On Mistakes

So recently I think I told you all about starting my new job. It’s been amazing, and I don’t think it’s truly hit me yet that I’m not only working on a television set like I used to dream about as a small-town teenager, but that I’m also working around the writers and directly with the writer’s assistants, which is a tremendous first step forward for becoming a writer on a show here in LA. Honestly, I’m not even sure it’s really set in that I’m living in Los Angeles–and I’ve been here for eight months!

I know I’m extremely lucky to have fallen into the job I now have, and it happened so quickly that a little part of me is worried about losing it just as quickly. It’s a slightly irrational fear, as I’m not (to my knowledge) doing anything that would get me fired, and there’s a whole season of episodes to shoot ahead of me. And it’s an even more irrational fear because I work with literally the nicest people I have ever met in my short time in this business.

Still, every time I mess up I cringe a little like a dog who knows their owner just discovered they ate the laundry. I know there’s a learning curve to every new job, but that doesn’t make me any less hard on myself. And then there are moments when I am hard on myself for being too uptight or flustered because I’m too hard on myself! What a viscous cycle.

And then something weird happens. In these moments of feeling low, I start to wonder at the path I have chosen to stroll. I’ve come to that point of clarity that can only be reached after some distance from college and some water-treading in the career/job market where I’ve come to acknowledge and accept the fact that most people live several lives and usually work several jobs within their one lengthy life. And this is a bit comforting, because it means that I can spend a few years exploring this trail, and if the time comes, I can venture off into the wild and find a new trail to blaze. And then I can do it again, and again, until I’ve lived the life I want to live. In fact, it’s usually the people I meet who seem to have stuck to the same trail passed the trail’s prime that make me nervous.

But despite my reassurances to myself that I am still young, and still have a long story to tell, I wonder at myself. Am I wasting my time?  Have I chosen a path that will lead to a fulfilling career? Is this job good enough for me and my talents?  Am I good enough for it? Maybe this where the whole “I still don’t have the answers” conclusion that seems to haunt every age comes into play. I look at friends who seem to have so much forward momentum in their jobs, careers, lives, and goals, and I wonder if I am stagnant; but this is only my first job, right?

I dunno.

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