Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A funny thing happened on my way to nowhere.

I’m aware comparing yourself to others will only lead you down a rabbit hole. But, I’m only human. Or in this case, rabbit.

The other day I found myself walking around the city feeling blue. I had just turned 39, and I was going over in my mind how, lately, many of my friends have been racking up some seriously prestigious awards in the advertising industry. Meanwhile, the situation I’m in right now hasn’t afforded me many opportunities to produce finished work and shine as brightly as my buddies.

I’m certainly happier for my friends than I am jealous of them. Well, I might be a bit jealous, but in a way that pushes me to try and do better work myself rather than be all “sour grapes.” And I’m thankful to have so many talented friends. I also know creating your own projects can be fulfilling, as well as beneficial to any creative person’s career, so there’s no need to wait around for your job to plop an opportunity in your lap. Still, on this day, I was lamenting how the accolades of the ad world haven’t been coming my way, and truth be told, haven’t been due.

Then, I tried focusing on something positive about my creative output – my improv. Since returning to New York, the work I’ve been doing at the Upright Citizens Brigade has been met with a lot of positivity by my mentors and peers. While improv isn’t a tangible thing I can put in my portfolio, submit to award shows, boost my salary with, or share with anyone other than the small audiences who see it, I was patting myself on the psychological back for having a creative outlet that made me happy and garnered some recognition.

At that absolute very moment, I happened to look down at the ground. There on the sidewalk lay an empty box from a bobblehead of the character Hiro, from the TV show Heroes. Masi Oka, the guy who plays Hiro was someone I recruited to be in SNAFU, an improv group I put together in San Francisco. Even as I tried to find my way past envy, the world just couldn’t resist shoving another friend who’s achieved a higher level of success and industry acknowledgement than me in my face. I laughed out loud. As good as my comedic timing may be, the universe’s is better. Well, I gotta run. I have a hole filled with carrots to get to.

P.S. I’ve been typing this on a plane to Denver to see my buddy Sean and go on a whitewater rafting trip. They just announced we are about to land and need to close our laptops, right as I’m finishing this post. See, my timing is indeed stellar. Take that universe.

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