I hate talking about this. Because I feel like someone will be like, “This is how a loser sounds, loser!” But. I’m going for it anyway.
This is a case for slow-motion.
For waiting. For the right timing. For baby steps.
( … F*** baby steps!!) I know. I’m with you. My preferred timing on things is: 1. Initial Attempt, 2. WILD SUCCESS.
But it doesn’t usually work like that. Except for people like this dude I met at an audition once who bro’d out on me like, “Pshyeah… my roommate was all, dude you should be an actor, and I was like, nah man, but then I went to this random casting, and booked this Budweiser thing, and made like $50,000!”
I punched him in the arm and was like “WHAT!”, but inside I was like, WHAT?!?!??!
I’m not like that. I’m a “late bloomer” — Late, only because I’m comparing myself to everyone ever. Super great! Definitely try it. Hot tip: Be mentally wasted, then go on social media to “get your mind off things”.
This summer, I lost my regular day job, and found myself floundering around looking for work. I hit up everyone I knew. I applied for everything. I wrote a hundred thousand well-crafted cover letters, to specific people, with concise anecdotes about myself. Then I answered “Now tell us something that will really WOW us” after I wrote those letters, and only once did I get mad enough to just paste this YouTube link in that box.
I made a zillion different profiles on ZipRecruiter. WorkPop. GlassDoor. DingDong. FMyLife. YouSuck. NoOneCares. MaybeImDead.
I scrolled through Instagram looking at everyone else doing the things I wished I could do all summer. Vacation, outdoor movies, brunches, concerts, festivals, puppies, kids, house, whatever, life — Feeling like I was in a holding pattern of “Don’t die.”
My suck-spiral was only emphasized by push notifications from DumbJobsRUs “Congratulations! We have 1 new posting for I HAVE A FUCKING DEGREE YOU ASSHOLES in Los Angeles!”
— Which clicked through to a temp gig hand-writing thank you’s for a boutique shoe company. Didn’t get it, THANK YOU!
I finally got an interview at a company I had worked for before. 100% feeling like my life was going to change (I Googled the shit out of this company, and “job interview questions for creatives”, and had several relevant personal questions to ask my interviewer on deck. I also planned to join their volunteer outreach, and started thinking about what I would be for the office Halloween party. I KNOW), I went in for the job.
For which, I was COMPLETELY and UTTERLY …wrong.
I could blame their listing. It was vague. I could have also jumped out of my body mid-interview, when the guy across the desk was like, “I’m not seeing what I’m looking for in your portfolio”… but I stuck it out, asking follow-up questions, like I was gawking at a car crash I WAS IN, people.
And then I cried in my car like a champ, ok? A CHAMP. I was a skeleton on a raft at sea, and that fucking rescue plane had just flown right by.
I went home and scrolled through the news, my already crushed spirit, smashed into smithereens by the horrible people doing horrible things in the world. And feeling helpless to change it.
I watched my shows, numbingly escaping into any other world but mine.
I congratulated the people I know doing these amazing things, celebrating their lives. Truly happy for them, while I hid in the little black hole of my mind.
I looked like me. Felt like turd.
On the windowsill above my kitchen sink, sat an avocado seed that I had been trying to grow since February. It’s like the thing we did in science class in elementary school where you stick a peanut in water, and grow a sprout from it. I’m sure we’re all enjoying fresh styrofoam cup-peanuts from that class, right, everyone from Farmdale Elementary?
*This* seed was doing jack shit. I YouTubed how to do it — it should have been growing already, like the video. Yet, week after week, that fucking seed just sat there in its bath of murky water, in the plastic cup.
This was high stakes for me because, while we have all of the avocados here in California, this seed was from an avocado from Puerto Rico. Here’s Ervin holding a freshly picked PR avo:
There, they are sumptuous, and buttery, and from a real tree in someone’s yard, and also I wanted like ONE fucking thing to happen in my life.
Day 93. Nothing.
Water. Sun. Air.
Day 102. Nothing.
Water. Sun. Air.
Day 145. I’m ready to dump this thing out. TOTAL DUD! What a waste of time, trying to grow this piece of shi—
Ervin: “There’s a sprout!”
We lean in closely to find the tiiiiiiiiniest, most perfectly-formed little leaf, growing from a crack that had opened in the “dead” seed.
It wasn’t dead at all. It was growing. And to me, it was a fucking miracle.
Days later, I was still marveling at it, “That took for. ev. er…”
Ervin: “Hey, you gotta be patient with it. It’s growing a long way from home.”
I had to tilt my head in a cool, casual way to keep my teary eyes to myself. Somehow Ervin had described me without realizing it.
THIS. Is the avocado plant today:
It might take 40 years to produce any fruit, but I don’t care. I love this thing.
*Sometimes I tell it, “You’re doing a good job” in my most breathy, close-talker, carbon dioxide voice. (That’s good for them, right? I didn’t Google it. Is it creepy? Don’t answer.)
This plant didn’t suddenly sprout out of nowhere, just because the plants outside were doing it.
And it doesn’t boast of its growing achievements every day.
It grew when it was ready, and everything was right. Maybe there are some parts of life that are like the beginning seed. Seemingly still and dead, but… actually alive. Essential for the leaves and fruit parts.
My Hopeful-cado. No. My Inspo-cado plant. — Ugh, fuck it.