Make Your Own Mythical Creature

Or: Stop waiting for Tina Fey to make your life magical. Just do something that's kind of normal, yet still awesome instead.

I used to think: "any day now, someone important will recognize my special brand of hilarious brilliance and set me up in a nice writer's room on a hilarious and edgy TV show where I can pick from a plethora of takeout options every day for lunch."

Last time I was in New York, I thought "Probably if I just hang out at Bubby's long enough and  make enough witty asides, Tina Fey will come in, overhear my one-woman act and make a Netflix show just for me."

Important: To Date, Nothing Magical Like That Has Happened.

In my twenties, when I was really hung up on the idea that I would get discovered and just sort of land in some sort of alternate universe where everything is 95 per cent less annoying than usual because my writing job was so awesome, I suffered from an irksome amount of ennui. 

True, Not False: I Am No Longer In My Twenties And Am Kind Of Like An Oldish Figure (particularly in the agency industry, which happens to be the industry in which I work). This Means Ennui Is Not Fashionable Anymore. I'm officially too old for ennui.

So ... here's how I am both trying to fashion a magical creature out of my pretty normal life and fight ennui now that I'm an Oldish Figure:

1. Make lots of numbered lists so you can post your thoughts on LinkedIn and craft a headline that says "Top 10 Ways to Find Your Magical You". (Just kidding.)

2. Say "yes" to new and frightening experiences (provided they are neither illegal nor violent because ... don't be stupid). For example, travel to new places, volunteer for different activities, join your local ToastMasters chapter and terrify yourself into becoming a public speaking master.

3. Write a story about that magical life you imagine even if nobody ever reads it. I've honestly done that. Listen, that 50 Shades lady basically wrote up her magical Twilight scenario and she got super rich so ... there's no harm in writing that stuff down.

4. Ignore all those other numbered lists about finding the best you that say not to get caught up in envy. You're human. You're gonna be freaking envious. That's normal. Last night I had a dream all my sisters entered the same writing contest I did and they all won and I didn't. I woke up pure freaking green with envy. Then I got over it. Now I use envy as the fuel to dare myself to try new things. I don't wallow in it (not much), I just acknowledge the seed of jealousy living somewhere behind my bellybutton and try to figure out what it means. Do I wish I'd created an app/painted a masterpiece/gone to acting school/been published/worked internationally? If so, do I really REALLY wish that and if I do really REALLY wish that, what solid actions can I own that might help ease the envy?

5. Make a vision board. HAHAHAHA just kidding. That won't do anything but help you with your crafting skills. Make an actual list of things you want to attain. (Make them somewhat reasonable, I mean, Be George Clooney's Bestie would be at the top of mine if we were just blue skying things but we are not.) Choose two things you think you can get done within this calendar year that would make you feel good, feel proud and help push you further in the magical direction you think you want to go. For the homebody who dreams of adventure, maybe this is simply getting your passport. For the wannabe TV writer like me, maybe it's writing a spec script and ACTUALLY SENDING IT TO REAL HUMANS rather than storing it on some random Dropbox folder titled "My Writing" where it is sure to get dusty and die and then spend all the time you should be using to pursue your TV writing dream updating your blog that very few people read. (Okay, that second example was totally aimed at me.)

Cheers to a year of magical thinking. (DAMN YOU JOAN DIDION FOR COMING UP WITH ALL THE BEST PHRASES.)