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12:09 pm - Sun 10/31/04
A Life Too Small

A Life Too Small

Sun 10/31/04 (11:10 a.m.)

I give a lot of credit to the conversation I had with Jane, years back--where she idly said, "We're always going to complain about our lives and never do anything about it"--as the spur that got me out here to L.A.

And it's true–that rather light-hearted, off-handed comment hit me hard. I didn't want to be the type of person she was describing (To me, "complaining about your life and never doing anything about it" basically makes you a loser), so I moved out to L.A. essentially to prove Jane wrong.

But of course, that's not the whole story, because no one–at least not this someone–moves halfway across the country based on one idle comment made by a friend.

Obviously, I was primed to go, and just needed someone to "push the button".

And recently, it struck me: One of the things that "primed the pump" was another comment, made by another friend years before the conversation with Jane, that I've been thinking about a lot of late.

Rick Copen, one of my former therapists (who became something of a friend in the years afterwards), told me the reason I was experiencing "chronic low-level depression", was that, in his view, my life was too small for me.

I think it's interesting that the huge compliment inherent in that statement–that I was meant for a "bigger" life than the one I was leading–still wasn't enough to really get me moving, but the perceived insult of Jane's comment had me out of Lansing and here in L.A., wondering what the hell I was doing, by the next year.

But I never forgot that comment–My life was too small for me. A "poor fit", as it were. I was built for bigger things.

Looking over those two comments, what I see is that, in both cases, someone said out loud what I really already knew.

I was living a life that was "too small for me". I was "complaining about my life without doing anything about it".

And as I go forward, I think I need to keep those things in mind, and not settle anymore for a life that's "too small for me". And if I feel unhappy about my life, if my heart aches for something more, then I can't just sit on my hands and hope for divine intervention–I have to do something about it.

I don't want to be the guy whose life started out badly, and could never quite manage to "get out from under".

I don't want to be a loser, a whiner, one of the people who "always complain about their lives and never do anything about it".

I don't want this small life I've allowed myself up till now. I want a life that befits my intelligence, my talent, my heart.

I don't want this life that "just anyone" could lead.

I want my life.


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