A few days ago I was having a heart-to-heart with a friend of mine. While it was spurred on by the consumption of alcohol, it was moving along pretty well until I asked a rather intrusive but simple question, "what are you scared of?" It is a universal query that could be asked of a four-year-old who keeps looking over at their closet to a 40-year-old ready to ski dive for the first time. I asked that question and did not receive an answer. It was a simple enough question, so I decided that I would try and answer it. That was the point where I decided the question was loaded.
I'm scared. Hell, I'm petrified.
Everyone else is going to school for something that matters. Most of my friends are in for business our accounting, a future that holds a steady job where ever they can find one (business is pretty general). A few are going into pre-med to be doctors or nurses, so that after 18 years of schooling they can go on and help people, hands on. Even my friends who are going in as teachers can shape young lives while getting paid less than a garbage man for a job that is...slightly more important. What am I doing?
I'm going to school for film. Talk about long shot. The only certainty that I will have after I graduate is a sheet of paper ensconced in glass that cost me roughly $160,000 (not to mention $200 for the official BU frame). The introductory film class this year had so many kids that we ran out of room, so we had to import chairs from around the hallways to fit us all in. A friend of mine joked about how there will only be 3000 new jobs created in some incredibly finite bioengineering tract and laughed about how small that number is and asked who would ever go for a life in that with so few opportunities? I don't believe I even reacted. Each class there are thirty or so kids that have the same dream I do, getting the same education, fighting for one job. A single one. Do the math. The odds suck.
I remember going to Cablevision during Career Day at the high school. My friend Maggie (who didn't put down anything remotely close to this) and I went to see how the crappy Cablevision commercials are made. There was a guy who thought we were from Ramapo College, and that we "won a trip" out of tons of applicants just to see him at work. He reeked of failure, and it dripped off of everything he said. The department was understaffed, under budgeted, and slowly getting marginalized. I asked him what he wanted to do when he was younger and his eyes got a bit brighter when he discussed watching Sci-Fi shows, and how he always wanted to make this one movie with his friends.... The twinkle faded back when we finished our drive across the compound and ended up back at the control room.
Is that what I have in front of me? A job that I hate so that I'm jaded to the point where I can put out horrible jingles with green screen that you KNOW is green screen cause you can see it through the woman's 1982 straight-up guido-do? Will I only think about my goals now 15 years in the future when they are way passed feasible and only because a misguided teenager was tired of an awkward silence?
What you are reading here is what I'm working for. This is everything. How weird is that? By putting up my stupid little thoughts on the internet I'm somehow advancing my career. In the most basic bland terms, this is it. I put words together, sell the amalgamation of ideas, and you people read them or watch them be said and acted out. Some people work in industry pumping out cars, food, clothing. Me? I sell words, cute phrases, witty satire. My economy is based on cleverness in a market that is never stable. I'm scared that Anton will be way down come closing time, mired in some horrible insider-trading scandal (aka doing blow off of a hookers ass in Atlantic City...again).
I'm scared that I'm not going to succeed more than either of my parents.
I'm scared that, as the only third generation on my Dad's side, that I'll let them down.
I'm worried that my wit, which I constantly say is all I've got, isn't really worth bragging about having at all.
I'm not scared that I'll never find anyone again, just that it won't come any time soon.
I'm petrified of being alone.
I'm mortified if I'm with too many people.
I'm scared of the thoughts which run through my head every now and again when it's 4:30 AM. I'm even more scared that I might voice them and the trouble it will cause.
I'm scared of believing that I could do this, because if I fail, I will have worked for years for absolutely nothing.
I'm concerned that people will read this and thing I'm depressed (I'm not...it's just almost 4:30 and I start to get "deep").
I'm scared I'll never escape this town.
I'm relieved I'm not tethered here by heroin or who knows what else.
I'm not scared that I'll die young. Hell, I expect it. I'm terrified of leaving this world without even leaving a scratch, let alone a dent.
I've finally not become scared of the fact that I'm the only one who is afraid. That was called Middle School. I'm just willing to admit that I'm uneasy right along with all of you.
Oh, and spiders. Christ almighty do they freak me out.