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Stream of Consciousness

I woke up and felt the need to write, so here I am. 

I haven’t written a consistent blog in a long time, and I look back on when I did – and I hardly even remember the person who was writing. It’s funny, actually, because I KNOW that I’m the writer, and I have ZERO recollection of a lot of the stories from the 150+ pages of blog writing from years ago. I still enjoy re-reading it from time to time though, so why not.

Recently, I’ve been very “up and down.” Being in Los Angeles, working as a bartender while hoping for auditions and forcing myself to write is surprisingly daunting. Before I came out here, I knew it would be difficult – but in recent months, I’ve realized that it’s been more mentally tough, rather than physically tough. I don’t mean anything along the lines of backbreaking work kind of physical toughness, but I just thought it’d be a different kind of tough, if that makes sense. 

I’ve noticed recently that I place a lot of significance on things outside of my control. For example, I don’t want to be a bartender forever, but I can’t half-ass my “for now” job. Then, I get frustrated when other people I work with or for don’t care as much as I do. I was having a nice conversation with an acquaintance yesterday, and he echoed in his own life what I’ve been feeling in mine: that he did a lot of things that nobody really appreciated at his job, and he went above and beyond what other people do, and he realized that even though he put in that effort and did it to himself, he wasn’t able to half-ass things so he had to leave in order to start working with people who had a similar drive. 

Ultimately, I know I’m not going to be a bartender forever, but “for now” it is what it is. It allows me to have some flexibility, and even though it’s like pulling teeth to get coverage when I have an audition or something else pulling me away, I can usually get everything covered. Plus, if I want to jet off to Thailand for two weeks, I can! People just aren’t as open as I am to covering, which is frustrating. Then, within the work environment, I get frustrated at myself because I DO care. I want to have respect. I move quickly so that other people aren’t waiting for me. I try to do everything right, and I’m meticulous about that. I realize that some people think that I’m not pleasant sometimes, or I’m not “smiling enough” and it’s because they don’t see how hard I’m working. They don’t notice that all I’m trying to do is get a restaurant full of people as many drinks as they want, as quickly as I can, so that everybody can be as happy as possible while providing tips to me and other servers – even though with those other servers, I still get a fraction of the tipout for helping them as I would working at other restaurants. Then, in exchange, some of the people show total apathy, and wander around slowly – to the point of other people needing to pick up their slack. It’s maddening that I care enough about this to write a paragraph…and I could go on.

So, I pursue other jobs, and I write, and I do my best on my auditions. Recently, I’ve been having a very positive run of writing-related things, so I’ve been leaning into that side of my life and it’s been really gratifying for me. I was able to submit a writing packet to a new show that just got picked up with a straight-to-series 10-episode order, and I am in a pilot-writing class, and I’ve got about 6 pages done on a new pilot, too. I also have notes on a musical that I’d like to write – though that’s been percolating for a number of years, honestly, and it’s a bit more involved…but it’s still in there. So – positive!

Even in those paragraphs, you already notice the ups and downs. After having the most amazing time in Thailand, coming back to “reality” has been exceedingly difficult. I decided to give online dating a shot because I’d like to be dating again, and I met this amazing girl. I was pumped! We went out, and it was chemistry all over the place, and great vibes, and awesome conversations, etc. We made loose plans to go out again in a couple days, and I told her I’d call her the next day, which I did. We talked on the phone – which is also a rarity here – and made firm plans for the following day. Pumped! Then, I texted day-of, and she asked to reschedule for the following week. I asked if I had come on too strong, she said “no. maybe a little. i just haven’t dated in 3 years so i want to take it slow.” which was not the impression I got or she gave in our conversations. Cool. I’ll call next week. I did. She never called me back. I’ve been on a few dates with a few different girls since coming back from Thailand and this one really made me excited to date again, and then it was just – nothing. Then, after that, I have gotten some numbers and there’s still hope here and there, but it’s just LA is kind of flaky all around. I try to be open and honest, and then getting ghosted happens. It’s shocking, really, how often people ghost each other here. I’ve heard from a number of my girl friends that it happens with guys all the time, too. I just wish people were more transparent. If you’re interested, great, let’s figure it out. If you’re not, great, thanks for letting me know, now I can move on without thinking about it at all. It’s this “I don’t want to hurt their feelings so I’m just not going to let them know anything” kind of mindset that is prominent that makes me crazy. 

