As I’ve mentioned previously, I had hoped that my life path was to become the next Piper Kerman or Elizabeth Gilbert, author of an award-winning memoir that inspires millions and becomes translated into dozens of languages, something that prompts an interview with Oprah, and becomes a critically acclaimed mini-series that reignites Wynona Rider’s career as the starring role.
Ryder’s real life—one in which she was publicly shamed for kleptomania after having had failure after failure—will have echoed the role she plays on my show. In “real life”—the real life of my dream world—what followed was that Ryder became Buddhist, practicing yoga and meditation after living in India for a while, having called it quits in Hollywood. But then she read the script for my TV show which changed her mind about acting. It spoke to her in such a way that she felt it was meant to be, and now here she is, the most sought-after actor in Hollywood. But this time she looks at it differently; acting is her passion, and it’s not about fame or fortune.
In this dream world of mine Seth Rogen will play a rare serious role as the ex-husband, showing the world he can do more than just comedy, as a pot-smoker (because some things never change) and struggling retail store manager who eventually rises above it all to become a famous writer while my character struggles for longer, working at one corporate job after another, making six figures but always searching for peace. Ed Norton plays her crush, a man who can’t stay sober and who all the women love but he doesn’t know it or believe it, and eventually he commits suicide. Finally my character will understand that her higher power was doing for her what she couldn’t do for herself, which was to keep her from getting involved with a man who has an inability to be honest, in a relationship that would’ve had far more heartache than the rejection she’d have faced before a relationship could’ve happened. Idris Elba will play my character’s boyfriend, a man in which she has a brief love affair, and there will be lots of sex scenes, because no matter how critically acclaimed the show is, sex sells and helps ratings. Kevin Spacey will be a brief love affair until she realizes she doesn’t want to date her dad. Finally she realizes her love for Justin Timberlake, a man who she’s known for years but always dismissed to the friendship zone. When Ryder’s character finally realizes she’s madly in love with JT’s character, in spite of all those superficial reasons she’d given for not realizing her love for him in the first place, which were really just to cover up fear, the song “Not a Bad Thing” will play in the background.
This dream world is fun to live in. But the reality is that today I’m single. Eventually I’ll meet someone. Until then, for today, I am supposed to be working on a copywriting portfolio for a job I think I want. I don’t have much of a portfolio and I don’t want to work on one, so I’m procrastinating because I’m afraid of failure. If I don’t do it, I can know that I failed because I didn’t try hard enough. In my heart I don’t believe anything I can produce in one night—because the writing samples are due tomorrow—will be enough to land me a job. The few bits I’ve written in previous positions weren’t good enough in my opinion to save, but I do have a couple of pieces that I can submit along with a spec ad I wrote, and while I don’t think it will help me get an in-person interview, it will be something I can add to my skimpy portfolio that I’d planned on creating on my own time, which means never.
For some reason this path seems to be the one that the universe has laid out for me, and I can embrace it or fight it. So in this moment I’m going back to the real world and working on my professional writing portfolio. Because all I can do is just do it.