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On Adventure!

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus the last few months,  primarily due to some technical difficulties with my site as well as some of life’s little shakeups (hello layoff!) But now I am back in black! I’ve made a few tweaks to the design of my site and hope to continue to improve its look as it evolves. After six and a half years at Sony, I was given the hook. Same as the last time it happened (2008 at Paramount) I was collateral damage of a “restructuring” within the group I was working in. At least now there isn’t a whole economic meltdown occurring throughout the nation that I have to contend with! I’m looking for the silver lining here…get it!? I had felt the need to move on for the last couple years so I chalk this up to being a God shot of sorts….or the push I needed to move onto bigger things. I really have no complaints, as I was very fortunate to have had an amazing boss who truly cared about me and invested in my growth.  It made me realize that I have had several wonderful mentors throughout my life. Not many people are as fortunate as I have been. I am forever thankful to Bob Billeci, a true stand-up guy.
During the time that I have been fun-employed, I have been doing quite a bit of reading, as I plan the next chapter of my life. Tim Ferriss’ “The Four Hour Work Week” is one book that I finally got around to reading after a friend recommended it a couple years back. Also, Sebastian Junger, who many of you may know as the author of “The Perfect Storm” (which was made into the movie of the same name), has a new book “Tribe” out that is a fascinating read about soldiers returning from combat. The book becomes much more of a greater exploration of humans and our need to belong to groups. Like many of his books, its part adventure novel and part anthropological study. A college buddy made me aware that Ferriss has a podcast and actually interviewed Junger about his book and I’d encourage everyone to check it out (it’s on YouTube). Two very interesting guys and a very great interview. Junger is interesting to me as he is a sort of modern day Hemingway. Definitely an adventurer type who loves to write in a lean, no BS style that I find people will either love or not care for at all (I love it). In his podcast with Ferriss, Junger talks about his own journey as a writer and the accident that lead him to writing “The Perfect Storm”. I’ve always considered myself a writer (however frustrated or blocked I may have been) and hearing his podcast has given me a kick in the ass (so to speak) to step up my own writing game that I have slowly been getting back into over the last year and a half. Not sure I should join the troops on a tour in Afghanistan a la Junger, but definitely exploring new horizons.

Several friends have noted that when I was told that I was getting laid off I didn’t seem particularly worried or traumatized. Over the last few years I have been doing a lot of self-work…..trying to rid myself of bad habits (procrastination, tardiness) that have held me back or alienated me from others whom I care about. As a result, some have commented that I seem a lot less scattered.  I myself have noticed that I have a lot less fear. Perhaps that is most evident in how I am handling this layoff. Fear once ruled my life completely, whether I was conscious of it or not. Change was devastating to me. Strangely enough, I now welcome it. If there is an adventure on the horizon, I cannot wait to see what it is.

Male Menopause and the Circle of Life

I’ve been going through a mid-life crisis for roughly….oh I’d say 8 years now. It started when I got laid off from my dream job at Paramount during the recession at the end of 2008. Well, I thought it was my dream job, but it probably wasn’t the best fit for me actually. Funny how the things you think will make you happy/complete don’t necessarily do so. Anyways, I was lucky to get a job at Sony in 2009 and have been working for a great boss ever since. It’s been a stable place to be during the crazy years of the recession and my boss is totally supportive of me. I originally moved to LA in order to write for tv and film. I never followed through completely with that for a myriad of reasons (lack of focus, trying to earn a living here, easily distracted, etc.). I’ve started a dozen screenplays but finished none. This lead me to believe that screenwriting probably was not the type of writing I should be doing. I’ve been trying to get back into writing over the last year and regain my focus and true purpose. So I’ve been writing for some blogs, started this blog of my own, started working on some short stories and taken some writing classes. Like most people who have lived for quite a while in LA, a city which I both love and detest, I’ve been thinking of relocating. Again, there’s a myriad of reasons for that (cost of living, huge size, difficulty in having relationships/dating, just seeking change, etc.) I keep struggling with the idea of going back for an MFA in Creative Writing. Not that i need an MFA in order to be a writer per se. There’s even lots of debate as to whether they are any good at all. Unless you want to teach at the university level, in which case an MFA degree is basically a pre-requisite. Having a Masters is always something I said I’d obtain, so I feel I should pursue that goal once again. Also, like any graduate program, it gets you into a network of peers and also (in this case) could possibly lead to a publishing deal and/or teaching opportunity. Perhaps it’s just my restless nature that seeks change every few years. I was hoping I’d have outgrown that by now. Perhaps it will forever be part of my personality. I do feel the pull South, as it is a part of the country I have visited and truly like the people that inhabit it. Also, I have family in the South (Savannah and Charleston, y’all!) and will likely have more siblings retiring there and feel the need to be closer to them all. Funny how I was once so eager to separate myself from my family to form my own identity and now, with age, feel the pull towards them once again. Maybe I am coming full circle in many ways.