I came to Florida to relax. To get a handle on the stress that infests my cognitive processes, chewing through irreplaceable synapses, and gumming up my creativity with its rancid effluvia. I was desperate to shed the excess layers of self-doubt, muddled priorities, and fear of failure that pad my hips and my psyche. I envisioned a fresh start in the Florida sunshine. I would rise each morning and swim laps in the private pool after a light breakfast of good old American calories and creative thinking. My thoughts would lighten as would my belly. If Mark Twain and Oprah Winfrey had a child, this would be that glorious offspring’s dream getaway.
But life is like a box of chocolates. This is true for me in the literal and figurative senses. This trip has not been what I expected. And I have eaten a great deal of chocolate.
While my conscious mind knows that we are officially on break, free to do with our time whatever we wish, my subconscious has not opened that email yet. Or maybe she has, and simply no longer trusts what we tell her. I find myself knocking on her office door, pressing my ear to the frosted glass, looking for any sign of life. Finally, I slip a “wish you were here” postcard under the door and scuff back down the dim hallway to Conscious’s corner office, where chaos reigns.
I hate it here. The incessant arguments over every insignificant thing: what will we wear; does it make us look fat; should we send this email to the producer; have we waited too long to send this email to the producer; are we interested in sex today; does it matter if we are interested in sex today? There is no agenda, no focus, no leader here. No peace. It is a staff meeting without end.
But I have things to do. I have responsibilities and deadlines. I have dreams and goals.
But I have no power. My every thought is judged and rejected as too small, too derivative, too complex, too female, too timely, too antiquated.
But I have made incredible progress. There is an agent at Gersh interested in my work. There is a producer talking with me about my latest script. I had my first bottle of water in a glossy, hushed Beverly Hills office. I HAD MY PARKING VALIDATED IN BRIAN GRAZER’S PARKING GARAGE.
Now I’m halfway through my vacation and I haven’t accomplished any of my goals. I sit by the pretty pool, whose Arctic water repels me, and watch the clouds march overhead like an invading horde. There will be no sun again today. If I’m going to find any warmth, it will have to come from within.
But maybe that’s the point of this trip. What if I give my subconscious the corner office for a while? She hates staff meetings as much as I do. She loves to play and create. She does things. Big things, small things, fun things, hard things. She loves talking to people better and shinier than her. She loves to learn. She probably misses me as much as I miss her.
So I came to Florida to relax, but instead I’m going to do things! Things I’ve never done before. I’m going to send the new script to the agent. I’m going to call the producer I met for coffee and pitch her the new ideas. I’m going to follow up with the other producer on his notes. And I’ll spend more time with my industry contacts in New York and LA.
Oh look…the sun is coming out.