Sunday, March 07, 2010

I used to love the Academy Awards when I was in college through the early years of our marriage. I dreamed of walking up on that stage someday and having an acceptance speech ready. I imagined what it would be like to thank my friends and family and then be able to look out into the audience and see Julie's huge smile and bright blue eyes that would have stood out in a room full of fake smiles. There would have been tears (because I'm a crybaby); I would have thanked my parents and possibly recounted the VCR story. And then our lives would have changed for the better. We wouldn't have had to worry about anything.

That all changed when we moved up here and Jacob was diagnosed with CF. The priorities changed and being popular wasn't as important as making sure we had health care and that Jacob and Sophie remained healthy. In essence, I compromised.

And I would do it again in a second.

I watched the Academy Awards tonight and I did not feel the pangs of envy or the desire to be sitting in the audience. I was entertained, sure, but I was not invested. Perhaps I'm a little jaded from watching how an Oscar campaign is run. And it is a campaign. Trying to win an award is political. It is about who you know, having the right PR people getting word about your movie to the right people, and often it is about the timing of the release of a movie. If you're missing any of these elements, it doesn't matter how good your film is, or how many people like it despite the flaws, if you're missing one element, your chances of getting awards notice are more difficult.

Maybe turning 40 has given me new perspective after all. I came out here to tell stories. It's what I always wanted to do. It's when I decided that I had to be an artist, that I had to tell stories with meaning that I sort of lost my way. Took me ten years to feel like a writer again. I have the book to thank for that. Whether or not it ever gets published, I am still happy that I wrote it.

As for the Academy Awards, I don't care whether I'm ever even invited. The only awards ceremonies I want to attend anymore are the ones honoring my kids. those are the only awards that matter.

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