Camping out at my parents house started to get a wee bit routine after 3 months, so I decided I needed a vacation from my vacation and dug up a couple of weeks of work back in Los Angeles working on a wedding themed weight loss reality show. Several years ago, before my stint as a burned-out personal assistant, I logged quite a bit of time doing production management for reality tv series and concert specials. Then of course, I became burned out on that too and sought glory in the world of a full-time phone answerer, schedule-keeper and professional yes-person. The burnout from that is what brings us up to my current 6 month vacay already in progress.
I’ve missed some things about the world of freelance tv production in the 5 years I’ve been away from it. I missed working crazy hours with other crazy people who you end up bonding with, sharing crash rooms with, and feeling like best friends with after 2 weeks. I missed seeing beautiful, creative sets come amazingly to life in a previously barren soundstage. I missed solving people’s problems. I missed kvetching about the ridiculous actions of the one idiot who inevitably makes it onto every single tv crew….(every single place where people work, for that matter). And my number one, all-time faaaaavorite thing about working freelance tv production is: knowing that no matter how bad it gets, this job has an end, and that end is always in sight!
My wedding show gig ended after two short, but very full weeks. I got to work with some great people and spend some time in a gorgeous part of LA I had never experienced before – Rancho Palos Verdes. If you must work back to back 20 hour days, that is the place you should do it.
Not yet ready to head back into the snow, I extended my trip for a week longer just to kick around LA. I visited my old house. It is still filled with great people, and still very messy, and for a night or two the “original four” housemates of my 8-year tenure there were reunited under that roof as the roommate who moved out before me was in town visiting as well. I felt kind of jealous not to be living there – it felt like the whole family was together except me, and it mattered little that I was absent.
Growth isn’t always comfortable, I suppose. I felt a little envious of lots of people on this trip. People making plans for their futures in LA: Having babies, lining up jobs, buying tickets to shows, signing up for exercise classes, talking about restaurants they want to try. I feel a touch of sadness that I can’t take part in these things, even though I’ve got some interesting things of my own to do. I feel strangely futureless. My future doesn’t begin until May, and it is a one year, temporary block beyond which, nothing is planned. Will I stay there after this year? Will I come back to LA? Will I go somewhere else? Will I finally have figured out my life’s calling by the end of my contract? Who knows. For the last week and a half, I’ve kicked around on couches, getting old friends to take me out for lunches and dinners, and have done hiking, beach walking, food-trucking, and museum-going.
Now I’ve finally come to the end of my LA visit, and I can’t come up with any more reasons to extend my trip. I’m making some vague efforts to dig up a little more work, but I’ve already more or less spent half the money I made while I was here. Living in LA (or rather, living anywhere other than your parents house), gets expensive. I don’t want to leave, but I’m tiring of feeling like a homeless drifter. I haven’t worn out my welcome, but I have gotten it fully broken-in and soft by this time. Sigh. Time to go back to the wilderness and be productive.