Sunday, July 15, 2012

life sucks and then you get off your ass

So ever since Nora Ephron, one of my major heroes, died two weeks ago, I've been in a bit of a funk. Ok, a major depression. I can't wrap my brain around the fact that she is gone because, let's face it, I was always planning on working with her one day. And now she just ups and dies on me. Leaving me to mourn and watch Heartburn while nursing my own broken heart that a hero died and cry and whine that Nora is gone and I never even had the opportunity to work with her, even as her manicurist. Even to take out her trash. Or walk her dog. I don't even think she had a dog. You get the picture.

How delusional am I? I mean, I am "home", though displaced once again when a 20-ton red oak capsized my family's house during the storm 2 weeks ago splitting it in two, sick, 28 going on 55, away from my boyfriend-turned-recent-fiancé, away from my city and my measly part time pie shop joke of a job and I'm dreaming of working with one of the greatest screenwriters and directors of our time. And if that's not crazy enough, I'm mad at her for having the audacity to up and die on me because I couldn't get off my lazy kiester to move to New York when I felt the push (4 years ago...yea, I know). Life sucks and then you die? Or life sucks and then you get off your ass?

Put it this way: before Nora died, I was pretty smug. I had forever. Biding my time until the great "one day". The good 'ol "someday" scenarios....someday I'll move to New York. Someday the screenplay that I haven't yet written will get published. Someday I'll visit Paris. Someday I'll get married, after I get over my parent's shitty divorce (24 years ago), someday I'll audition for something, to prove to myself I can go for my dreams and stop fantasizing. Someday.

But when one of your idols suddenly dies and you were never bold enough to meet her, something changes. You snap. You are crushed. Crestfallen. But pissed off too. And if you didn't vow to quit drinking for the sake of your health and mood disorders and addictive personality, you'd get sloshed.

Though I obsessively devoured every piece and tribute and blog post written in homage to seemingly every young, right-brained, creative woman's hero, it isn't about Nora anymore. It's not about her groundbreaking career, her colorful New York life and the onscreen lives she subsequently created, her larger than life persona, her perfect 6 word autobiography I've somehow already chosen to adopt as my own mantra (secret to life: marry an Italian), her prolific last works in the face of an autoimmune disease (2 memoirs, a screenplay, a film, a biopic, a play set for the stage). It's about a missed opportunity. An unlived-to-the-fullest life. A wasted 5 years. It isn't about Nora's fulfilled life anymore. It's about mine. Nora's death is the catalyst to my life.

Which leads me to NOW. And my usual tendency to put off for tomorrow what God plops into my lap today. Namely- the next month. The next month is significant. And it starts with right now. This moment. What am I not doing that I could be doing, to guarantee the future I dream of when I close my eyes?

My boyfriend always asks, "What's the next step? Well, babe, what's the next step?" Usually I don't have an answer, so I pitch a hissy fit like a two year old until I can be adult enough to own up or make one up. But right now I have no clue what the next step is. Ok, I want to write. I want to write in New York. I have an autoimmune disease-- SO WHAT? Didn't stop Nora. In fact, she found out she had acute myeloid leukemia and THEN became more prolific than ever. She didn't bitch, boo-hoo, and complain! She hated whiners. She got sick and had dinner parties and wrote funny odes to the good stuff in life, stuff she'd miss, like pies and baths and she left this world a funnier place in her wake.

Becoming the next Nora Ephron is the most pretentious notion I could ever think to be, but why not give it a shot? What is there to lose?

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