Would I still go down this road?
Sometimes this question would pop into my head during my darkest hours, alone facing the ‘consequence’ of chasing a dream.
Was it a pipe dream? For someone like me, to make it into Hollywood as a screenwriter whose first language isn’t English? Whose parents aren’t in the trade not here or back home? Who has to constantly watch how much she spends, including a visit to the Starbucks.
“It can be demoralizing.” A writer shared his underground years with us in an auditorium. I didn’t know why he used “demoralize” then. Now I know, on a visceral level.
I can also admit that I was driven by fear when I was thinking about that question. I wasn’t writing. I was the murderer on death row, waiting to be executed. And I also happened to be the person who would pull the trigger.
Because of the clause in my student visa, I am off the company’s payroll again after my OPT (Optional Practical Training) ends in June. Certainly after the work visa (H-1B) rejection letter from USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) in July, I had to switch back to student visa in order to avoid deportation. That means another 13 grand plus LA-standard living expense.
I had pictured the ‘worst case scenario.’ Now I’m livin’ it.
I have to write now more than ever. Because I need a list of credits and wins to apply for artist visa (O-1) next year.
I know I have to face my worst fear head-on. I have nowhere else to run, or hide. I’m stripped naked, left with a dull sword to slay the dragon.
Would I get out of here alive? I don’t know. Nobody knows.
All I know is this: I will never stop writing.
And this: If I knew it then, I would still do it. I’m happier now. Because I see a forward motion.