At various points in life I thought I wanted to be a writer, a journalist, an actor, a film director, a history professor, and an archivist. I think I spent like two weeks (hours?) thinking I’d want to be a computer engineer like my Dad when I was in the single digits age range, but maybe this is just hazy memory and I’m filling in the blanks with something that sounds nice.
In various unofficial capacities I’ve done a little bit of everything on that list (aside from computer engineering). If you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen in some form. It may not pay your rent, it may not be the ideal dream situation you thought up in the first place, but if you’re so into a particular thing you will make it work in some fashion.
Lately my biggest pet peeve is people talking about what they “really want” and how the world is keeping them from doing what they’re really into. I try to think up exceptions to this. Like, say your dream is to be a skydiving champ, but you can’t afford to go skydiving on a regular basis. But the more I think about it, the more I feel like a person who wants it bad enough will figure out how to earn and save up the money to do it. It’s all about owning the choices we make and deciding what we’ll sacrifice for the things that really matter to us.
It’s hard to admit this to yourself and the people around you. It sounds nice to have ambiguous creative goals or lofty career aspirations. And sometimes it’s hard to figure out what it is that you actually want. I mean, I don’t think we always know what we’re willing to jump out of a plane for, and that’s where the hang ups are – suspended in mid air, awaiting some kind of landing.
I’m in the process of reevaulating stuff. As I get older a lot of my earlier wants are still hanging around, but a few other to-dos jumped on the list that are jostling for higher ranking on my life list. I don’t yet know which goal is going to come out on top and serve as my parachute to keep me from splatting on to the earth at a zillion miles an hour. It’s kinda scary and kind of liberating, but mostly I’m trying to take it as motivation to flex some muscles that’ve been sitting on the back burner.
Watching Workaholics is incredibly motivating. This might seem like an odd statement for a show with a lot of juvenile humor. AV Club summed up the jist of the show with: “Workaholics is…about the extended adolescence of post-college life, where an unchallenging first job and the proximity of close friends ease the transition into the real world.” And in the interview one of the creators really nailed it by saying they “try to be smart in the dumbest way possible.”
The first half of season one isn’t all that great, but it really hits its stride by the end of that first season. Hilarious. Originally I was gonna write about how much I relate to this show, even though their biggest demographic is teenage/young adult boys and I’m a closing in on 30-years-old female. I’ve got a soft spot for any show that privileges buddy relationships over other relationships, they make references to pop culture I grew up with, my first years in LA centered around hanging out at my dude friends’ apartment, I’ve worked an office job just to pay rent, and growing up as a kid in the Bay Area I used to film skits with my friends.
That last point is the motivational point. The creators of the show spent a couple years making their own videos as Mail Order Comedy before Comedy Central saw their work and funded Workaholics (and even before that they were the kids in school who wrote and filmed their own material for nothing more than their own gratification). That shit takes motivation, perserverance, and work. So even though this is a goofy show with a bunch of teenage boy jokes, the guys behind it are hard workers who figured out what they wanted to do and kept at it until something stuck.
Now, not every hard worker is going to see their goal realized with a Comedy Central show (and that’s definitely not my personal goal), but it’s admirable and sorta warm fuzzies to see a group’s determination and work pay off. The characters they play on the show are ridiculous people, but what Mail Order Comedy achieved professionally is basically a stellar example of “if you want it bad enough you’ll make it work somehow.” Talk all you want about what you think you want to do, but if you’re not actually doing it or actively sacrificing for it, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what you think you want.
And nobody’s want is any better than anyone else’s want. It’s hard to not let outside judgement cloud your goals – I am swatting away doubt flies all day, erry day. If your want is to write skits centered around dick jokes and share them with an audience, that is awesome, because you figured out what you want. Now, time for me to figure out what my dick jokes are. I’ve been watching way too much Workaholics (and like a dozen other shows) and not working on my own Workaholics-esque goals.
(I also thought about writing how I intitially dismissed Workaholics and how this show is a great example of why you should never say you don’t like something until you give it a real try. Man, serious life themes from a very unserious show! My favorite kind of stuff. (And also why I sometimes still think about heading back to the ivory tower, land of making everything have meaning and piling on the bullshit. Apparently I am just a crap fan all the way around. (Like how that Sorceress character I wrote as part of an online RPG in junior/high school lived in a tower and now I think about working at a metaphorical tower and maybe life and art have some weird parallels. (Okay, too many tangents.))))