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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In which childhood dreams punch me in the face.

This afternoon, my computer punched me in the face.

I'd been in that typical late-winter mood since I woke up-- you know, when your skin's all dry and your jeans are too tight and you decide the missing leaves from the trees are a metaphor for the missing purpose from your life and waaah-- and I had assumed my typical after-class position, lying down with my laptop propped on my knees. Just a regular day. Watching The Best of Adam Sandler on Netflix, eating simple carbs, wallowing in the quiet misery of being rich and white. It was just when my mind had started down the path of I'm pathetic and wasting my time by getting this useless degree from an institute whose only real claim to fame is being consistently recognized by Playboy.com for its great keggers... when it hit me. Literally. A slight movement caused my aluminum laptop to slide down my thighs and, at full speed, knock me straight in the mouth. All I did at the time was swear and flail, but little did I know: The universe was trying to convey a message to me.

Still, I carried on as usual, having misinterpreted that painful beacon of fate as just another example of gravity wanting to spite me. It wasn't until later, when I was flopping my winter thighs around the indoor track of our school gym, that I finally got the message.

I like to let my mind wander while I run, and perhaps it stemmed from my earlier thoughts about the pointlessness of my Creative Writing degree, but I happened to recall a seemingly random memory from seventh grade Sunday School. Our teacher had asked us to go around the circle and introduce ourselves by saying our names and what we wanted to be when we grew up. I was (shockingly!) a bit of a douchebag when I was thirteen, and I clearly remember trying to overshadow all the would-be firemen and nurses by saying, "I'm Hayley, and I want to write for Saturday Night Live." Truthfully, I had only ever seen the first two sketches of each episode from the foot of my parents' bed before they turned it off and I went to my room, but I always liked what I'd seen, and I knew I'd sound cool for saying so. And I loved that dream-- someday being adult and sophisticated, writing topical jokes about politics I understood, seeing my name on a screen while trumpets played, having some little Maya Rudolph smile. So I said, "And maybe I'll be a cast member, too, but I mainly just want to write."

My Sunday School teacher nodded and said something falsely earnest like, "I'm sure you will be someday!" because she was supposed to encourage us and therefore couldn't have said, "That's cute, but in twenty years you'll be living down the street from your parents, working at the library, and crying yourself to sleep every night while your second husband rubs ointment into his varicose veins." Lately, though, that depressing spiel has been feeling a lot more realistic.

I could see that teacher's face in my head tonight, while I ran laps. I was thinking about it, dwelling on the particular sadness of having been more confident about my career aspirations when I had braces than I am at age twenty... when Fate threw a sign at my head that was much, much, much heavier than a laptop. I was minding my own business when a tall blonde girl entered the track and started jogging out in front of me, and I swear to you, on my Scout's Honor, because I could not make this shit up*... she was wearing a t-shirt... with the Saturday Night Live logo on the back.

Uh, yeah. Seconds after having resigned myself to someday being Ohio's Funniest English Teacher Who Hates Herself, I found myself quite literally chasing my childhood dream. Isn't life hilarious? Somehow, some stranger wearing a souvenir from the NBC giftshop was all it took to restore my seventh grade optimism, at least for a while. Somehow, I feel more inspired to write tonight.

Cue the big band music.


Chipotle burritos this year: 3
Subscribers: 46,565
Nail color: "You Don't Know Jacques," OPI.
Miles run today: 4
Miles run this year: Lost track a week ago. It was fun while it lasted.

*Okay, in actuality, I could make this shit up-- fairly easily, even-- but I did not. This account is all true. My goal is to write for SNL, guys, not Saved by the Bell.

36 comments:

~H~ said...

yeah, its funny how life takes you...Never thought I could live my childhood dream...but the more i look at how my life is headed, the more excited I am to see what's there! And i bet my dream will be a part of it.

kira902k said...

Bahaha, oh symbolism, IRL.

I think a lot of people get all nervous about their career choice when they're not yet in it.
But, giving up hope this young won't help anything.


I have faith in you. =]

-alex

Fanny Lemon said...

Your Sunday school teacher was far more encouraging of your SNL dreams then my fifth grade teacher was of mine. When little nine year old me wanted to do my "what are you going to be when you grow up?" report on writing television and movies I was told flat out that it was unrealistic, and maybe I should write about being a teacher or even a journalist instead. Because nine is way too old to have dreams, you know.

