For more than a year there’s been one recurring phrase everyone I know has heard me use: “I’m working.”
In the morning, in the afternoon, typically in the evening and most certainly on the weekends. I’m working. All the time. I’ve been busier than ever, and for someone who found themselves not so busy after college despite a busy resume, I find it comforting despite the occasional annoyance. Namely for one reason: I got bills.
Lots of bills. Student loans bills, mainly. The bane of my existence if there ever was one. However, in recent months I’ve realized this growing amount of work has hurt me in some areas — namely why I came here. I alluded to it a month ago when I took a blogging break to focus on my pilot script. Two drafts down and at least one to go in two weeks, I feel good about it. It’s only too bad I have to come up with something else in a really short amount of time.
Oh yes, I’m busy.
Last Saturday I tallied all that I did last week: 30 blog entries for work (typical), two op-eds for one site, three articles for another, and six blog entries for The Cynical Ones. There’s also an interview for an assignment for VIBE, transcribing that (pure unmitigated evil this task is) and then to chase down a celebrity (or a couple) for that same assignment. And then on Saturday I wanted a leg up on the usual work related stuff so I did nine blog entries in advance.
You know, so I wouldn’t be as busy on the usual stuff I do in order to focus on the pending deadlines.
And yet, I still feel lazy. Still feel unaccomplished. Still feeling like I’m not doing enough in a day. See Aliya S. King’s workload on why I sometimes feel this way.
When I’m not competing on whether I should feel too busy or not productive enough, I’m realizing the things I’m missing out on. Like a life. I get out sometimes – I did have drinks with a friend who needed a pick me up (or maybe I needed one, too) – but not as often as people would like.
Those people include the new folks I’ve met out in LA. More times than not when I’m invited somewhere I tell them, “I’m busy.”
When I do sometimes give in and hang out I always think before, after, and during, “Damn, I could be working.” And I feel guilty. Even with phone calls, I feel guilty.
It’s such a catch 22: I’m grateful for the work pouring in but I wish I could focus on the dream I set out for when I decided to move to Los Angeles. Or you know, learn more about the city I’m living in.
Busy my mind is.
When I do want to go out, or vacation (ha), or party I tend not to always know who to turn to. I tell people sometimes that I feel lonely out here. I’ve met some great people. Some not so great, not as trustworthy, but hey, I know how to be me and deal with the surface. If I want to exceed in the entertainment industry, practice makes perfect.
But here I tell everyone: “Yeah, I’m busy.” Weeks at a time can go by before I see people. There’s always something else to do and once it’s done, I’m too tired or don’t want to be bothered.
Yesterday, I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to interview someone an hour or so later. I won’t say the name, but let’s just say it’s someone I definitely no longer like. The interview was set for a certain time. I waited for an hour. Nothing. Last minute e-mail from a publicist: “Can we change it to this time?”
You already have, haven’t you?
Anyhow, the point is at one point my mother called me. I pressed ignore and then instantly thought about it: She was at the hospital. A relative is sick. It’s more serious than I thought. In short, this person might be dying. I’m not entirely sure when they may go, but they have already started preparing for what they feel is the inevitable. I don’t get to see my family much — especially not extended relatives. I told my mom to call me when they were at the hospital so I could talk to this relative.
I didn’t get the chance to. Because I was working.
I was already annoyed by this publicist, the person they represent and that stank attitude of theirs. After I realized I woke up early for all that and missed an important phone call, I got livid. Pissed the fuck off, to be exact.
I couldn’t focus on it too long, though, because I started working again. I came across this post from Diddy Puff over at Rhymes With Snitch while doing so:
“It (Twitter) gives me the chance to at least have some sort of human interaction. I really don’t have a lot of friends. It’s not like nobody wants to be my friend. I don’t have friends because I work so much, and because I work so much, I’m not a good friend. You need a friend to be there for you.
“But if people want to go out to dinner and hang out with me, I’m like, ‘Dinner? That’s four hours! That’s four hours of time when I could be working!’”
Dear God, I’m starting to sound like Diddy.
Of course, there are some advantages to that. His tax bracket and stature come to mind. Now, in no way do I have a workload like this man. I do long for my dreams of book deals, TV show, a nicer living for me and mine, and some power. But damn, Twitter for friendship? Workaholic? Days ago when I was – working – I wrote about him essentially discussing his troubles sometimes with fatherhood. Namely not being around as much as he’d like. Why? Because he was working.
Goodness. It’s an epidemic. Right now I’m writing this instead of working on something else. My creativity is stifled. My head is exploding. There’s so much to do in a given day and I seem to get distracted far too easy. One day, hopefully soon, I’ll get it together.
But, upon looking at that Puff Puff Diddy quote I have to wonder: Once I do get it together, who’s going to be around me? Maybe I will be able to just buy some people by then.
In two weeks I’ll be with my best friend in New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival. I’m managed to make that about work, too. Well, if I’m going to be down there already, right? Or no? Whatever, this friend is wonderful so she’ll understand.
Speaking of friends, I can’t say that I don’t have any. I do and I still manage to meet people who care about me. Still, I do wonder just how much more I can keep dismissing people or invitations with the phrase, “I’m working.”
I’d love to think about that a little more, but I can’t spend too much thinking about such things. I have to get back to work.