It’s been a long time, journal page that nobody reads except one guy.
I applied to Juilliard. I did that.
I didn’t tell Chris. He still has no idea that I applied for a Playwriting Artist’s Diploma year-long intensive writing Master’s program in New York City. I figured why stress it if/when I don’t even get in.
I’m not expecting to get in. But I’m also not expecting to NOT get in. I want to say I’m humble and simple and have no real hopes on acceptance letters and interviews and things. But behind that very thin facade I am dying for it. I absolutely think I have the confidence to get in. To me I am a shoe in. They can’t live without me. According to my letter of recommendation from a Yale drama grad in the WGA who is a playwright himself who has been published and produced- he thinks I can make it. He thinks I can do it. He expressed exactly why he thinks I would be valuable. And I trust him that he sees more than I do. And that others should, too. Internally I am so cocky and such a dick about it that I think there’s no way anyone could say no. And I absolutely have that weird fake but not fake confidence in myself that I can get in. That I WILL get in. And being a nerd, I will murder the competition as well as be the natural leader that I have always been. My whole life has been taking charge of shit. So…. basically I wasted about 15 years being a loser and now that I’m figuring out how not to be one, it’s all so complicated and hanging on the heads of OTHER people to get me there. Cest la vie.
But then even now typing it out, I don’t think I will. So why put that pressure on Chris and our marriage for nothing?
I’m invisible here. If you don’t believe me then take a look at the program for the last theatre show I worked on over the weekend. Oh, what’s that? That’s right- THEY FORGOT TO PUT MY NAME IN THE PROGRAM AGAIN. That’s my life here. My professional job that I’ve been in for years. Invisible. And it’s crushing to be basically neon and still neglected.
It’s scary though. It’s not just scary to put myself out there, to work in plays and theatre and live shows and pin all of my hopes and dreams on this one thing that is highly unlikely. But it’s this- will Chris come with me? Or will we spend a year apart trying to save money to see one another once a month on the weekends? And how different will that be to only seeing each other as it is now with my working days and sometimes nights as well and him on midnights where we only spent time together really on Sundays and maybe one weekday for a few hours? I always thought that if something BIG happened that forced a move on my end that Chris would come. And I do think he would. But it would rip his heart out. But then do I sacrifice everything I’ve been working on for two years, everything I’ve trained for and took classes for and envisioned for myself- do I just drop who I am and who I want to become to spare his feelings? And then I just die here on this brown couch in Roseville after a life of part time jobs and pretending I matter?
I want to MATTER. Not just like, I want to matter to a few friends and people, or like, sweetie, you matter to me hug moment kind of thing. I have always had a louder voice than most, always had something to say, always had something to stand up to or for. Mostly for myself. But I can’t die here. I hate it here and I breathe in the idea of leaving Michigan. I detest myself for being one of the people I hate- the ones that never amount to anything and are content with living within 5 miles of their childhood, their high school, and all of their loser high school friends who also never amounted to anything in the grand scheme of things. I have always, all of my life, dreamed myself to be destined for bigger things than Jobbie Nooner and starting a lawn care company or some other white kid SCS shit that makes me vomit. Right now I do not matter. But I am working on that.
I turn on my music, like most others, to get away. It fuels the pretend life I’ve created in my head. I have roughly 25 situations on rotation in my head about being a successful writer and person. When my music is on I am not me on my couch. I am me on A couch somewhere else writing something that matters. Writing for something other than myself. When I sing I am singing myself into another life. I pretend people can hear me and want me to do it more. I pretend that my family finally hears me and thinks that I am too big for this place and that I am wasting away here. When I sing in my kitchen or car or anywhere- I’m heard. For more than just singing. I pretend I am understood. A WOAH moment for everyone else to finally catch a glimpse of how magnetic I have been saying I am all my life and they finally believe in me. When I walk I am somewhere else- a studio lot, Brooklyn sidewalks by Danny’s pizza, going somewhere important with important people who make things happen. The point is- I pretend to be a better me. I go to sleep pretending to be a better me. I wake up hella depressed because I’m regular me. Daily. Right now as I blog I am half here on the page, half mentally pretending I’m writing my next work. I spend my whole day pretending to be who I want and them at night I put on my headphones to leap back into it or to figure out a real life way to get it. But this field- it’s not so simple as go to school, get a degree in a thing and then go be a thing. Like most jobs, my moving forward depends on the kindness of others, the acceptance and whim of others. Entirely. I can’t just write a play and BOOM have a job forever until I die. It’s a competition. It’s a struggle. It’s fighting day in and out to stand out. And I do stand out. I might make sense to people not from here. Who knows. Maybe I can daydream myself into real life importance.
