To My Discouraged Friend

Dear Friend,

You are not your job.

Let me say that again.

YOU are NOT your J.O.B.

You are not your pursuit of a career. You are not that directing job, that role, that writer.  You are not your talent. You are more than these things. You are more than the sinking depression and fires of anxiety raging all around you. 

I know you have lost hope. I know it seems like nothing you’ve done in the industry has done any good. You’ve looked out for other people so many times you’ve lost count and right now, it seems like no one has your back. In fact you’re reaching around right now to pull that knife out from between your shoulder blades. The wound is fresh and you’re in shock from all the crap you’ve put up with over the last 4 years.

What’s worse, it feels like God has abandoned you to dead dreams and vicious, greedy, sinister industry villains who take advantage of you. That’s totally valid. And I could tell you what I think, but I can’t make you believe it. So I’ll refrain. 

Instead, I’ll say that first of all, I’m sorry.

That. Sucks.

Everything bad that has happened to you really, really, really, REALLY, really just absolutely SUCKS.  I know what it feels like to go to bed at night feeling  as if lions have clawed the last glowing strand of light from within your soul. To wonder “why did I ever move here?”

I know what it’s like to feel that dark grey cloud of anxiety and depression pressing in on you from all sides. There are so many voices telling you what to do and telling you who you are.

“Millions of people move to this city to fight to the death for their dreams – How are you any different?” “You’re going to be alone forever.” “You’ll never be excellent at your craft.” “Is all the pain even worth it?”

I know these screaming voices all too well. It’s a constant battle, wondering if I’m going to make it in this cruel town. But then I think of you. Of all you’ve already accomplished and it blows me away. But, no, really. It does.

Consider this:

  1. You packed up your bags and moved across the country, leaving familiarity behind
  2. You made friends in a scary place where you knew no one
  3. You got a job –  multiple awesome jobs – in entertainment
  4. You learned a new skill and are honing and sharpening that skill
  5. You are actually pursuing your dream

Like. Woah. 

People like you out here give me hope. You are my PEOPLE and having you as my community means more than any job ever could. But I realize, “wait…we are going through all this together.” That gives me some solace. And I hope it does for you as well. But, if it doesn’t, that’s ok.

You still feel alone? Well, okay then.

Either way, I’m here. I’m sitting with you. Listening to you. Praying for and with you. Because I love you and care about you and I’m determined that if I can stay in this crazy hectic, narcissistic town, so can you. We are here to make a difference, and we will. The world is gonna see a light in us that they never could have dreamed of seeing.

I’ve seen such great talent in you, such God-breathed talent. It’s amazing. I know it’s scary in the execution…but I know that you can do it. Stop laughing – I’m serious. 

 

I know it’s been super rough. Okay, worse than rough…it’s been nails-on-chalkboard, salt-on-wound, wind-struck-inverted-umbrella, boy-living-in-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs, kind of rough.

And that SUCKS.

But pal, it’s gonna get better. I can say that because I’ve seen it get better for me after a super dark time. I really want to talk about God right now, but I know you don’t really wanna hear that. You’re angry at Him. So I’ll let you battle that out. But just know that He’s there when you’re ready. 

And when you are ready to try trusting him again, you’ll have to dig deep down – way down inside of yourself. Like past-a-grave deep. Like past-the-anglerfish-in-the-depths-of-the-sea-in-Finding-nemo deep, like past beat poets and Enya and Miles Davis, kind of deep. Somewhere there in the depths of who you really are – not who the world says you are but who you really are –  somewhere there, you’ll find Him there waiting. You’ll find Him in the light. And once you tap into that light, something’s gonna spark. Something’s gonna change. 

But now I’ve diverged. I suggested that I wasn’t going to talk about God. But, I can’t really help it so deal with it. : P

I know it’s scary. It’s scary to choose hope because that means those hopes, those dreams can be dashed, smashed, smattered and then smeared against the wall of failure for the world to  see.

But try to remember that without these low points, the good stuff wouldn’t seem so great. And the good stuff is GOOD.  I know it’s hard to see right now, but  some day when you’re out of this fog – and you WILL get out of the fog- you’ll feel it crash over you like a wave.

That hope.

That hope that feels like a helium balloon sitting in your chest, lifting you up, up, up.

I have faith that you’ll get there. And until you do, I’ll be sitting here beside you holding your hand, fighting the battle, too.

 

Sincerely,
Your Friend

 

 

 

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