Then, on the other side of life, there’s Bo. My 12-year-old dog I’ve had since he was a puppy is getting older. He’s taken to waking me up at 6a-ish every day, and for all intents and purposes, it seems that he just wants to make sure I’m still there. So he’ll wake me up by literally jumping on me, and he’s an 80-pound black lab, which makes that a bit of a rude awakening. He’s slowing down. He’s not able to catch treats like he used to – they just kind of hit him in the face…which secretly makes me laugh and not laugh. He pretty much sleeps all day and takes a while to get going once he needs to change locations in the tiny studio apartment we share. He’s a pain in the ass, and I love him dearly.

I’ve had a lot of realizations about him over the last few months especially – as he noticeably slows down. First of all, I never really thought through the possibility that he’d live to be 12+ years old when I got him. When I got him, I was just out of college…had a new house, a good job, a girlfriend probably? I was doing my adulting all at once. Then, when I moved out to Los Angeles and my adulting changed, it was weird. Now, I have this thing that depends on me, and at least three times a day, every day, every week, every month, every year, he needs to be taken care of. If not by me, then I have to arrange it. I can’t go out to the bars and stay all hours. I can’t stay overnight at a girlfriends house unless I make special arrangements. I can’t go hiking with him because he poops out after about 5 minutes anymore. I can’t travel with him because he doesn’t fit in the overhead bin. It’s weird! What’s super weird is that I know that sometime within the next couple of years, he’s probably going to not wake up one day. Then, I won’t have a dog anymore. I can’t say that I’ll get a dog again in a long time because on the one hand, I just want freedom. I want to be able to go away for a week or a month or a year and not worry about anything. On the other hand, as I look back, Bo’s been pretty great. He’s a pain in the ass, like I mentioned, but I wonder who he got that from? Life’s pretty short, and Bo has seen multiple houses, apartments, jobs, girlfriends, travel adventures, etc, and once that’s gone, I’ll be a basketcase. It’ll probably be my version of a 1/3 life crisis at that point. I took him to the vet the other day to get bloodwork done because he’s been acting weird recently (waking me up, as I mentioned earlier), and the bloodwork came back relatively normal with some elevated this-and-thats…but I found myself laughing because of this morbid thought: my vet bill was $424 for a day that essentially told me nothing was wrong. Then, I found out that a private cremation ceremony is $310, and a joint one is $89. I could have saved $300+! Morbid, yes. Realistic? ehhhh, not REALLY…but kinda. At some point, if I wake up and he doesn’t, I don’t know what I’d do, so I brought this all up to my vet and had a nice little morbid conversation about it, which prompted this entire thought process, but I’ve never had thoughts like that until recently so I wanted to remind future-me about it.

All of this blabbering to say that in the scheme of things, I’m doing okay. A friend came into my bar the other day and she and her new husband were very complimentary about me and “what I’m doing” and whatnot, and even though they were just being polite, I appreciated their kind words. I know that if I focus on the positive things in my life, I’d be a flying-high happy camper all the time, but those negative things that pick on me, for whatever reason, hold a little more weight in my life than they should right now – and it’s daunting. I’m aware that at some point, hopefully soon, I’ll be able to translate some of that energy into more ever-positive things, but for now, I’m at least aware of them, which’ll allow me to hopefully get past them – and thus recognize them coming on in the future, which’ll allow me to get past them more quickly next time.

Stream of consciousness, check.