Maybe it’s just me (although I highly doubt it), but being a writer certainly has its downfalls. My mind is constantly racing with outlandish scenarios, that are most definitely a cause and/or effect of my anxiety. (Honestly, that’s like the chicken or the egg- which came first?)
Sure, this trait has always kept me fairly entertained in boring classrooms (and sometimes boardrooms) BUT it can lead to disaster upon disaster. Allow me to set the scene:
You’re about 15. You’re the good kid in class, super quiet, super nice, always getting good grades. The kind of kid the teacher thinks of highly. Unfortunately, this teacher has the public speaking ability of a broken radiator and you start to distract yourself. You think up a brilliant story about a fallen soldier in ‘Nam and the platoon that must set out to find him- – wait, that’s “Saving Private Ryan”. You start over… you begin outlining an epic love story in your History notebook (the NSFW kind) and then…
“Miss ____, did you hear me? Can you please tell us the date on which the Boston Tea Party took place?”
Shit. Why do I care about the Boston Tea Party when I am clearly in the middle of a lover’s quarrel with Joaquin and Lissette?
“I…I don’t know.”
“I’m very disappointed in you, Miss ____.”
Ah, I’m very disappointed in you. That shit cuts a good kid in the heart deeper than any bayonet ever could. And that’s how it all starts- the never ending cyle of story after story. Sometimes they are as brilliant as epic lovers Joaquin and Lissette (stay tuned for my novel…) and sometimes you just imagine your own shortcomings. Not sure what I mean? Stick with me here…
I, almost always, picture myself tripping up a flight of steps before taking the first step. I envision the embarrassing and most public tumble that leaves me with a split lip and scraped elbows and knees. I can hear and see the stifled giggles and snide looks of my co-workers and of strangers. ALL OF THIS BEFORE I MOVE A MUSCLE.
Still not getting the picture?
My poor, poor boyfriends have suffered most from my anxious, story driven mind. (I’m just kidding- I suffer most from my anxious, story driven mind).
However, since the chances of them reading this blog are slim to none, I am safe to apologize publicly- My apologies to all of my exes for my crazy but brilliant* mind. Allow me to set the scene again:
The phone rings.
Him: “Babe, we have to talk. It’s nothing to worry about but I want to say it in person.”
Oh god. He’s cheating on me. Her name is probably Amber. She’s probably a blonde, size 0 with double D’s. I hate Amber. I hate him.
Oh god. He’s breaking up with me. He’s running away to Rio with Joaquin. God, I can’t believe he’s gay. How didn’t I see this before? Why??
Oh god. He’s on drugs. He has an addiction problem. It’s ok. I’ll get him help. We can go to counseling. We’ll get through this.
Oh god. He’s dying. He just went to the doctor a few days ago. He has cancer. Oh my god. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST TELL ME NOW?? WHO CARES IF IT’S OVER THE PHONE??
Reality- We meet up and he gives me a beautiful necklace and tells me that he loves me.
Aw, I’m so glad he didn’t tell me over the phone.
Or worse yet, I tend to write romantic comedies- it’s kind of my thing, SO that being said, I tend to have high expectations. When they aren’t met, I get very disappointed even though those poor boys tried so hard. (To the future boyfriends who may be reading this, I PROMISE that I am working on it. Kinda. Sorta. Maybe. Bear with me).
Him: “Babe, I’m really excited for Valentine’s Day. I promise it’s going to be awesome.”
Oh my god. Maybe he rented a hotel suite. There will be rose petals everywhere and a bubble bath and room service. He knows that I love stuffed animals so I’m sure that he bought one just to be sweet. Maybe I’ll get a nice massage too…. He’s so good to me.
Reality: We go to a fancy restaurant for dinner. I get a very sweet card and a box of chocolates.
(THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS SCENARIO, but because it’s not what I’ve built up in my mind, I get upset).
Sometimes these stories provide simple entertainment, sometimes they provide all-consuming anxiety, and sometimes they end up in a blog online or a script in pre-production (stay tuned for my next short film…).
Some days, being a writer is great! It’s such a fulfilling feeling to know that you have completed something. You have put your thoughts to paper.
Some days, being a writer is hell on earth. It’s a terrible feeling to think that none of what you’ve written is half as good as it sounded in your head.
Some days, it’s both. But most days…
It’s hell on earth.
*I am the antithesis of conceited, so just assume that whenever I compliment myself that it is pure, unadulterated sarcasm.