Monday, September 22, 2008

The Fear Factor

New York City presses down on you with all the weight and force of the myth and mob that is New York City while the reality of it bites at your heels.

It takes a certain amount of Aggression, Ambition and Drive to succeed here. Ambition has been dormant, afraid to fail amidst everyone else's success. Drive is in neutral, idling calmly as she waits for an open road. And Aggression is aggressing in all the wrong places.

Nearing the end of a 9 year stint in the military, moving forward into the second year of post-undergrad with no grad school in sight, I find myself without the safety net of an institution. All my choices have a heft that was not present before. It is no longer practice decision making in college classes or Drill Sergeants who make the decisions for me.

For the first time, I am working a job that I cannot afford to lose yet I certainly do not want to turn into my career. An actor who waits tables is fine, but a waiter who auditions is not going to satisfy Ambition, my sleeping beast. Of course at this point I am a waitress who doesn't audition which could be why she is too bored to raise an eyelid in my direction these days.

For the first time, the man in my bed is not just present, he is future too. It is not that we both live in the same place so let's see how things go. It is actively choosing to stay in the place where we both are. There is nothing else to keep us here, no careers or family. And so the relationship takes on a level of intensity both because of how we feel for one another and also where we are in our lives. In deciding to bind our paths together we are limiting the directions we may travel but gaining a partner for the road.

Perhaps this sounds negative. I am just becoming aware of how each choice affects the next set of options. As of yet, I am without regret. More than that, I am happy. But this burgeoning comprehension explains my inability to make a choice. To choose a path, to unleash my energy and focus. Whether it is acting or writing or something involving an office and health insurance. Once I choose, what will be crossed off and no longer an option?

And still my beast, she sleeps.

Drive, with no Ambition to spur her on, purrs along the path of least resistance, learning about food and wine in order to succeed as a waiter. This will do for now, till someone presses the gas...

And Aggression. Aggression jostles the morning commuters on the subway. Aggression hates New Yorkers in the morning. Aggression speeds up and cuts through the crowds on the sidewalk. Aggression picks a fight with Boyfriend. Aggression turns on me.

I am frozen with fear. My next move, unmakeable.

Then the summer heat breaks. The breeze whispers into the Village on a Saturday morning as we stroll hand in hand up Broadway and the rock hard shell I have been encased in crumbles around me. The cool air prickles my brittle skin and my pace quickens. We buy vegetables at the Greenmarket and wander from booth to booth talking about nothing of any importance. Eventually we descend into the subway, catch the L home to Brooklyn and curl up with the New York Times.

I stop feeling sorry for myself while my beast...

she stretches catlike and growls.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Are You There Hillary? Its Me, Allison

Are you there Hillary?

It's me, Allison.

I know you're probably angry and I know you're disapointed that I chose another over you.

But since your purpose was really to better this country and not just a personal quest for power, I know you'll let whatever bitter taste is still in your mouth go.

You'll rise up and take this woman by her hair and shake her down to size. You will send this smug attack dog running back to the wild with her tail between her legs.


Because I am scared of this woman who wants to legislate my personal decisions based on her religious beliefs.

I am frightened of this woman who thrust her own child into the harsh media glare to further her political campaign.

Because I have lost respect for a maverick politician who makes choices based on the best way to win the election and not the best way to govern once the election has been won.

So, Hillary...could you fix this please?