Dead Air

“I feel like I’m dead in the water.” I lamented to a friend. I was venting about my meandering and uninspired life-path and about my sense of having lost momentum in my career aspirations. A week or so ago I crossed the two-year anniversary of being full-time at my current day job and the benchmark had reminded me of all the goals I’d had at the time: that I’d be producing my first feature film, that the job would just tide me over for a few years until I could make the transition to the work I actually wanted to do, that I would be finished with my novel and I’d have representation and I’d be on my way towards my destiny.

Instead, I had what? A day job to pay the bills, a half finished novel, a handful of scripts still miles away from production, a decimated savings account, and a constant sense of restlessness and frustration.

Nothing had changed.

I wish I knew what fate had in mind for me so I could stop fighting against the current.

I reflected on all the false starts and dead-ends I’d encountered. A part of me knows with glandular certainty that it’s all going to work out and success awaits somewhere up ahead. Another part of me is frustrated with all the *seemingly perfect* opportunities that turned out to be disappointments. Why had so many stars aligned and not taken me anywhere?

But it wasn’t like I wasn’t doing anything. I’d turned out scripts. I’d made new friends. I’d submitted to competitions. I’d made an effort to build a network within the social media communities. I was reaching the various goals that I set for myself and keeping a good steady momentum in spite of the lack of payoff. And all the signs pointed to me being on the right track.

I started to think about sailing. My brother-in-law, Steadfast, had been taking sailing lessons for a while and two or three times invited us to go out on a boat with him. Sometimes, when we were sailing with the wind, the air would feel strangely still. The boat would be moving at the same speed as the wind, and without any point of reference, it was impossible to feel or see any movement even though the boat itself was skimming along briskly toward its destination.

I began to wonder whether I was mistaking stillness for confluence: that it didn’t seem like I was making any progress because I was beginning to align myself with the Powers That Be, and I just didn’t have a point of reference to judge my movement against. Was it more important to feel the effort? Or could I tolerate the apparent stillness if it meant getting where I wanted to go without a lot of extra tacking?

I thought maybe I could stand a little stillness. I’d asked for a sign to keep the faith, after all, and I’d gotten one. So maybe I could handle the dead air for just a little while longer.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 10, 2019.

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