To some, that may make me appear cynical, but as I so often point out, I consider myself a "pragmatic idealist." I see the world as a flawed place capable of great beauty, even in the smallest of things. Whereas a full-on optimist remains wholly positive, my approach is more balanced, hoping for the best but keeping it all in a more realistic perspective that is - in theory, at least - designed to prevent disappointment.
I could go on and on about my laundry list of regrets, many of which involve my lack of progress with my creative writing. Yet, here I sit in one of my local Starbucks (but of course!!), reflecting on the extensive positive changes that I've experienced thus far this year. 2010 has been a tremendous step forward for me, both personally and professionally, and though the year is already more than half over, I can't help but feel that the best is still yet to come.
Though I usually don't divulge this to the world at large, I have often been frustrated with my life, especially the past few years. I've felt stagnant, unmoving... like the world is spinning past me and everyone around me is growing up, moving on up to the East Side in a deluxe apartment in the sky... You get the idea.
And the saddest part of that is that I truly had no one but myself to blame. I used to simply wait for things to happen, hoping and praying that the world would deliver everything I ever wanted right to my doorstep. But the more time that goes by and the older I get, the more I realize that this is nothing but a fantasy.
The real world isn't like that. I've often heard that "life is what you make it," but it wasn't until recently that the truth of that statement has really sunken into the core of my being. Except for the lucky few for whom the stars align serendipitously, the people who get anywhere is this world are the ones who work damn hard to get there. These are the people who advance professionally, who find the loves of their lives, who see their dreams come true. And yes, fellow writers, these too are the people who actually see their writing get published.
For years, I've told people I'm writing a screenplay, a novel, etc., etc. But yet, here I am more than a decade after I first got the creative writing bug with the creation of my first original character, Robert Fox, and I have yet to really see any of these projects 100% through to completion. All I have to show for it thus far is a half-written screenplay and a pile of accompanying notes, several rough drafts of songs, a very rough first draft of a novel and page after page of undeveloped story ideas.
And so it was with this very blog. Astute readers may notice that the archive here reaches all the way back to May 2007, and though three years have passed seemingly in the blink of an eye, The Crooked Table has still not taken off as I have so often hoped it would. And once again, I have no one to blame for this but myself. I haven't really tried. I haven't committed to it or devoted sufficient time to this little pet project of mine.
The old me would have internalized this self-fulfilled prophecy of failure, but something has changed in me. I really hate to mention "Glee" again on this blog since those of you who don't really know me probably think I'm obsessed with it by now... lol (I'm only Gleek on my mother's side... :P) But I have been listening to the show's soundtracks incessantly the last few weeks, since I'm just now discovering the show. There's a song on there called "Defying Gravity" from the musical "Wicked," and one lyric has stood out to me since my very first listen.
"I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so.
Some things I cannot change but till I try I'll never know."
These past several years, I've been too afraid to put myself out there... afraid of building my hopes up too high only to tumble down. Afraid of change. Afraid to try. But now I'm ready to put that version of myself behind me.
The past few months have seen my social life burgeon even more, my professional life leap forward and my plans to get my very own apartment finally inching towards realization. And The Crooked Table is undoubtedly part of the renaissance my life is going through this year.
I've joked with my family that 2010 is "The Year of Robbie," though part of me still felt that this was just another way I would let myself down. Yet, by keeping a positive attitude and pushing myself to chase after what I want, I have surprised even myself with the progress I have made.
I look forward to continuing to build up this blog, finishing my novel and making creative writing progress and following the new path I've designed for myself. I truly feel like I've turned a corner and can't wait to see what 2010 has in store.
You too, fellow writers, must keep that same optimism and sense of adventure about your life. It will carry you through with your writing and in the rest of your life. Stay strong, keep writing and remember: Proactive isn't just a skin care product. ;)
Happy writing, as always...