It’s funny, because the older I get, the more I think I might be starting to understand people a little more. Everyone has friends and family they think are strong and have everything together, but as time goes on, I kind of see that they need me as much as I need them. I think maybe everyone is strong in a different way.
For a while, probably 10 or so years, I’ve been beating myself up for not being tough enough to work manual labor, not being tough like my Dad (who has worked for the last 31 years at a chemical plant in Louisiana) Well, the past 3 weeks I was in New Orleans helping a friend and his pregnant wife renovate their home. I wanted to help them to benefit them, but part of me wanted to prove something to myself.
Now that it’s done, I’m not going to sit here and tell you I could build a house on my own, but I can hold my own.
And I am not my Dad. I am sure he is a million times tougher than me. I respect so much. But I think I’m tough in a different way. Since I got back, I started auditioning for acting roles. And I’ve taken the stance that I don’t care how shitty or upsetting they are, I am going to keep going back like a robot. Just show up. I’m not saying other people couldn’t do that. But I will say that most people have a job that they know they can do. They don’t show up every day for work wondering if a prospective boss is going to say “You aren’t really good at this” or “You’re not the bank teller we’re looking for.”
But I will tell you this. My 3 weeks in New Orleans painting, putting down wood floors, putting in “clawset” (as they say in New’Awlins) shelves and doors, and drinking beers gave me a certain toughness. I might not be a complete badass. But I will not give up. I will stay in the fight. I will wake up every day and say, “World, what do you have for me today? I’m here!”
“Have you ever seen a one-trick pony?”