Sunday, July 11, 2010

Unwanted Advice

I was working at Law school commencement this year. Although I’ve graduated, I’m holding on to my graduate assistant job for dear life until they drag me kicking and screaming into the real world. This posh-looking fellow was waiting for a friend by the gate where I was working and we struck up a conversation. He asked me if I was a student and what I was studying. I told him I’d just graduated with an MFA Screenwriting. A look of confusion fluttered across his face. Y’all artsy folk know what I’m talking about. That look that says, “Why would any sane person think that they can do that for a living?” I sigh internally. And if I had any doubt about what he was thinking, this gentleman says. “Are there any jobs doing that?” I proceeded to tell him that yes there are and I plan on getting one. So he says, “That’s a really tough business. Good luck with that.” In other words, “This bitch is delusional and should try to get a real job.” Why is it that when you tell some people that you are doing something artistic, they feel the need to remind you how hard it is like you don’t already know? Why emphasize the negative, dude? For real. I’ve been told by strangers, friends and family alike that what I’m doing is let’s see... impractical, unrealistic, a waste of my intelligence and basically frivolous. Would I go up to a lawyer and be all like, “I’ve read a bunch of research that says that attorneys are on average the most unhappy professionals and have a crazy high suicide rate. Are you feeling the need to slit your wrists today?” I love what I do. And once I get where I’m going, it’ll be amazing to see how cool these same folks will think my career is. Oh well until I get there, as my friend Tati says, “I’d rather be depressed about my bank account than depressed about my life.” Snarky comments are like dirt off my shoulder, man. Although if I’m honest it does get to me sometimes. Then I have to remember that what we do may seem crazy to some, but even they would admit that it’s also pretty damn brave.

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