I Am Avocado Plant.

5 Oct

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.

meangirls

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!”

tumblr_n8qa2qeogd1tooympo1_400

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.

No bites.

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:

ervin_avocado_thisislalaland

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.

avocado_sprout_thisislalaland

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:

avocado_plant_thisislalaland

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.

Baby steps.

XX,

L

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10 Responses to “I Am Avocado Plant.”

  1. Amanda Landis Fulle October 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM #

    Lauren, every one of us who tries…who really, really fucking tries, goes through this. Some of us have well paying jobs and still, sometimes think “What the fuck am I doing? I wanted to be a fucking orchestra conductor.” But we keep working…as best we can. I live in awe of one of my first friends in the world (we were, like 2 when we met). My friends always tell me “Amanda, you need to be on Saturday Night Live, or commercials, or a sitcom…etc”, but here I sit in a cubicle, making good money…but dreaming of being publicly hilarious. You are publicly hilarious. Keep going. Because It going to guest star in your famous TV comedy someday. I think of you always.

    • Lauren Bair October 5, 2016 at 7:18 PM #

      Amanda, I LOVE THIS so much. Somehow can we combine our public hilarity with money?? Hahaha. Thank you so much for these encouraging words (for us both!). I hold my first friend ever, close to my heart. (And then obviously our webshow is about riding bikes to each other’s houses, but… as adults. So, basically it’s Cougartown.) Let’s keep rockin it. XOXO

  2. alisabair4 October 5, 2016 at 7:22 PM #

    So heart-wrenchingly funny and so irreverently beautiful. I wait with you in love and whisper my own carbondioxidy breath all over you: Y o u ‘ r e d o i n g a g o o d j o b .

    • Lauren Bair October 6, 2016 at 1:16 PM #

      Thank you Alisa Bair, whoever you are… Just kidding. Love you Maw ;)

  3. genevievesage October 5, 2016 at 8:18 PM #

    Oh, Lauren. You’re like one of those people other people wish they could be and then you kill us with this humble story. I am there with you, having barely survived LA years ago, now foraging my own path in Portland where I know I belong because A) I like rain and B) LA barfed me out a million times. You are so fun to read and be a witness to, so with that, you have fans and C) we’re rooting for you. <3

    • Lauren Bair October 6, 2016 at 1:19 PM #

      Genevieve! A) that’s the most glaring sign you’re supposed to be in PDX!, and B) Thank you so much for this sweet note. It’s so encouraging, and bolsters my spirit. I really appreciate it. Let’s go get it, whatever our purpose may be! XOXO

  4. ariellex7 October 6, 2016 at 7:21 AM #

    Lauren, I’m 47 years old & I still feel that way sometimes. If it makes you feel any better, there are many of us out there who do-and know where you’re coming from.
    I’ve always loved to write. And I got “you should be a writer! You should publish this!” all the time. Which is as likely as…
    Very frustrating to have a talent and desire and not be able to use it to fulfillment.

    You have to give yourself props though for even trying. I’m from your same home town & it’s pretty gutsy to leave that & go find your own way. Even when it seems like nothing is working out, you’re STILL THERE-like that plant. And it’s not over yet!

    I read and write a lot & I think you’re an excellent writer. I was actually missing reading your entries lately. Love the mix of reality and sarcasm. Not to sound like the ones who lecture me, but it would be great if the world could read and enjoy this as well.

    By the way, I knew of your mom as we went to the same church years back. My uncle was also a teacher at Hempfield-Mr. Brubaker (Physics) and said he knew you and your sister Leslie.

    Hang in there & good luck!!!
    Jennifer

    • Lauren Bair October 6, 2016 at 1:24 PM #

      Jennifer! Thanks so much for reaching out! I love this. And I know this feeling will return in different phases of my life… You’re right. It’s all we can do, just to keep trying, and keep going. Thanks so much for your thoughts on my writing too! I am grateful for that, because I really do like this type of sharing of stories and ideas.

      I remember Mr. Brubaker! That HHS community is a tight-knit one ;)

      Thanks for your encouraging message! I appreciate it! XO

  5. laurafayesmith October 6, 2016 at 9:13 PM #

    LOVE this post Lauren, and I love your writing. You’ve said it so beautifully said, and it’s so…human. You could not sound like less of a loser – you sound like, well, my inner monologue, really, and probably a million other people’s too, especially in the business we’re in. Can’t wait to see what sprouts for you – I am positive it will have been worth the wait!

    • Lauren Bair October 7, 2016 at 11:33 AM #

      Laura Faye! Thank you so much for this. Right? We can’t be the only ones who sometimes feel like this, in this industry. Your words are so encouraging to me. Thank you for reaching out, and for reminding me that we’re in this together ;) XOXO

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