by Bri Castellini
I’m tired, y’all. Absolutely wiped. This blog was gonna be about something else but then I sat down to write and damn near fell asleep in this Starbucks.
I have agreed to too many film projects, I am working a job where I have more responsibility than ever before in increasingly terrifying areas I feel wholly unqualified for, I am attempting to be a person with interests and plans outside of work, and I am tired.
I get home, and I’m tired. I wake up, and I’m tired. I ride the subway and I’m tired. I go out for drinks with a friend and I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m tired.
Acknowledged but ignored depression symptoms aside, every day I feel like I’m failing someone, because somehow I found myself in positions I never planned on being hired for and they all need me at once. Sometimes I see an email in my inbox or a Facebook message and I am just crushed by the weight of anxiety and exhaustion and I tell myself- tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be able to handle it. Then tomorrow comes and I can’t, but I do anyways (usually) because I’ve promised. I need this. It is a part of the hustle to be in all places at once with at least ten irons in the fire and even if nine of the irons are things you don’t ultimately want to be doing, they are adjacent to what you want to be doing and so you do them in the hopes that they’ll open a door to something more down the road.
Which is the most exhausting part of the hustle- there is no guarantee that any single thing will turn into what you need it to, so you can’t prioritize because each thing, even small things, could potentially be The Thing. The Thing that takes you to the next step, where there’s a whole bunch of other new things that you won’t be able to prioritize because you’re not going up stairs, you’re rock climbing in the dark up a rock wall that’s constantly being rebuilt.
And I am tired. I make a to do list for the week ahead and I feel preemptively exhausted. The hustle must go on, but only if it doesn’t make a husk out of me, because husks can’t be creative and do all the things they dreamed of when they were in school to learn how to write better stories and build better worlds.
Sometimes it’s exhilarating, to have a networking event one night, drinks with friends you want to work with another, three emails in your inbox asking for advice or for you to come on board a new project, a day on set next weekend and a pre-production spreadsheet for another project ripe in your Google Drive. So many cool things happening that I get to be involved with! That my name is attached to and that I’m proud of!
But mostly it is exhausting because sometimes I just want to listen to a podcast and enter data into a spreadsheet, or be told to make X number of calls to people off a pre-made list, or reorganize a storage closet, or file library books back into their shelves from a stack on a cart. Sometimes I don’t want to be in charge of making all the decisions or coordinating all the little pieces- sometimes I just want to be a piece who’s told her basic, banal instructions and can get to work. Sometimes I just don’t want to be in charge.
I started playing D&D a few months ago, and anytime I talk about this with people who know me even a little bit, they ask without fail if I’m the DM (dungeon master, or the person who creates the world and leads the other players through adventure). I’m not, and even as I get more confident as a player, I don’t think I want to be. I understand why people make the assumption I’m either the current DM or the next one on deck, because I’m a psychotic control freak, but I cannot tell you how much of a relief it is to be able to show up to someone else’s home with a case of beer and some sour gummy worms and all I had to do to prepare was throw two sheets of paper and a small bag of dice into my purse before I left. Better yet, I trust that when I show up to my DM’s home, I will have to do nothing but enjoy myself and roleplay as a chaotic neutral germaphobic hafling with a budding drug kingpin career and a problem with authority who names every creature she summons from her Gray Bag of Tricks after herself.
I don’t mean to sound ungrateful for the opportunities I’ve been given or for the innumerable wonderful projects I have been asked to be a part of. It is an honor and an insane privilege to spend my weekends on film sets and in meetings with other creative people to make new worlds come to life. But sometimes, like today and the past three months, I am tired. That doesn’t take away from the honor and privilege, but it does add a fog that makes it real hard to feel useful or happy.
There isn’t really a solution to this problem, because for now it makes the most sense for me to continue doing all the things and most days I’m happy to be doing them, but my god, the hustle can get so hard to keep up when you’re three years in and you still aren’t verified on Twitter and every day you’re more tired and still broke with no clear way to move to the next stage.
Sam And Pat Are Depressed season 2, coming soon to a screen near you. #ad
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Liaison at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch Bri’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on her seriously cool blog.