Monday, April 16, 2012

Change is a Bitch!

Romantic comedies always start out with some kind of huge, life-changing, moment -- on the surface it seems awful, but with a few musical montages and minor hiccups along the way -- it will no doubt, work itself out.

Seriously ... nature is weird. 
Usually this moment comes in the form of losing "everything": a la a fiancé (Reese Whitherspoon in Legally Blonde), a job (Rachel McAdams in Morning Glory) or your freedom (Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up). Post-loss, these femme protagonists have it rough -- they even start to trip over things more (hilarity ensues), drop papers all over the floor (gasp!) and make awful first impressions on their road to recovery. But, at the end of the day, we know they'll beat the odds, come out on top and manage get a new boyfriend all within 90 short minutes. But in real life ... in the life where you are your own protagonist ... you don't know if you'll make it, there are no montages to fast-forward you through it, and there’s a good chance you could fall flat on your face stinking of failure. That's why in real life ... change is a bitch.

Is this too obvious? 
I recently started a new job and it's hard. Let me re-phrase, someone is (by the grace of God) now paying me to write, but it flipped my world – and my sleep schedule – upside down; making the adaptation to it, somewhat difficult.

For one, it was a lifestyle change. My 4 years of bartending led me to the rambunctious restuarant underbelly of: late night parties, 4 am beer pong, and more friends than you can count who were generally available. At times, it was pretty great. But it was stagnant and when a bigger, better opportunity arose I had to jump on it. I had to change. 

Secondly, with this "real job" (not that bartending / screenwriting wasn't a real job) more was expected of me. Like I said before – it’s kind of hard. But not hard, because it's "hard" (quite the vernacular I know) it's hard because it's new … and new is always hard.  

It comes down to one simple aspect of change, which is -- we forget how frightening first days are; because they happen few and far between (Kindergarten, High School, College, Job … you can go 5 or 10 yrs with no first day). We don't know anyone, we don’t know how to use anything (rendering us useless for the time) and sadly we sit frozen at our desks scared to ask "Where is the bathroom" for fear of putting a giant "I'm new" bulls-eye on our backs ... opting for kidney failure instead.  And worst of all, we don't actually know if it will even work out ... or if it will just lead to more unwanted change.  

Really, change begets the unknown and it's the fear of the unknown that makes it horrifying -- will I get fired? Will people like me? How the hell am I getting paid for this? The problem is we're never sure if the "life-changing" decision we just made will send us into our own romantic comedy or if we'll end up in some kind of indie Sundance film where the protagonist just ends up sad ... or dead. 

I'm about two months into my new job now and I still have no clue what will happen tomorrow … which is not always a cute feeling to have. So I must emphasize -- when there are hiccups in real life, it’s usually not funny. When your boss yells at you, you feel like shit. When you show up on day one, and trip over something, it’s not endearing.  Worse, rather than finding love you’re more likely to lose it because you’re so stressed out about all the change – and lastly, there’s definitely no Channing Tatum look-alike waiting to sweep you off your clumsy, pathetic, ignorant feet. Instead, you get to “learn-by-doing,” because no two jobs are alike, no two situations are a like, and whatever you learned before … there’s a good chance you have to change it – that is to say, learn to adapt.

So all you can really do is suck it up ... realize that once again, you know nothing about anything, and hope that this time ... the change was for the better.