“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. …right now, right down here on Earth.” – Bradley Whitford
You ever find yourself wondering why you can only find inspiration in certain places? Or only around certain people? Or only at certain times of the day? It’s a curious thing, and since I’ve started this blog I’ve come to find that the one place in the entire city – Wait. That’s a bit dramatic. Let’s say the one place in what I suppose you could generalize as my relative city “neighborhood” – is Thou Mayest, this cool, little hipster-y coffee house in the artsy district of downtown KC. I think it’s because it gives off this “cabin vibe.” Like, you rented this lodge out in the Colorado wilderness with five of your best friends (I suppose the actual number of friends is irrelevant.) and you wake up really early the morning after you all had this warm and fuzzy night around the fire pit where feelings were shared and souls were bared and you just find yourself with a smile in your heart and an aura of happiness that slips over you like a broke in, weathered cotton tee. It’s got that kind of vibe. It’s comfortable. I like it.
So anyway, here I sit in one of my favorite inspirational hubs on a big, green couch with an insta-worthy mocha. The doors and windows are open and this soft, fresh breeze is floating around the room and the sound of grinding coffee beans and milk being steamed and the conversations of the patrons are all blending together creating this beautiful, background hum and I – in all of my comfortable, coffee house glory – cannot think of a thing to write about, and here’s the thing…
It’s been like this for weeks. When I started this thing, I set a goal for myself to publish one post each month, which if you think about it, isn’t that strenuous. That’s twelve posts. That’s nothing. That’s less than the amount of papers I had to turn in to various professors during my first semester of college. Back in December I thought, ‘Bec. Surely your life is exciting enough and your story telling vivid enough to conquer at least twelve posts.’ But, sometimes you just don’t have anything to write about, ya know? I’ve been in this weird funk lately. I’ve been having a lot of – what I’ve decided just now to call – ideatic motivation (I totally just made up that word.) but lack horrifically in physical motivation. I suppose it’s something similar to what Gen X and Y generalize as the typical Millenial. We sit around and think of ways we could be doing things to change our situation, but when it comes to actually doing said things we would rather not expend the energy. Why, though?
Weekday mornings, I bartend at a brewery. I enjoy bartending and I enjoy having a regular 9-5 schedule, but as I approach my third year at said gig I find myself getting less and less fulfillment out of it. I can’t decide though, if it’s all in my head or if it’s warranted. I consider the service industry one of my forte’s, but it’s mentally exhausting sometimes and for what I end up taking home in tips most days, it’s not equivalent to the actual work put in, what with prep and cleaning and all that. I think I’m about over it. I’m ready for something new. I think there comes a point in every 20-something’s life where they realize – mid-routine – that they’re meant for something more than where they’re currently at. I’ve had lots of conversations about this with my husband and with friends and a few family members and I found out that I like a lot of stuff.
I like bartending, I like baking, I like video editing, I like organizing, I like talking, I like story telling. From there I narrowed my likes down to loves and my loves down to what I consider my core passion – voice acting. Ads, cartoon characters, hold music, answering machines, anything. My ideatic motivation runs amok with plans of building a professional portfolio. Seeking out gigs and trying out for projects to give me credibility so that one day – when I audition to narrate an audio book – I’ll be taken seriously and not overlooked in the oversaturated pool of other first time hopefuls. Audiobook narration is my end game. Over the years I’ve gotten enough comments and sincere compliments on how conversational and versatile my voice is that it finally made me realize I’ve got a legitimate talent and I’ve not been taking full advantage of it. Why? I’ve asked myself that many times. The only answer that I can come up with – that actually depresses me to type out to you all – is that I’m lazy. Admitting that is the worst, because I can’t stand people who sit around and bitch about how much their life sucks and then take no actual steps to improve their situation. If you’re unhappy with something deal with it, drop it or do something about it. Right?
For example, when the night bartender comes on to take over, I clock out and head to job number two – Hosting the weekday evening show at a local radio station. Now when I moved here two and a half years ago, I was pissed off that I had to quit my full time radio gig in Nebraska and was bound and determined to get my foot in the door at one of the stations here. I sent my resume, air check, and out-of-my-control-relocation sob story to every station Google results came up with. Every. Single. One. I was outrageously motivated. Only one of the thirty-something stations got back to me and boom. Worked my way from weekend fill in to recurring weekday cast member. I was thrilled to be back in radio at a station with fantastic ratings and a professional, yet chill boss who treats his employees fairly and bears no large market ego whatsoever (a truly, rare find in the radio business).
Now, if you’re thinking this sounds wildly contradictory to my present situation you’d be spot on, friend. Here I am with an entire building full of working professionals from all different cities and market sizes and backgrounds with all kinds of ins and connections and strings waiting to be pulled an I’m off in the corner with my head down and my mouth shut carrying out the duties my job requires and then unplugging my headphones and heading out the door. I literally walk into a two-story building brimming with networking opportunities and instead of taking advantage I shrug my shoulders and think, ‘Eh….’ Why? Why? Why on earth would I squander that opportunity daily? Networking is probably one of the most coveted and sought after valuable in the world of young professionals. It gets laid at my feet daily and I just step over it and keep walking. I’m comfortable. I’m complacent. I’ve got no fire lit under my ass to go out and get what I truly want. Isn’t that sad?
In the past year, I’ve slowly slipped into that person I can’t stand. I’ve tried rationalizing with myself that I’m just patient or happy where I am, but I’m not. I’m lazy and searching for something more – Two things that don’t go hand in hand. A couple of weeks ago I had to force myself to update my resume. A friend essentially nagged me into getting a LinkedIn account. I’ve been given email addresses of agents to contact to find auditions. I’ve been given names of friends of friends to reach out to and instead I continue the same cattle trail routine that is my life and sit around in my free time and sigh and think, ‘Why is life so hard?’ I can’t roll my eyes hard enough at myself. Something has to change. It has to. And it has to start from within and work it’s way out. I don’t know if I need to start going to yoga classes or going to bed earlier or eating more salads or what, but it has to start somewhere.
So, I guess – in conclusion – I have no conclusion. I have a statement: I am a lazy 20-something who has worked her way deep into career complacency and needs very badly to dig herself out. How to accomplish that? Well. I suppose we start with actually acting on all those lovely thoughts. Get a demo put together, actually reach out to the connections I’ve been given, get myself an agent and get to auditioning. Over time auditions will hopefully lead to recognition, recognition to interest, and interest to a reply email that goes something like, “We loved your audition for the latest, best selling novel! When can you start recording?!” However. I’ve been saying all of this to myself for a while now. All of the pieces are there – right in front of me. All I need to do is start putting shit together.
All I really need to do is “do.”