#Question: What is success? Getting yourself out of a situation money can't buy
It's hilarious that yesterday I was writing about "success" and this question as to when one is truly "successful." Last night, I got my answer courtesy of a ride home that money could very literally not buy.
Last night I went to a bouncy house/ roller skating party over at Pollution studios in downtown LA. I got invited through my buddy Asher whom created the fantastically awesome (and truly viral) Kids re-enacting the GOP debate (originally posted on Funny or Die):
<tangent> I HATE it when people throw around the word "viral" in terms of videos. A viral video is one that is trending, topical, and LITERALLY on the current tip of everyone's tongue (digitally). This video even had its own news story on Fox News. It was everywhere for a couple of weeks - THAT is a video that has gone viral. </tangent>
I get there with my buddy Noor, and to our pleasant surprise there was an actual bouncy house and there were a plethora of skates available (both inline and roller).
That would have been horrible and cruel false advertising, I laughed.
We walked around (in our normal shoes, I am barely coordinated enough to skate sober let alone after a cocktail) and the space was so dope. It had all of these art installations, and an entire room devoted to the one and only Frank Rozasy.
He's an LA based artist, but I had heard of him in Miami because of social media. My buddy Rachel and I went to the art walk, and on the sidewalk in Wynwood were these quotes.
That's Frank Rozasy, she pointed. He started painting these inspirational quotes, and images on the sidewalk and people started taking photos of them on instagram. I don't even think he knows how popular he is.
Super super nice guy. Lived in downtown LA in the 70s where he spent $100 to live in a 5,000 sq ft studio on main street. I'm a freak for pop art, so am totally going to buy some of his work, even if it was slightly disturbing (as a member of the bull in a china shop club) having to walk on the canvases.
Noor is awesome to hang out with at parties because he's super social, and modest. You can't help but naturally like him, and want to be around him. While I was looking at some of the art, Noor struck up a conversation with a writer on the TV show Castle. You need to talk to Jen, he said.
I introduced myself, and explained my situation with Talk Nerdy being turned into a pilot for CBS. I have my roles outlined in my contract, but what I'd love more than anything is to be a fly on the wall in the writers room, and learn how to get into TV writing. All I want to do is write.
It's extremely, extremely competitive, she said. (I had also heard that in a meeting on Friday.) She continued, my first screenplay was turned into a movie earlier this year, and that was great because it's not as time sensitive. When you're in the writers room you have to be ON.YOUR.GAME. and on fire with creativity or you won't survive. I like the turn around in television since you get the satisfaction of seeing it on air so quickly, but it's really hard.
Totally appreciate your advice, I said.
I'd love to read your stuff, she said.
I'd be honored. I then tweeted and followed her.
We then went back to the bar, and it was creeping up to the time that Noor had to leave. He had just done a triathalon that morning, and had another one this morning. (He's insane, I love it.)
Dude, you need to get out of here, I reminded.
I don't want to leave you.
I smiled saying I'm a big girl. I can feel in my gut I still need to be here.
Text me when you're home, he said.
I then stood in line for the bar, which had begun to resemble a polite mash pit. You had people on roller skates coming in and out of the area, new people coming through the door, and thirsty people (like myself) just wanting to get our drink on.
I must have had a funny look on my face or something, because out of nowhere this guy comes up grabbing my arm taking me to the front of the line (out of the crowd).
You looked like you wanted to get out of there, he said.
Very much so, I smiled.
Hi I'm B, he said.
Hi I'm Jen! How do you know people here?
I work for the nerdist.
Shut the front door, I said touching my heart, I know you boys. I'm Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover.
Jen Friel! he said super excited. I follow you! I love your writing, and you're incredibly brave.
I don't know about that, I admitted. I just did what I had to do.
I was then introduced to his friend as we got our drinks and headed over to the back dance floor which was DJ-less.
B hooked up his phone and busted out some Weird Al.
The three of us hit the dance floor which was literally all ours, and talked about goals, and passions. I immediately liked these guys, and this was truly the highlight of the evening.
Why did you post your life online, asked B during a song break.
I didn't mean to. I couldn't possibly have any idea how far all of this would have gone, and for so many years. It was what I had been doing my whole life. I had prodigy, angelfire, geocities, blogspot, myspace blog - I still have dozens of notebooks that I've kept (somewhere) over the years.
That makes sense, he said as we continued to dance.
<tangent> I'm such a white girl when it comes to dancing bee tee dubs. I call it the "Zest fully clean." Remember those commercials from the 80s?
You hold your arms out like you're holding a towel and rubbing the water off your bum. It's my go-to dance move. </tangent>
Anywho, sometime way past my bedtime I decided to peace in the middle east. I thanked my new friends, but said I was going to grab an Uber or Lyft home.
Great meeting you!! I said with a huge hug.
I then walked outside and called up LYFT.
To my surprise this was the screen that greeted me:
SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT?!?! And if I wanted to wait in line I could save 60% but that's only 15% more that I'd be paying if it weren't such a popular party with responsible drinkers.
That got my Irish up - BIG TIME.
I didn't have cash on me so I couldn't take a cab, and UBER was in the same surge pricing lot, so I went back to LYFT and just said fuck it. Lesson learned. Next time carpool, and hire a car service for a popular event. It's less stressful, and just as economical with the right amount of people in your party.
I schedule the LYFT and 10 anxious minutes later, I get a call from the driver.
I'm so sorry to tell you this, but I just got pulled over.
Holy crap, am so sorry, I said back.
No, I'm sorry for you! You're going to be there a while with that party.
You focus on you, I said. Sorry man and will cancel the LYFT.
I then tried to UBER but because everyone was trying to leave at this point, I couldn't get a driver to accept.
I walked to the sidewalk and decided to just hail a cab, and have the cab driver take me to the ATM. Cab drivers are dicks in LA. Even though they can accept credit cards the majority of them refuse to.
I took a deep breath gathering my composure, and felt a tap on my shoulder.
Do you want a ride home, said my buddy from earlier.
Are you SERIOUS?! I said almost holding back tears wanting desperately to just get hommmmeee.
I don't want to inconvenience you though. Are you near my part of town?
Who cares, he said. I'd enjoy the company.
And just like that I not only got home safe, but thanks to the Talk Nerdy community made some new friends.
I made a mistake in lack of planning, yet was able to execute my end goal. THAT is success, and in that moment I felt successful.
... didn't mean to answer my own question - especially so quickly.
Keep on keeping on!!