeah. Me.
I don’t expect support from everyone. In fact, I don’t expect anyone to support me in this nor for anyone to respect my decision. Their opinion is not my concern. I don’t deserve any more encouragement from anyone. I’ve had enough encouragement from the Christys, Sheas, Dashas, Adams, Jennifers, Toms, Pams, and Sams of the world, and more. I really don’t deserve any more. If I was deserving then I’d be doing it.
So, in the immortal words of William Shakespeare, “Get ‘er done!”
I am, of course, paraphrasing. A little.