Lucky Ducks

There’s a joke my mother likes to tell. Two women who went to school together as girls are reunited, and the first woman talks about how wonderful her life has been. She went to college, met a great guy, made lots of money, and traveled the world. The second woman responds to each milestone with a “Well, isn’t that nice!” When asked what she’s been up to, the second woman answers that she went to charm school. When the first woman asks her what she learned there, she responds “I learned to say ‘Well, isn’t that nice!’ instead of ‘Fuck you!'”

What I mean to say is, fortune seems to smile on some people. I’m one of those brain-dead consumer-types who eagerly devours lifestyle blogs and Youtube vlogs featuring the everyday doings of people I’ll never meet in person. I tell myself that my fascination comes from my identity as a storyteller. I like watching others’ stories unfold. And they really can be fascinating. Yes, watching Jenna Marbles roll around with her dogs and go to Target is fascinating. Fight me.

Point is, we all have a sort of idealized life. We all envy those who have apparently achieved it. I was the kind of kid who couldn’t bring herself to say “yes” when someone asked her if she wanted a soda for fear of seeming rude. Now that I’ve gotten my various neuroses mostly under control, I find myself facing a new set of hurdles.

In May, I’ll be 30 years old. And I’m only just acknowledging my idealized life. I’d like to be a content creator. Or rather, I’d like to support myself as a content creator. Anyone can make stuff. I make stuff. I’m making this blog post right now. I play a role in making the Alexandria Archives podcast. I make fiction, I make pictures, I make stupid tweets that only my closest friends understand well enough to laugh at. But with bills and a career I’m only just finding myself entrenched in, it’s a little late to play the starving artist card.

So that’s where I stand. I feel envious of those people who doggedly pursued their dreams for years and are finally making headway, because I feel so far behind. I don’t know where to start. Except I have started, sort of, haven’t I? And that’s something.

Maybe someday I’ll be able to make a living doing what I love. Maybe it’ll forever remain a hobby. But I certainly don’t intend to stop, not now. It’s definitely too late for that. So I plan to plod along, saying “Isn’t that nice?” and (mostly) meaning it. I’m going to envy the lucky ducks, then I’m going to bust my ass to catch up. Because I make shit. It’s what I do. And that makes me lucky enough.

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