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Own It

Recently I’ve developed a habit. Several in fact. Last night, while participating in an orgy of self-loathing soundtracked by broadway show tunes on Youtube I came to a realisation. I came to understand something that sooner or later we all have to own our lives. The good, the bad, the incorrectly sized. Whatever we’ve got, we have to own it, because somewhere along the way, we only got what we think we deserve.

This isn’t a blog post designed to be all Tinker Bell and fairy dust. Last night,  tears streaming down my face at 1 am, exhausted, unable to sleep, watching the cast of Pippin at the 2013 Tony Awards I found myself on a well worn path. “Why them, why not me!”

When I was younger being on Broadway was my dream. One of many granted, but still it was a dream. I could sing but refused to have lessons, I refused to have acting lessons or dance lessons. I didn’t want to stand out. I already stood out. I was already being bullied for being different, for my sexuality 8 hours a day, and I couldn’t stand the thought of being singled out for things that were so “musical theatre”.

So the Broadway dream went into the cupboard and I settled on a dream that kept me out of the spotlight. One that kept me in the shadows. I decided I’d write. Be a writer. Musicals, movies, novels, shopping lists, whatever was out there I’d write it. But last night as I watched people throw themselves around stages, audiences in rapture as songs were performed I realised something else. I don’t believe my dreams are worth having. I don’t believe I’m worthy of having my dreams to be more accurate.

I mustn’t believe it, or I’d be doing something about achieving them. I wouldn’t be sitting here in my parents basement at the age of 40, broke, unable to pay the bills and unable to get an interview despite dumbing my resume down into oblivion. If I believed I was worthy of the goals and dreams I’d set for myself over the years, surely I’d have achieved something by now?

Before I lost my job I was writing a gay romance novel. A Danielle Steel meets Jackie Collins for the ladies and the boys. Nothing too in your face. One of my pet hates is reading a gay romance novel to find myself faced with a protagonists appendage the size of a twenty year olds arm. It’s all so unrealistic. Not too mention the idea brings tears to my eyes.

I set aside 3 hours of writing time a day and I wrote on the train. I’d even started getting the earlier train to work so I could have a seat the whole way to the city and write freely. I had assumed I’d be able to write every day, and release the story as an eBook on Amazon. Instead, barely a week into the project I lost my job. I’ve written dribbles and drabs since, but frankly I don’t write. I don’t do anything. I sit and I feel sorry for myself.

In an attempt to boost my sense of accomplishment I made a fatal mistake. I let the story be seen by *gasp* others!

I posted a section of the story on a message board I’m a member of. Just a small bit, that ended up with more and more of it going online. I stopped posting it when I ran out of written material. I have had people message me about the story, wanting to know what happens next, hell, I even had a young guy send me a message saying he had joined the message board purely so he didn’t miss any updates to the story.

I was sitting there last night watching singing drag queen videos and thinking “I’ll never finish the novel, I’ve got no idea what to say, it’s been too long, I hate the characters, I don’t know the story line, I’ve never finished a story before!” And I realised; I’ve gotten exactly the amount of success as a writer I think I deserve. I don’t write more than a handful of days in a row and can’t figure out why I’m not published. I look at published authors and think “I could do that” but the reality is; yes I could do it, but no I don’t.

I can blame lack of inspiration or fear or any other fucking thing, but the bottom line is, I get out of my life what I put into it and frankly, for the last nearly 4 months, beyond being on Facebook, job hunting, watching movies and TV I don’t get off my damn bed. I sit and I watch and I complain and I get nowhere.

The time has come to own it. My pool is green. Yes, it is. It will stay that way till I get off my arse and clean it and figure out how to stop it going green every time I turn a corner. My house looks like a dump. Yes it does and until I drag myself off my back and physically do something about it, it will stay that way.

I may be too old to be a Broadway star but that doesn’t mean I can’t go and have those acting and singing lessons and be in a local amateur production. Or I may just end up on Broadway in a dramatic play and win a Tony and be one of those “you know, he didn’t get his start till he was 42, can you believe it, you’re never too old” tales you hear from time to time.

Whatever comes to my world I need to own the responsibility for it. I can’t sit here feeling sorry for myself and doing sweet F A and then complain because nothing changes. And for once I’m not being too hard on myself or treating myself unfairly. It’s time to dust my damn knees off, and get moving because otherwise, I already know where I’ll be sitting when I’m 41 or 50. Right here, complaining about the same things.

The point to this post is that you have to own it. The good, the bad, the mistakes, the triumphs.

You can’t go through you’re life waiting for a Fairy Fucking Godmother to pop up and give you everything your heart desires. Life isn’t a Disney cartoon.

If you want it to be, then you have to put in the blood, sweat, tears and elbow grease that everyone involved in the production has to put in, so the cartoon can reach your TV and you can think “Well I could have done that if only I had the same breaks they did”.

If you spend your life dreaming of driving a Ferrari but never getting your drivers license, I have to wonder just how serious you are about your goals.

It’s not about dumbing down your resume or anything else. It’s only – and has always – been about how much effort you’re willing to put in to get what you truly deserve, not just what you think you deserve.

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43 year old Australian writer currently working on the first of a planned three book Epic Fantasy series. When he's not writing policy discussions, or tales of swords, Gods, and magic, he can be found making a mess in the kitchen, and turning perfectly good ingredients into crimes against humanity.

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