I’m pretty much a realist. Sure I dream big. Yes I’m optimistic. And lately I have been called a hopeless romantic by some women. I’ll embrace all those labels at this stage in my life. That’s cool yo. But for the most part I like to think I’m a realist. I don’t think about “What if?” situations. I don’t think they are healthy or helpful at all. Most “What if?” situations usually involve a life decision, a relationship, a career choice or something that life threw at you and you hoped would’ve worked out some other way that benefits you. Those are the “What if?” scenarios that we all have I think. As a writer I often find my mind going in a thousand different places at about 100 miles per hour. My mind doesn’t turn off. I have to rail it in and focus on the important stuff to make sure I stay the course and don’t do anything irrational or pointless. I’m pretty logical and disciplined like that. However, I recently found myself thinking about one hell of a “What if?” situation and I just let my mind run with it.
About 4 years ago I went out to Los Angeles to pitch some of my movie scripts. I had done that twice before this trip. This time was different. I was determined that this time I wasn’t going to just make a run at Hollywood, I was going to make a run at Los Angeles. A full time, permanent run. I was going to move to LA. Yep. I set up more than just pitch meetings with agents, studios and production companies this time. I also set up appointments with realtors and job placement agencies. I had talked to friends out there about where to live, cost of living, jobs, apartments, cars, neighborhoods, contacts, networking…the whole shabang! When I got out there I rented a car and spent a week trying to figure out how to transplant my Boston ass into an LA way of life. There were a lot of logistics to think about but I could have had made it work somehow. But I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I loved Boston too much. I loved my friends and family too much. I loved my life the way it was too much. So I convinced myself to stay the course and go to LA when I had to. When I had an opportunity to possibly flip a script. So I came home to Boston and went on living my life. Lately I have been on this great run. Everything has been pretty good for ol’ T the last 6 months or so. But a few things like my mother’s health, another relationship with a woman ending and the fact that I have yet to sell a script to Hollywood all the way from Boston made me think “What if?” What if I moved out to LA 4 years ago? Would I be a professional screenwriter right now? Would I have made enough money to buy my mother a house and take care of her? Would all of my nieces & nephews have their college tuitions all set? Would I have been in a serious relationship? Married?? With children??? Would I be happier than I am right now? Whoa! Heavy I know, but what if? Then I pulled back and took the unselfish approach. Maybe I would be better off, but what about everyone else in my life? If I had left would things be the way they are now? Would things be worse for them? For me? I don’t know. I just knew that I couldn’t let myself think that way anymore. So I ended the “What if?” fantasy.
Part of me still likes to believe there is an alternate universe running parallel to this universe right now. Where that T is actually living that successful LA life. That’s the writer in me thinking like that. The optimist is thinking like that. The hopeless romantic is thinking like that. The real T is right here doing what he is meant to do. Living his life and still rocking shit like only he can! Bringing awesomeness to the world one T moment at a time. “What if?” scenarios are a fun escape from reality from time to time, but don’t ever forget what your actual reality really is. You only get one shot at this thing people. Make it count. Make it real. You can’t live the “What if?” but you sure as hell can live the right now.
Until next time. Always take it there.