I’ve been grumpy lately.
The emotion propelling this is frustration.
I am frustrated about a number of things. Relationships, money, creative satisfaction and so forth. The usual I suppose; we are all in the same boat.
Well, some of us are, some of us are on Yachts, so they won’t know what I’m on about..
If you look up the definition of Frustration in the dictionary, the result is this:
The feeling of being upset or annoyed as a result of being unable to change, or achieve something.
This is bang on the money. On both counts.
There are things I can’t change, things that occupy my already noisy mind. Things I lie awake at night, obsessing over.
Then there are the things I want to achieve that I haven’t yet.
Mostly I get frustrated with myself.
Wanting to be better, more successful, more proactive, make better decisions, etc – the list goes on.
I’m frustrated that I’m not where I think I should be at this time.
Of course to quote Megan in Bridesmaids:
‘You’re your problem Annie, but you are also your solution’
A bloody amazing movie, that rang true for me on so many levels. She’s creative but had failures, her love life sucks, and she drives a trusty shitbox. The only thing is her wardrobe is so much more glorious than mine. Really, they should have asked me before using my life story, but, whatever!
There is hope and clarity in Megan’s statement. It’s true. I just need to fix things for myself. It may appear to those who don’t know better, that I’m impatient. But I feel like these things are a long time coming.
I’ve always worked hard, in any job I’ve taken on. No matter how big or small, I’ve always given it 100%. When I cleaned tables at a Debenhams cafe one summer, (after graduating with a very good degree I might add) my colleague, a slovenly boy, would sit out the back and read his books, shirking his role, whilst smoothing his gelled hair off his face. I would keep busy, wiping the marble tables and scooping the crumbs into my cloth. The manager came by one day and said he’d never seen anyone as hard working as me. I privately beamed.
Little did he know, that for me, this was a piece of cake. I’ve never been shy of hard work – having been employed by my parents to work their farm from a young age.
When I worked a bar, whilst studying for my Masters, I routinely took the most sales, and made the most tips. I worked 14 hour shifts and served in a sweaty bar, 6 deep, surrounded by clouds of thick smoke (pre ban). It wasn’t pleasant, but I did it, and I did it with gusto.
The point is, I’m a hard worker. I’m not precious. I’m not averse to work and starting at the bottom if I have to. It’s getting the right opportunity that seems to be the kicker.
I sent an email to the head of CBBC once. I asked if I could make his tea and get some experience. He was very nice. He asked me what I really wanted to do? As people who do this ‘just make really bad tea’ – he had a sense of humour. I said anything creative to do with production – writing ideally, or presenting – just being involved in the creative process. He asked me to send him a video, which was just wonderful. I felt hopeful. I did – and he liked it. But he ended up leaving the position shortly after and nothing came of it. I guess it was a long shot. But it was disappointing no less.
After my amazing summer studying at the inspiring American Academy of dramatic Arts, I was invited onto their prestigious two year program in New York. I never wanted anything more. I gained a $10,000 scholarship but needed a further $20,000 for fees, and about 10 grand more in the bank. I wrote to every funding body there was.
The amount I collectively raised?
We were in a recession and everyone was keeping their purse strings closed tight under their chins.
So I had to turn down the opportunity. To say I was gutted would be an understatement. I felt like I’d been dumped.
I’m not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me. I’m trying to explain where my head is at.
I need to be sated on a creative level, and that’s not happening. Certainly not being sated on an emotional level. And that’s too complicated for even me to wrap my head around. There are things at play that we cannot control, however much we want to. Maybe I need to accept some things, maybe that’s the problem.
For the most part though, I will pursue in the face of adversity.
So yes, forgive me if I’m grumpy, I’m frustrated. Extend some compassion, because I will always do the same.
I’m still working things out. For those of you on the yachts, I’m hanging onto the lifeboat, and it’s bumpy back here.
In the meantime, I do have a few irons in the fire.
Let’s hope they ignite.