Monday, January 9, 2012
I don't know about you, but going home for the holidays is usually bittersweet for me. Sweet because I get to see and spend time with family members that I only see once a year, and bitter because, well, I have to spend time with family members that I only see once a year.
But this year was especially bitter. A lot has happened in my large family in the past twelve months, and especially to the dozens of cousins that make up my family peer group. First houses have been bought, grad schools have been attended, impending baby arrivals have been announced, world travelers have come home for the first time in years, wedding proposals have been made, etc, etc. And all these are joyous occasions, of course. I'm not disputing that.
What made this year's annual visit such a thorned pill to swallow was that I had a pretty momentous year as well, and no one aknowledged it. No one understood. No one realizes how rare it is for a female my age to work on the shows that I've been on this year. No one recognizes the names of those who've I've had the pleasure to work for; the leaders in their fields and the fact that I got to meet, let alone work for them, have painted my L.A. friends green with envy. None of them know that I do things like work with high voltage and ride condors. They all enjoy listening to music, but none of them know I worked with that band they're enjoying on a music video. And that commercial that's playing on the T.V. in the background? Yeah, I had a hand in that as well.
But none of them know that. None of them asked what this year was like for me. I was lost among the shuffle. I was pushed aside as relatives scrambled to get closer to those with the more relatable news of upcoming weddings and stories from abroad.
And it's not that I was jealous of all the attention the others were getting. I'll be the first to admit that their news is understandably bigger than mine. But a handful of family gatherings later, everyone was still gushing over the same people they were a few weeks ago as I sit idly by with a cup of cider in my hand. And to top it all off, most of the conversations I did manage to have with Aunts and Uncles involved them saying things like how brave so-and-so was for traveling on their own. Or how smart my cousin was for installing his own sound system in his new house. And throughout their boasting, I'd politely smile and nod in agreement, but in my own head, I'd be thinking, "Oh yeah? Forget traveling solo on your thirties. Try moving on your own to a place you don't know in your early twenties with no money, because that's what I did." "Installing a home speaker is nothing. I'm in charge of putting in high voltage cable runs to power hundreds of people on a daily basis." But I'd hold my tongue.
I definitely understand that in this world, very few people know how a movie is made, and even fewer know what a bitch it is to make a sustainable living off of it. But damn it, I had a motherfuckin fantastic year and it sucks that I can't share my news with family because they'll never get it. The stories of my struggles and success will fall on unsympathetic ears as their eyes glaze over and search for a more "accomplished" family member to latch on to.
And I know I've touched on this topic before. But for whatever reason, this year's neglect seemed much more prominent, and I must admit, I've never been so glad to be back in L.A.