Adrenaline Crash – August 23, 2002

I wonder what I am after. I moved here to write. I moved here to be with friends. I moved here to be independent. I moved here to Do Something. I moved here to escape. I got all of those things, but I still feel like I have not achieved what I am meant to, have not done what I will end up doing. I wonder if everyone feels the same way, thinks they will soar across the sky like a comet, leaving a trail of little sparkles in their wake. I don’t like to admit that I feel I am on a journey, that I can almost feel electricity crackling around me when I am feeling good. But I do.

I am afraid I will fail. I am even more afraid that I will succeed. I feel pulled in a million different directions — do I work on my Web site, write another spec script and then another and another, take an acting or improv class, learn how to program, consider graduate school? I do not want choosing one path to preclude the others. At the same time, I cannot do it all at once; I am past that point where I can drive my body toward exhaustion, sleeping four hours a night, fueled by junk food and caffeine, working on sheer adrenaline. I wonder if there are too many choices, if it would have been simpler to follow the proscribed path of undergrad and then grad school immediately afterward, then work and marriage and children and never thinking about the sky and comets at all. Would I have been unhappy? I think I would have been, in spare moments here and there while washing dishes or sitting beside a child’s bed, but I do not know.

I am not done yet with the screenplays, the TV specs, the novel. I will be done, most likely, in a couple of years, and it will be time to take stock. I am afraid of that time, of the moment when I walk into a Kaplan center and sign up for the GRE. Am I defeated if I do that? Or am I doing the logical thing and moving on?

Going to grad school doesn’t mean I can’t still write, but it would be an ending, a coda to something that started when I collapsed beside my bedroom wall in New Jersey and decided I had to get out of there, had to give life a shot, had to get away from hospitals and sickness and the possibility that I might never leave my family and grow up. I don’t know if I am ready to give up all I have gained since then. I don’t know if I ever will be. But I am happy — full up with happiness, for the most part, as I drive through traffic at dusk with the windows down and music blaring and ocean air all around me. I want to share it with everyone, this feeling, but I don’t know how.

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