Last week my life changed.
By “life” I mean “career” and by “changed” I mean “went from trudging slowly along to breaking the sound barrier.”
I became a writer on a TV show.
It happened so fast I didn’t really have time to prepare. Although technically I’ve been “preparing” for this for years simply by really, really wanting it.
When I found out, I wish I could say I played it cool. That I’d assumed a “that makes sense because I’m very talented and will be an asset to your team” look. But no. That’s just not who I am.
Instead, I covered my mouth with my hands and tried to keep the tears from rolling out of my eyes as I broke out in hives, blossoming across my chest like fireworks of excitement.
“How do you feel?” My bosses asked, laughing at my reaction. I said the first thing that came to mind.
Cool as a cucumber, that’s me.
But it didn’t matter because at least I was a sweaty television writer.
To me, this is more than a job. It’s the reason I left my family and friends to move to LA. It’s why I worked three jobs and once sold my bike to pay my rent. It’s the reason I pushed through the dull ache of homesickness.
To be here for this.
Driving home after the meeting, I rolled down the windows and blared Sirius Radio “Nineties on Nine.”
I screamed the news to Jason and skyped my parents so I could scream the news at them. I was going to be a writer on a TV show! I went to bed that night thrilled.
Until the next morning, when I woke up and realized I was going to be a writer on a TV show.
Was I good enough? Could I do it? Would I last?
Lying in bed, I thought about my dog Linus who once saw a possum in the backyard and transformed from a sweet little lap dog into a ferocious beast. He raced outside, cornered it, and triumphantly returned with the possum hanging from his mouth. But after he dropped it at our feet he started whining, worried and nervous. He hadn’t thought past the “attack possum” part to the next step. His whole life had been leading up to this moment but… now what?
I felt like Linus staring at that possum. I had gone after the thing I wanted but now that it was at my feet, I didn’t know quite what to do.
I spent the next few days in a swirl of anxiety.
On the fourth day, when my marriage was on the verge of collapse because I wouldn’t stop snapping at my husband for things like “talking” or “looking at me,” I began to realize this was exactly how I should be feeling. There is a certain level of unease that comes with growing.
Admittedly, I’ve never felt one hundred percent comfortable in Los Angeles and I used to resent the city for it. But now I’ve learned to embrace that feeling because I know it means I’m pushing forward.
Being uncomfortable is how I know I’m doing it right.
I still might have bouts of terror or worried nights but I say bring them on.
So I’m happy to announce that I’m sweatily, nervously, nauseously living my dream.
This piece was originally written for the Fargo Forum. You can find them (and me) here.