Someone asked me the other day why I left the Biz...

...I found my answer while digging through my old blog.  Reblogging now:

June 19, 2005

Holy BALONEY. I graduated from college TWO YEARS AGO. I have been in this godforsaken business for ALMOST TWO YEARS. Yea, I'm FREAKING OUT. I BARELY have enough saved up to buy a car, though I did manage to pay off my student loans. ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GETTING ENGAGED (by all, I mean two. But several are well on their way, and everyone from high school is getting married. And by everyone, I mean like ten). I have no way of knowing WHEN IN THE HELL I'm going to get promoted. and even IF I get promoted in the next few months, I'll still BE WORKING 12-Hour days and reading PILES of SCRIPTS at 1 AM on a Sunday, not going to church, eating out every night and GETTING FAT, all while making less money PER ANNUM than a general manager at HOME DEPOT (which my parents loooooooooove to remind me). And I'll be NOWHERE NEAR making the kind of movies I actually, really want to make. MY FRIENDS ARE STARTING TO TRY TO SET ME UP WITH BORING TAIWANESE GUYS WHO GRADUATED FROM STANFORD AND WORK AT YAHOO, under the guise of "group dinner" at hipster Japenese fusion places (all well intentioned of course). 

I'm considering a career change. Scratch that, I'm considering a LIFE CHANGE.
Because I'm making a living doing something "FUN" I find I have no time to do anything I really actually want to do, like take walks, curl up on my couch with homemade brownies and milk and watch reruns of Sex and the City, reading from CITY OF QUARTZ and writing my caldecott award-winning picture book, paint my walls, buy shoes and furniture, get haircuts on a regular basis, having long talks with people I completely trust, being creative, keep my bathroom spic and span, vacuum, iron, cook eggs for myself, have people over, do double-headers at the movies, run around, throw pots, volunteer, surf the internet for hours, go to the beach, reorganize everything, teach, learn, laugh.

On the plus side: I bought four pairs of shoes today. Last week I got my first pedicure EVER and went to the Rose Bowl Flea market with Amelia, and came home with an old metal vanity chair that is THE perfect project: I get to sand it down and repaint it, and reupholster the seat cushion with a staple gun. I am surrounded by people almost all the time. 

I have in the backseat of my car, as part of the spoils of "company stuff" that was being stored at Disney, an original finger painting by Adam Sandler that he gave to my boss-man. It's a mess of blue with an ugly face surrounded by the words, "LIVE FEAR FUCK DIE." Those tortured comics. I bet it would sell for a lot on eBay. I also have a pile of stunt wigs that they used for that movie, CORKY ROMANO, if anyone wants to buy those off me.

And tomorrow I'll be rubbing elboys with the new Face of Bulimia herself, Ms. Lindsay Lohan at the HERBIE: FULLY LOADED premiere. Fun times.


It's funny... I read the above underlined paragraph now... and I have spent pretty much the last 2.5 years doing many of those things... and yet am still not satisfied.  Should I be re-evaluating my life or should I be re-evaluating my expectations?
19 responses
It's kinda hard to believe it was actually you that wrote that!
Any suggestions for what a Ph.D in Molecular and Cellular Biology can career-change into?
@tony I didn't think I'd changed all that much.  Maybe just in perspective.
@J&M Um. Clearly, a travel writer! =)

Do a startup? (New reader here...)
Can identify with the dilemma: do you change your life, or change the way you look at life? Not sure I have any advice, but writing it out somehow helps. Keep getting it out on the page and, maybe, you'll get some clarity.
Im still kinda going through that stage. I have just changed my outlook. I do want a change but I have to settle for now.
Thanks for sharing!
Once in a while, I do actually have the same "unsatisfactoriness" with, life or the way I approach life too. I guess it goes on.
@Eric I believe the word you're looking for is "dissatisfaction" =D

A lot of my friends are either already married with kids or are in engaged. I only have a few single friends left that I can hang out with. My list of friends that I can hang out with all night or do last minute stuff with is dwindling these days.
Thanks for sharing this Steph
no probs.  just on my mind.

Did you ever redo that vanity chair?
No, but I have the fabric and the sewing machine.  I need to get new foam for it though.  and strip the frame and re-paint it.

Not that you are this character at all, but I just saw the new Woody Allen movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and Scarlett Jo's character asks the same question about re-evaluating expectations.

Sometimes I think those of us that are ambitious, will always strive for more. But I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, as long as you continue to grow.

I hope that makes sense.

it only took you two years to pay off your student loan? now i feel like a loser.
Patrick: the time it takes to pay it off is going to be proportional to the amount of debt too. I paid mine off in 6 months but it was only 11 grand, while some people have an order of magnitude more than that.
yeah it was actually more like 1 year and it was only 6 grand.
then again I was making $26K that year.

2 visitors upvoted this post.