“Perhaps A Career In Misanthropy would suit me better but today I am a writer.”
I went to a dinner party last night where I knew about half of the people there, some of them from when I was a high school student but most for not as long.
Wine and Scotch were poured and we went about the usual business of introducing ourselves to those we didn’t know and engaging in the typical small talk you make when you first meet someone.
If it wasn’t for my children I probably wouldn’t have attended because I wasn’t in the mood to meet new people and wasn’t interested in talking to some of those I knew would be there.
But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it and realized quite a bit had to do with me.
Who Are You & What Do You Do For A Living?
“Perhaps A Career In Misanthropy would suit me better but today I am a writer” is how I responded to a couple who have known me for a while but whom pretended not to recognize me.
It was my silly way of poking them without being overtly rude. I am sure they had no idea that I said those words with unsmiling eyes but that is ok with me.
While I am often unfiltered and willing to speak my mind I have made an effort to rein it in a bit.
But that nonsense isn’t what made me smile the most.
What I liked best was telling people I am a writer.
Because it is a public declaration of who I really am and it felt good. That is not to say that I have been hiding because I haven’t been but there was a change a while back.
I Walked Through The Door
When I was a kid sometimes we’d watch Monty Hall on Let’s Make A Deal and yell at the contestants take whatever was behind door number one or inside the gift-wrapped box.
That show turned into sort of a long-running joke or commentary with the boys and I. Sometimes we’d sit around the table and talk about how what lay on the other side was better or worse than what we held in our hands.
Five years ago a group of us sat outside drinking coffee and talking about how different life was from what we had imagined it to be.
Don’t remember what day of the week it was but I remember it was a work day and that traditionally we all would/should have been in an office but life had surprised us all with being laid off at the same time.
We shared our stories and two of the guys talked about being laid off while going through divorce. I remember thinking if I wanted to make things happen I was going to have to open door number one and walk through it.
Maybe I’d cross over and find Monty Hall and the audience laughing at me because I would be the recipient of some gag prize, like 2000 rubber chickens or two tons of toilet paper.
But I knew there was an excellent chance I might also do it and get the keys to a new car, a great vacation and then some. I knew there was a magical moment waiting, but that there wasn’t any way to experience it without taking a chance.
No risk, no reward.
The Old Guy
I didn’t want to be the old guy in the picture staring at a past he can only wonder about because he feared what the future would hold.
That is not to say I haven’t had moments of fear and doubt because I have. Read the words contained in these posts and you’ll find lots of examples of those times and those moments.
Ask the Shmata Queen about whether I was willing to dance in the fire and she’ll smile and nod her head.
It was and is important to me to do what is required but I recognized a while back that Churchill’s quote could be interpreted in more than one way.
It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required.
I am doing what is required to live the kind of life that fills my heart and feeds my soul. You may love the stories I write here or you may hate them but what I am most interested is making you feel something.
Ambivalence is the enemy of a writer, feeling the companion. I am a writer and I have many goals and more than a few mantras I repeat but as long as I am true to my inner self I am confident I will find what I am looking for.
Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch excellence. Vince Lombardi