Tuesday, August 25, 2009


When I lived in Los Angeles over an 11 year span, whether I was commuting to work, working, or commuting from work back home (I have just described an 18 hour day in the life of a Los Angelian), there was little time for "being". On the flip side, my life was busting at the seams with "doing", and reflecting back, I have no idea what I was actually "doing" besides getting to and from freelance TV writing jobs that left me creatively and emotionally drained. And not emotionally drained because I was creating meaningful, deep, soul-stressing programming. No, I felt sapped because I was actually putting together television shows that were complete and utter lies, posed as "reality". What I was left with at the end of my hour + commute to drive 16 miles (I once clocked 10k on the freeway and realized that even if I didn't push myself, I could still run it just as fast: 45 minutes) was an overall sense of "WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?!?", which made "being" nearly impossible.

I always looked forward with great anticipation to my runs - before work, and long ones on the weekend - when I would escape the city to the mountains and...well, RUN. And that's all I did: Becoming a verb in those moments. "I *AM* 'running'," I'd muse to myself. The complete naturalness and ease that accompanied that feeling would soon rinse away my feelings of paddling upstream, as hard as I could, in a cardboard canoe with hockey stick for a paddle.

Having moved to Oregon and shirking the LA "lifestyle", I've found myself with time for Being, and my feet hit the floor every morning and I thank my lucky stars for it. Sure, there are challenges, but they're far more my speed: Which direction to steer a career? With whom to collaborate on creative endeavors, not to pitch to a network, but to create and see where they go? Being in this state of - er, ahem - Being has given my running a slightly different, slightly deeper meaning. No longer am I escaping the scramble to survive; I'm simply going to Be somewhere else for a little while, and do something I love.


aartilla the fun said...

i feel like an alien amongst some of my friends (ironically not my LA ones, who are all struggling actors), because i have a lot of "being" time. i am coming to terms with the fact that it's a trade-off. i have lots of time to create things i believe in -- they don't. BUT they have a house, and the funds to raise a family -- i don't. i know i like my situation better: not only am i working on projects i really believe might brighten someone's day, but i am also learning a heck of a lot more about myself than i did before.

but honestly, this only works because i persevere in the hope that one day (soon, please!), my
"being" days will enable me to enjoy all the things that make life worth it for those who "do": the house, the kids, the holidays etc etc.


Mike said...

It sounds like you have adjusted your Self-O-Stat.

Stephanie said...

You already know I love this, but I have to say it again. I am going to hang it on my face so I remember it.