I wrote about SNL anyway and she gave me the first B of my entire life, that bitch. So the moral of the story is somebody is not getting a shout out when I accept my first Emmy...

Endless Obscure said...

Being someone who can't watch Saturday Night Live because it's not aired here, I would search for hours on the internet to watch it if I knew you were writing it!
My goals are similar to yours, I want to publish a few books and write and write for a Television series... :) You were actually the person who encouraged me to pursue my love of writing, so, thank you.
YOU CAN DO IT HAYLEY!

Honestly Bec said...

You. Are. Hilarious.

Leah said...

That's my girl =]

You know, I was thinking the other day about the last time you mentioned SNL-- like, about how you wanted to punch people who say it's not as good as it used to be, etc.

What I've discovered is that it's not that the show has dropped in quality, it's that I'm watching for a different reason. When I was younger, I watched for the cast. Now, I watch for the host.

Katie said...

Oh my God, that is awesome. And you're ridiculous for not thinking you could achieve your dreams because you are an effing brilliant writer. You should include this blog as a prologue in your future memoir about being world-reknowned Hayley G. Hoover.

Suburban Sweetheart said...

This is my favorite post you've ever written. Juuuust so you know. "Watching The Best of Adam Sandler on Netflix, eating simple carbs, wallowing in the quiet misery of being rich and white." Best line to date.

Christine said...

Sounds a little like Stranger than Fiction.

"Hayley's life was turned upside down by her laptop"

Rachel said...

Right now, I am just recovering from being really sick and I have a bunch of work to do obviously. I am still really lazy. That doesn't relate but I feel like being really whiny in any way possible.

Elizabeth said...

Hayley G. Hoover, when I am despairing over what is sure to be a failed mid-term, I am cheered by getting to read your blog. Keep chasing your dreams, my friend, and I'll go study. :)

Marie said...

Everyone just needs a little a sign pointing them in the right direction to restore some hope. I'm glad that the universe thought you were worth it =P I'm positive that some day you will be doing exactly what you want to.

Also, this kind of makes me hope that a chair smashing my toe earlier has some kind of actual meaning...

Sarah said...

I know what you mean. I look for IRL symbolism all the time and my friends call me crazy...but it's there!!!

Also, You Don't Know Jacques is the prettiest color in the world and I have it on both my nails and toenails.

delvedeeper said...

YOU ARE SUCH A GOOD WRITER

Bridget said...

That is the most awesome dream ever! Holy crap. I can't even - oh my God. My dream job is to be a comedian and I know that will never happen because I don't think I'd have enough courage to write my own jokes and I have a bit of stage fright, however I want more than anything to be able to make someone laugh whichever career I choose. Right now, I'm undeclared at UH, but I'm seriously considering majoring in Anthropology and I'm just wondering if I could somehow combine funny with awesome Anthropology... wow. See? You're so inspiring and your sarcasm and wit is extremely recognizable in all of your blogs. I'm sooo jelly about how you can express yourself so thoroughly in a comedic manner and now you have me thinking about my future which I've been seriously neglecting. I can't thank you enough! :)

Emily said...

Just a few weeks ago, I was punched in the face by my laptop charger. I was just innocently moving it from it's place on the floor to the couch next to me and if flew up and socked me right in the eye. It hurt for three days. Not cool, laptop charger. Not cool.
Mine didn't even come with an epiphany or anything. Just a bruise on the bridge of my nose.
OH AND ALSO, I'm going to school for film, and I really want to write and direct my own films, so I, too, will occasionally find myself wallowing in the self-pity of one-whose-dreams-will-never-be-accomplished. But it's just not true! I can do what I want to do and so can you! So glad your laptop decided to tell you that -- even if it had to punch you in the face to do so.

Kinsey said...

i would just like to inform you, hayley, that i laid down on my futon and my aluminum laptop just slide down my thighs and hit me straight up in the mouth. so. i feel your pain.
also, i love this post. it's hard to see it sometimes, but you're going somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Missed you!

Keely said...

Hayley, you could write for any friggin' show you wanted. You sweat talent, girlfriend. Don't let yourself forget that!
Seriously your musings crack all of us up and we all secretly want to be just like you. You're a complete badass and a total inspiration.

So, like, meet your biggest fangirl!
(And PS you're PERFECT for SNL. Like, I can't wait.)

Scott said...

