So Long, Sofia

Okay, it’s not a perfect world. I know it’s not a perfect world because I want to post a farewell blog to Bulgaria and I can’t because my internet connection is sketchy-to-nonexistent. So I’ll write this now and post it later. Maybe at the airport in Sofia. Maybe during tomorrow’s four-hour layover in Paris. Maybe all the way back in LA. Or maybe the hotel internet will miraculously cure itself while I’m out this evening and I can send this missive before I go to bed for the last time here in Bulgaria.

My controlling emotion right now is the same one it always is at the end of a trip: melancholy. I can’t help it. I always know it’s coming and I’m always powerless to stop it. And the better I do my job, the worse the melancholy hits when it hits, because that just means I’ve forged a bond, and bonds are hard to break. If I didn’t get all sloppy emotional, I wouldn’t have such trouble letting go, but if I didn’t get all sloppy emotional, I wouldn’t be as effective. I’m trying to model egolessness and service to the work. I want ‘em to drink the Kool-Aid (even in places in the world where that phrase has no meaning). So I wear my heart on my sleeve, right out there where everyone can see it ticking. That’s part of the melancholy. Part of it, but not all. Another part is the fact of coming down from a high. For the past month I’ve been living in such a state of high intensity, with so much challenging work to do, so many interesting problems to solve. And, of course, I’m the star of the show, the answer man, the focus of everyone’s attention. For an attention junkie like me, that’s hard to let go of.

Is it weird to claim to model egolessness and claim to be an attention junkie in the space of the same paragraph?  I don’t think so. I think true egolessness is acknowledging that you have an ego. If that’s too Zen for your taste, I’m sorry , but that’s the way I feel.

Hey, what goes up must come down, right? I’ve long longed to be the guy who parachutes into new territories and makes them safe for situation comedy. Certainly that’s what I’ve done here, and I think – with all due false modesty – that I’ve done a terrific job. I did what I set out to do. I recruited and trained a team of writers who can execute the full and complete adaptation of Married…with Children, all umpteen-zillion episodes. It’s not Nobel Prize stuff, but it’s not nothing, either. So I take pride. I trained myself out of a job as quickly as possible, always my goal. With all due false modesty, I take pride.

And I pay the price. The price of my melancholy as I stick my dirty clothes in my suitcase and prepare, once again, to turtle aboard the plane for the long ride home. I’ll be glad to be home. Back to my loved one and my loved ones, my ultimate Frisbee, my friends, my California sunshine, my precious and sacred writing days. But that’s for tomorrow or the day after. For now it’s the night the show closes, and, honestly, I don’t know how to have closure.

More later, from somewhere. -jv

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