My sitcom aficionado and dear friend told me how every good sitcom starts with a catalyst – a defining moment of catastrophe, hilarity, or disaster.
My extensive research (aka watching obscene amounts of TV) has confirmed her hypothesis, showing that most good sitcoms start with a dramatic ending – a debutante suddenly impoverished by her father’s criminal ponzi scheme must make a life for herself as a waitress at a greasy spoon restaurant, (2 Broke Girls); a lesbian ex-wife moving out and starting a new relationship (Friends); a dorkily endearing girl who finds her long-term boyfriend cheating, so moves into a loft with three eccentric guys (New Girl); or a 20-something New Yorker who is forced to grow up and get a real job when her parents cut her off (Girls).
So, I guess I am breaking all the rules. Not starting from the very beginning (sorry Julie Andrews). I am not standing in the rain in a wedding dress, and I even missed the spring equinox, which might have provided some level of poetic rationale for the start of this blogging adventure.
I am solidly in the middle, stuck exactly between a beginning and an end.
It might be ok to start in the middle, though, because that is where the humanity is. The thing that keeps me hooked on the (mis)adventures of TV protagonists is not the universality of the catalytic event, but the humanity of the constant struggle to get unstuck. To move on from a challenge and to figure out what it means to grow, to change, and to stay the same. Even thought I might not be standing in the rain in a wedding dress, I can see myself reflected in these tiny steps and the messy failures that move the characters from where they stand to a different place.
I have always thought that CHANGE was the pain-maker. That change was the brutal and necessary force that demanded adaptation and painful growth, however, I have come to understand a far more difficult state, one of STAGNATION and IMMOBILIZATION.
It’s like being in 3rd grade playing freeze tag. I am frozen in place, while all the rest of the kids run shrieking around. I can see and hear all the fun the other kids are having, but I can’t move until someone unfreezes me. So I wait as everything whirls around me, watching things fall into place and for others to find their path. I wait, unmoving, for someone to decree that I have done enough to be a “master” of something, for someone to decide I am employable enough to agree to pay me on an ongoing basis, or for something to shift in my relationship to allow for new, terrifying, and beautiful possibilities.
I can see it all ahead, like peering off a precipice and knowing that any minute now, it is all could change. But until I get unfrozen, I remain, stuck in this space on the brink of a new reality with my feet bolted to the ground. Both powerless to move forward and unable to stand still.
So I am starting in the middle, waiting to unfreeze, excited and terrified for the messy, terrible, lovely adventure of becoming me.
Tiny lovely observations:
A few points from outside the mean of daily life; a sparkle that darts out of the standard deviation and dares to make life a tiny bit more beautiful.
“And the day came that the risk to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom”