F*ck It All

While imagining the demise of all I hold near and dear as the uncertain anxiety-filled future looms over my head like an ever falling pendulum, ready to strike me in half at any minute, I came to the conclusion that the universe is telling me to: “Fuck it all, save some money, travel more, and then fuck it all harder.”  I think that’s the message I was getting as I listened to my Dad reading a book called 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said by Charles Wheelan in my parent’s living room in New Jersey before bed time.

It was a night of time spent with my post-modern family. We had homemade chicken soup (courtesy of Mom #2) huge helpings of spaghetti (gluten free) and sauce, and wrapped everything up with a game of scrabble in the den before my multi-racial twin step-brothers got up to do their homework and my dad whipped out the book and began to read aloud as I sat in my head cold-induced stupor of post-scrabble gaming and dinner digestion.

I was really struck when hearing the words of another writer’s position get translated through my father’s mouth, which was: The world will go in the direction the world will go in and the only thing you can control is the time given to you, and that can be a whole lot of time. As we get older days can go super slow and years can go super fast! (I’m 25!? When the hell did that happen!?)

I sneezed into my napkin a couple more times to let my brain rattle in my snot-filled head and then felt contemplative. My councilor said a few days ago that, if we allow ourselves, we can all live in a world of 360 degree views. It’s the “I could go any direction” view. That’s a terribly wonderfully scary beauty to our lives, is it not? And my Father’s voice floated back to my brain with another nugget of wisdom from the book he was reading from: “We are not in a race, life is not about who gets to the finish line first! We are here to learn and enjoy the journey.”

I wish the anxiety over feeling like I have to spend every waking minute thinking about my all but non-existant career in film would get the hint, because just as much as I tell myself that one day I’ll lose the 10 pounds I need to lose, I also dream about saving up some dough and pissing off to Australia and China and the South Pacific to just fart around and read a lot. Probably write a lot, too.

Just the thought of pissing off and leaving my world of structure and stability behind is enough to make me want to curl up into a ball and sleep so as not to deal with that HUGE thought, but I feel like I am on some kind of awakening wave and it’s cresting. 360 degree view? So, that means I don’t have to wait for that phone call to tell me I’m an actor, I can just write my brains out onto a page and could make a lot of money telling people what I think from the comfort of my non-size 00 jeans. In fact, I could gather a ton of information abroad and write about being a traveler there.

Who’s right, anyway? Who can have the authority to know that the direction you’re heading in is correct, or even that the speed you are traveling is at the right speed?  Oh, god I sound like an aging hippy. “Whatever, Man, just do what feels good and life will do the rest. Am I right, Amigo?” Well, Mr. Hippy: I don’t know. Although I’ll leave this post with a quote from the book that really got the cogs moving in the ol’ cranium yesterday:

“… we know that success is not about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction. It is about finding a passion, taking risks, running in new directions, and dealing with failure. 
If you think of life as a race, then every setback means that you have fallen behind. Every risk has a potential failure lurking nearby.
But if you think of life as a journey, then every setback helps direct you to a place where you will be more likely to succeed. Every risk has a potential adventure behind it, or at least a learning experience. You are not necessarily in competition with everyone around you.” 

-Charles Wheelan 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said


September 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm by Natalie Allen