This story made my look at my bowl of self-pity macaroni and cheese and think, "you too can bounce back from your life of dehydrated pasta." INSPIRING. haha

Manar said...

That's amazing<3

I feel like if we just pay enough attention, God always sends us inspiration just as we are on the brink of losing hope. :)

On This Side of the Blue said...

Great post.

Ben said...

Hey, cheer up. I'm sure that 20 years down the road scenario is completely inaccurate. I mean, you'd never land a full-time job in a library with a creative writing degree.

Kyle Waterbury said...

Certainly the most relatable post I've read of yours. I appreciate the particular brand of honesty you endeavor to bring about.

Kyle

An observer said...

Hey Hayley. Just wanted to say that I stole some template design ideas from your presence blog. The "about the author" tab, more specifically. Oh, right, comment on the blog. I love your writing, when I read "my labtop slid from my knees and towards my mouth" (or something near that phrase), I just cringed before I even read the next sentence. The SNL logo moment reminded of earlier today when I was watching sorted on youtube and the egg they cracked had a double-yolk. I cracked an egg today while I was making omlets, and surprise, it had a double-yolk. Never happens to me. I just thought I would share that moment with someone lol. Take care, keep on writing!

Anonymous said...

I always read your blog, Hayley, because you are a good writer, equally hilarious and insightful. One thing hit a bit of a sour note for me in this one though-- your comment about teaching. I understand that it is not the right path for you, and what you said was another example of your sarcastic sense of humor. However, I hate to see teaching portrayed as a "last ditch" career over and over. Great teachers are so necessary for society, and becoming one is something to feel proud of! It's fine that teaching is not your dream, but I wish more smart and capable young people would consider it as a first choice, not just an undesirable alternative.

Kirsty said...

*unrelated*
So I am pwned by Hank's guitar in that I am a complete n00b. I found your channel just this winter, I found 5AG during the last week, and I found your blog . . . today. I was reading through it during computer class and just wanted to say thank you for making my own Hell High School more bearable, and that you are one of my role models whether or not your childhood dreams are punching you in the face.

Anonymous said...

Great post :) Good luck with your dream; you're a great writer so I'm sure you're in with a good chance!

I agree with Anonymous's comment above, though, about teaching not being a last-ditch job. I really, really want to be an English teacher and I'm going to be working hard for it over the next couple of years. Teaching and apathy aren't a particularly good mix, and it hits a bit of a nerve with me when people (not just you!) see it as an undesirable fall-back option.

Megan said...

Hey everyone!! I'm begging for some feebacks and comments on my blog since it's new and I only have a few posts no one really knows about me so please read my blog and comment!! http://wishing-for-right-now.blogspot.com/

VicMorrowsGhost said...

I just saw this and thought you might find it interesting/sad/horrific.

http://dontconformtransform.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/baby-bratz-sexualized-toddlers/

Megan said...

hey guys! Hayleys inspired an aspiring artist like me to see if my writings any good and make my own blog!! I'd LOVE some comments and some feedback! Please give me a chance: http://wishing-for-right-now.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Hey, Hayley. I love your blog, and I get that you're busy and all, but Presence is kind of . . . abandoned. What happened? I miss it.

jmclotfelter said...

Hayley! I subscribed to your youtube channel back when you first started the annoyances series and I must say I enjoy your blog as much as I enjoy your videos. Keep posting! :)

~Jenny

Anonymous said...

Know why I'm excited? It's almost April, meaning blogs from the incredible Hayleyghoover everyday, YAY!!!

Christie said...

You might like this interview of an NBC's Community writer I came across earlier today.

http://splitsider.com/2011/03/behind-the-scenes-at-community-with-writer-megan-ganz/

She talks about how her dream job was to write for the Onion, how she landed that gig straight out of college, and how's she's transitioned into writing TV and sketch comedy.

It's one of those half-inspirational, half-whyiseveryonemoreawesomeandaccomplishedthaniam interviews--but I think for Ms. Hayley G. Hoover, it should definitely be the former.

Rebecca said...

Hayley I have been watching your videos on Youtube and reading your blogposts for over a month now and have loved each and every one of them :) This particular post however really touched me because lately I have been feeling quite down too. I'm totally not sure I am where I want to be in life right now.
One thing's for sure.. your blog is a blessing to whoever reads it... even for people who are on the other side of the globe like me :)