Friday, February 27, 2009

Which Is Which?

Still no word.

Today is the last day before "hopefully next week" becomes the week after next. How long before I give up? Move on? I don't know.

Looking around me, I see Tanya, who leaped into a good cause with all her might, got involved in improving not only her daughter's school, but the California education system. She has blogged about feeling in over her head at times, about feeling inadequate to the task before her, about succeeding beyond her original imaginings. She has been sick and tired and plagued by failing electronics. She has not given up.

Tanya spoke on a panel on Motherhood and Social Activism for the ARM Conference on Feminist Motherhood, held during the Mamapalooza Festival in NYC. She wrote a guide to Westside elementary schools. On February 23, Tanya's guidebook was featured in Daily Candy Kids, quite a coup.

Her story buoys me, strengthens my "if you build it, they will come" faith in the work I'm doing.

But then, there's the other side. Always with the damn other side.

Last night Katie called, laughing til she could barely breathe. She'd run across a kid from her junior high on myspace, someone we hadn't heard from or about in several years.

Katie sang in junior high choir with this kid. He had a solo in nearly every concert and seemed to believe the entire choir revolved around him. His voice--kind of falsetto in the middle of changing--was sometimes fairly good, sometimes complete disaster. His parents believed in his talent so much they built a complete recording studio in their basement. After 9th grade, the mother moved to LA with him to "launch his career." He recorded a single that got a fair amount of attention on the internet, much of it hateful.

In 2003, he made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he didn't seem to recognize he was an object of ridicule. Sites sprang up around the internet with names like I Hate XXX dot com. The kid was about 15 years old.

Now he's almost 22. He maintains a website where you can a) see video of the Jimmy Kimmel appearance, b) view dozens of professional images of him, c) buy a t-shirt or coffee mug bearing his logo. He writes about himself in third person: "ringing true to (his) thirst for perfection and knowledge....

He has worked very hard. He has tremendous faith in what he's doing. He's fooling himself.

So, how do you know? How can you tell if you're determined or deluded?

I really, really want an answer, but I'm pretty sure there isn't one.


Lee Blum said...

That is EXACTLY where I am today! The that you have good friends who tell you the truth!
You ask for advice from others and you trust in their opinions too.

And yet...somedays like you...I doubt what everyone says.

turn your worry brain off and trust in the process and the journey :)

Lots of love to you

Michelle O'Neil said...

The Universe says yes to you Jerri. You have nothing to worry about.

Go hug your dad, and then go do something fun, and enjoy this time "before" the big thing unfolds, because after, you will be very busy.


Go Mama said...

Truthfully, the closer we get to doing our thing, the more we feel equal parts determined and delusional.

Hang in're building steam right now before your rocket takes off. Patience. Enjoy the downtime. Looking back from the point of incredible busy-ness, it's always the downtime we crave and wish we had more of.


Thanks for the nod. And btw, you can always take your project to another home, or reinvent it into another medium. Always more options.

Deb Shucka said...

Of course there's an answer. Right now it seems to be, "Wait." Tomorrow (or next week) it will be another answer.

I want you to know how much I love your honesty and your willingness to share your process. I'm spending a fair amount of time shooing away the shame dogs nipping at my heels, and it helps to know it's all part of the process.

I love you.

kario said...

My dear, at first blush, the major difference that strikes me between you and Katie's former classmate is your motivation. Sounds to me as though this other individual is determined to make himself 'famous.' You, on the other hand, are motivated by something else entirely. Not only that, you have some fabulous writer friends (wink, wink) who believe in you utterly.

Love you!