Dear TV People,
I know, calling up and saying “Hey, I’ll do anything” is a little cliché. You don’t know me, you haven’t seen my resume or heard me crack hilarious yet topical jokes. I’m just another voice on the end of the phone who doesn’t know what they are doing and wants it to be the day that you say “Yes, yes of course, come on in we’ll show you how it’s done.” I know gumption isn’t a quality that you can list on your resume. If only 15 year old me had known that she would one day want to be writing the gags for Jon Stewart or filling in for Rachel Maddow she would have joined the school newspaper. Teenage me would have gotten one of those radio shows that nobody listens to in college and spent time making topical videos with her friends that would one day grace YouTube (once it was big, of course). Had I known that I needed to plan for my future 10 years before I got there, I would have put some time into collecting those adorable additions to my resume that scream “I’ve been waiting my whole life to make you coffee and sit on the sidelines waiting for my big break.”
Instead, I’ve bounced around collecting a rag-tag list of work experience that is too long and unimpressive for a 23 year-old’s resume. I’ve tried different things that have qualified me to be a glorified administrative assistant at best. I’m not hating on the admins, lord knows they keep the office going, but I don’t want to spend my life organizing other people.
Actually, that’s not true. I want to organize people in the hundreds of thousands. I want to get people up out of their chairs either crying with laughter or with rage. I want to be that catalyst that gets some young women asking “Wait a minute, why are old white men trying to tell me if and where I can get access to birth control and abortion!” I want to get citizens to start acting like ones, to start saying “No” to tyranny and speak truth to power. And yet, with all this rage and soul and heart I find myself cowed by the very word I want to hear others speak, “No.” And so, discouraged and confused by closed doors and a world with a set idea of where I belong, I consider living a smaller life. I wonder whether it is worth spending the next 60 years fighting, or accept my little lot in life and turn it to a smaller but significant good. Is it ego that drives me, or hearing “No” and refusing to believe it applies to me.