As many of the people reading this blog are already aware, I’ve decided to pick up and move to Los Angeles and pursue a career as a TV script writer. As the day of the move draws closer, I alternate between exhilarated and terrified, which I personally think is a good sign.
I don’t have any particular job lined up, which makes this the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done. I’m generally a planner by nature and don’t like to be ill prepared for anything. I think I’m about as ready as can be possible under the circumstances, but the lack of a safety net is still fairly scary.
I’ve saved money, researched places to live and tried to make as many contacts as possible before moving out there. But at this point it’s really just a matter of perseverance, timing and luck. I like to think I have that first quality, but the jury is still out on the other two.
As frightening as the prospect of this move can be, I also think it is exactly what my life needs right now. I was stuck in an unfulfilling job that prevented me from having much of a social life, while most of the people around me fell victim to adulthood and marriage.
I really don’t have much keeping me where I am, and a consistent paycheck has been just about the only thing keeping me from doing this sooner. I’m young, unencumbered and want to see a part of the country I’ve never been able to experience before. So why not pick up, move and give it a shot?
Maybe I’m unique in this viewpoint, but I don’t think I am. The time immediately after college can leave people feeling trapped and unsure of how to proceed with their lives. Most are able to get a real job, make money and start leading productive lives, but that can only carry you for so long.
At some point you realize that “work” is more than just a job; it’s what you’ll be spending the rest of your life doing. If you want to keep food on the table and don’t have the luck of being a trust fund kid, you’ll be spending the better part of the rest of your life working.
As cliché as it might sound, everybody should find a job they enjoy doing every day. Plenty of people will fail trying to find that perfect job, but many more will never try. Instead they end up imprisoned in a job they didn’t really want in the first place.
When you’re a recent college graduate, seeing a comma in your bank account is enough to make you excited. But the pleasure of that wears off after a while, and a little voice in your head starts saying you should go for something more. Far too many people block out that voice.
For me, I started getting the itch to do more creative writing. I’ve always been a journalist and enjoyed it, but one of the most memorable nights of my life came in college when I stayed awake until 4 a.m. to write a script for my fraternity’s stage production.
It was one of those nights that you look at the clock and can’t believe how late it is. Two friends and I spent that time brainstorming ideas, tossing around dialogue and trying to make sure everything was perfect.
I’ll be the first to admit that the finished product was anything but perfect, but it still was exciting. I loved being in a creative atmosphere with ideas flowing back and forth, and I had never really experienced anything like it before.
I passed it off as one nice experience and didn’t really think all that much about it, but it nagged at me once I graduated and got out into the real world. There was a whisper in my head that I might be in the wrong line of work, and after about a year that whisper became a yell.
I couldn’t really ignore it anymore, and thus was my plan to move to LA was born. I’m well aware that I could move to LA and fall flat on my face. I’ve never been professionally trained or educated on script writing, and I could very easily find I have no talent for it. And if I do happen to fail, I’ll accept that, move on and try to find something else I enjoy doing.
But I encourage anyone else who feels stuck in a rut to be willing to change things up, especially if you’re young. There will be plenty of time to find a steady job with a consistent paycheck, but there is precious little time to find something you really love.