With determined tired eyes, I swiped the alarm on my iPhone to 7am. Enough time to do my morning workout, take a shower, and make my way into my part-time home for the next few months. In the morning, the synthetic gentle sounds of Forest Bliss moved my eyes to open but the very real and warm weight of the 65 lb dog on my leg moved them right back to the closed position.
So I woke up at 8:30. Fuck me. Day 1 into the new year and already having to compromise because of my lack of will power (fyi despite common belief, first day of all “New Year New Me” resolutions start the Monday that follows). Will I ever grow up? I get dressed. I eat oatmeal and fruit. Fresh fruit. I can check breakfast off the healthy day list! Off I go.
Out the door. Down the subway. I am starting my first day as an intern at Gotham Writers. How exciting! An office! Like an adult! Working on a computer! Like an adult! And I’ll have bosses…like an adult. I’m Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada! I’m so excited thinking about how I’m going to be part of the hustling bustling mass of city commuters that I drop my metro card on the subway platform. I bend over to pick it up but there’s bit of an issue. My belly is in the way. So I widen my stance. But I’m not confident enough to bend over so far without falling so I lean my butt to one side and sort of twist my body to once side so my arm is long enough to reach the card hoping my nails don’t touch the actual ground. And thats when it hit me.
I am NOT Anne Hathaway in TDWP. I’m Robert fucking DiNiro in The Intern. I’m not young and starrey-eyed. I’m old. And I’m pregnant. I’m 10 years into this city so my “you’re new, dick around and you’ll figure it out” card expired a long time ago. And I did! I went through the drudges in my field of acting and did the internships and free gigs, and the whatever it takes to get ahead hold your nose and just do it gigs. I’m established. So why am I doing this again and now?
Because I can’t sit still. I need to be productive. Inevitably, the acting gigs were going to be put on a little bit of a hold due to a growing waistline and a limitation on my ability to travel or work after a certain time. What better time than now to pursue the other thing that I never have time to do and never trained to do, write! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done short works here and there and have about 1,000 google docs with unfinished brilliant scripts “that I will get back to when I have the time.” But now I can actually pursue and learn the craft of writing. I have the time to surround myself with writing peers and bounce ideas of what and how to scribe out genius works. For a second, I imagine myself surrounded with a bunch of other writer-artists, wearing black, talking about the bourgeoisie. And thats when it hit me.
I’m going to be surrounded by a bunch of other young writers who have been…writing. Who know how to write. Unlike me. I’m a total amateur. I didn’t study writing in college, my classes were Improv Movement and Jazz Tap. How am I going to level up with these intelligent people and aspiring-but-still-more-experienced-than-me writers??? What do I know about writing, I took JAZZ TAP for fucks sake. I’m terrified. I am going to make so many mistakes that I’m laughed out of the room. Whatever I do I will inevitably mess up on. Whatever I write is going to be put to the test and laughed at because of my lack of (fill in the blank). But there is nothing I can do so I arrive at 555 and take the elevator up.
The first people to greet me are two girls, one 9 and the other 6. OH MY GOD IT’S WORSE THAN I THOUGHT, THEY’RE GENIUS BABY INTERNS AND I REALLY AM SO OLD! But their questions to me is, What do I want to eat? They point to a sign on the glass window of a back office where the word restaurant is posted on a pink square construction paper. I can have anything I want. I ask for a cinnamon rice milk, curried vegetables and chicken, and tiramisu (I mean how many times am I going to be in a restaurant that offers anything I want)! The 6 year old looks at me quizzically. She has never heard of this dish in her life. And while there is no admission there is a glean of bother. “Um, we may be out of that. Is there anything else you’d like?” And I offer an alternative of Key Lime pie. When she came back, I was given three colored post-its with drawings on them. One with my rice milk, one with my entree, and one with Key Lime pie. They were out of the “other stuff.” And thats when it hits me.
These girls DO NOT know what they’re doing. They are not proficient at running an established restaurant. They offer anything the customer wants but their culinary knowledge is limited. That didn’t seem to matter though. They were doing it and doing it the best they could. Without care. The other interns (yeah totally younger than me ) didn’t even thought twice about my lack of whatever it is I thought I was lacking. They just jumped in and started working on a project for the site. And then so did I. It felt great! And I remembered why I was here and why I’m doing this. Because I haven’t and I always wanted to. And I’m finding I’m not alone in that, so are a lot of the writers here, including those who have been writing already. Which is very empowering. And great. Hell yes I’m doing this thing that I’ve never done before because I want to and I have time and why not! Knowledge and adventure have no limit and only gain more value over time, right. I mean who says you can’t have your curry and tiramisu? I am.