Reset to factory settings

A friend and I were talking over beers at the Farmers Market and he said that I was stuck in my head, thinking too much, and that I needed to reset to factory defaults.  And it’s true. 

I have been trying to find my way out of a writerly funk.  I’m writing, but I find myself not involved in what I’m doing.  The spark, the joy, seems to have sputtered.  Or it’s guttering, anyway.   I have a couple different people in a position of influence who are advising what I “should” be doing.  I’ve usually just gone by my gut.  But six years in LA and little progress have me puttering around without a true North anymore. 

My friend and I were also talking about getting older.  And I don’t mean in a whiny way, or talking about middle age.  I mean realizing that you’re now 22 anymore.  Suddenly you’re 30, and all your passions change.  I remember when I was 16 and I’d drive 40 miles to find the nearest art theater playing whatever obscure movie it was I was festering over.  When I was in my early twenties in Chicago, I would put my life on hold for weeks for the Chicago International Film Festival.  And now I can’t even get it up to go a movie theater a couple of miles from my house to see a movie I thought I’d been looking forward to.   It’s way too easy to judge a lull as a complete lack of interest.  But who knows.  It’s also too easy to look over a number of years, and the different approaches you’ve taken to your life, and to wonder if you’ve lost your way.  

So my friend and I were musing:  Is all this because we’re getting older and no longer care for the adolescent slant of Hollywood?  Or are our passions changing?  Is it movies in general that hold less appeal? 

When I was younger, I remember a certain filmmaker who changed direction in his career right in the middle of a hot streak.  I was floored.  I couldn’t fathom what he was thinking.  He did what he did so well, why change?  In my angsty eagerness to get out to LA, I found it all infuriating and mysterious.  Now, I wonder if that filmmaker was just growing up.  Or maybe his interests had changed.  Sometimes, you’re just not 22 anymore.

I used to say that the educational system had programmed us to adapt to a pattern of four year epochs.  Every four years everything changed.  And then when you’re done with school, all of a sudden everything is one steady push towards whatever goal you have?  I doubt it.  They say your taste buds change completely every seven years.  I'm not sure why we'd be any different. 

So I’m finding myself wondering about it all.   Am I just in need of a second wind, a spark to get things restarted?  Have I just not found the right project and I need to get back in line with my gut?  Or are my “taste buds” changing?

I have no idea. 

Ps.  Right now I’m just going to try and figure out where the hell my reset button is. 


Zelig Skykiller said...

you're not alone, my friend.

i am experiencing the same thing... and i'm trying to dig up that drive, that feeling i had before i became jaded against the very world that had me thinking i could do anything i put my mind to.

but one thing that helps me is to really try to live in the moment. what i thought was important 10 years ago ain't even on my radar these days, and i do find pleasure (and satisfaction) that i'm able to do some things that i love, despite not yet accomplishing my "dreams".

what the fuck are dreams anyway?

i don't have the answers, but i got yer back.

adam ____________________________ said...

I don't even have guesses as of late, let alone answers. Though I do have plenty of pejoratives and expletives.

Thanks. Right back at ya.