I’m a jealous person. Jealous that others get seen and heard in the ways they choose, or ways they created. I’m jealous of New Yorkers. I’m jealous of people who had parents that didn’t laugh at them when they shared their dreams. I’m jealous of the kids on TV who say that their parents believed in them all their lives, and that they never had any idea that they couldn’t be anything that wanted. I need to escape this place, the haunts of feeling, the ghosts of laughter and bullying at home. I am not this place. I am not this person. I AM this person but I am actively trying to leave this person behind and it’s scary.
Do I tell Chris? He knows I’m unhappy here. I think he underestimates how unhappy. Because only rarely have I told him how deeply troubled staying still here makes me. It’s heartbreaking. That’s my fault. But what else he doesn’t know is that I go to bed every night pretending to be someone else. Pretending to be accomplished and necessary. Fun, exciting and clever. I day dream about saying goodbye to people here, of having people be proud of me. It kills me, really, to snap from those pretendings and realize that none of it’s true yet. I’m not the person I want to be. I’m old and lazy and fat and annoying. I’m loud and judgemental and bitter. I’m also calming, giving, smart and motivated. I’m fun and energetic and deceptively loving. I hold too much in that should be released but don’t trust everyone to listen. Sometimes I pretend there is no Chris. I feel guilty every day for not telling him about Juilliard because if I DO get in then it’s one hell of a bomb to drop on him with little time for planning. I want him to be proud of me in the same way that I’m proud of myself. I want to be taken seriously. It physically pains me, makes my stomach drop to my uterus and closes my throat when I think about not being who and what and where I want. Where I feel calm and natural and understood.
He asked me when we were in NY why I like it so much. And I said that I understand it here. If you cut open my head, New York City is what my brain would look like: lights, constant glow of lights, flashes, a thousand cars moving at once. Noise. Static. Color and pizza and freedom of self and iconoclasts and artists and acceptance. It’s where I feel I belong in a way that I have never EVER belonged. I know I don’t belong here. I new that in high school. I just lacked idea and determination (see bullying parents) to do more than just “get a job and start a family like we did”.
I can’t explain it. I don’t hate my life here. I just hate IT here. Like, my life is my life anywhere and my friends and family and all that. But as far as my work- there’s really nothing for me here. At least not in the long run. And nobody really understands that except the people who have left here. And that’s hard to explain otherwise.
I am constantly heartbroken, regular broken and crestfallen. I keep trying to small time things. I need a big time thing. So I tried a big time thing. If I get in we will figure it out. But Chris is tired of his job anyhow so maybe it’d be a fresh start for both of us. And the cats. If only it all was less terrifying. It’s so scary to want things. I can’t stop crying. I feel so stressed out and like my regular life is a lie. I feel like everything is a lie. I’m a lie. A liar. A pretender. An artist, though. A wordsmith. A rebel. A punk. I’m too old to not know.
If you pray, pray for me once. I don’t pray. I’m not sure anyone listens. But someone who prays, the universe may listen to you. You’re not me.
God damn. I opened this page to talk about Juilliard and my hard to grip communication with my husband. Guess I let the sappy songs and day dreams shake me up because instead of seeming ready for change I just made myself out to be a 12 year old with a crush. Vote for me, Juilliard!