Mitchell-Lama Mama’s Blog

an ordinary life in an extraordinary city

I’m Not Really a Cabdriver February 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 4:31 pm
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Thinking about hope, and thinking about New York.  My New York.  Many of my friends here are people who some might consider wannabees, or fringe.  


Remember the tv show, Taxi?  Set in the garage of a yellow cab company in NY, the characters are all drivers. In the premiere, the character of Elaine speaks with Alex, quick to tell him she isn’t really a cabdriver, she’s, ummm, I don’t quite remember, something to do with art and museums.  He tells her (basically), of course not.  That guy over there is an actor, he’s a boxer, she’s a singer, etc.  Me? I’m a cab driver. 


I never forgot that line.  Now, I feel like I live it.  Sort of.  I have friends who are writers, singers, artists, playwrites, actors, all doing something else to pay the rent.  All of whom, including me, are far past their twenties, understand the importance of meeting responsibilities and paying bills, and yet there’s something that doesn’t allow that hope to die. For myself, those dreams have changed some over the years.  I don’t imagine myself to be the next Anne Sexton, Virginia Woolfe,  or fill in the blank with the Great-American-Novelist of your choice.  


Some dreams you have to let go of, because time passes and they become fantasies by default.  Living in Paris for a year or two.  Click. Gone. Living in a fabulous beach house. Click. Gone.  Raising my children somewhere that doesn’t involve testing, interviewing and/or ridiculous sums of money to get into good schools from kindergarten up. Click. Gone. Having more than one bathroom. Click. Gone.  Borgeous dreams? No doubt.  I was raised in a working class family, and despite having changed boroughs, still working class, if there is such a thing in NY anymore. 


But I still imagine “it” happening in smaller ways.  A published novel with good enough sales to get a contract for another.  And build from there.  I’m “just a mom,” but being a mom isn’t being a cabdriver.  Sometimes equally (what I imagine to be) mind numbing, but not something I’d want to leave behind, or rush to negate.  Maybe being a mom teaches you not to lose hope.  How to adjust and adapt, even downsize, without giving up.


4 Responses to “I’m Not Really a Cabdriver”

  1. harrisonamy Says:

    I understand your post, I’m one of those wannabes…only a little more so as I just left my job to see if I can do it. I’m worried about bills and rent but for me not living my dream every day felt much worse than the benefits of having a job and making the rent.

    I’m testing myself and I might fail. I could be a terrible writer and never make it, but for me I have to know.

    Don’t give up hope, your dream deserves everything you can give it if it makes you happy. Don’t feel guilty about having your dream, like it’s something you need to fit in when you’ve completed all your responsibilities.

    We’ve sold our bed to convert our bedroom into an office and have hired out the other room to make ends meet. I would never have imagined being able to do that, but I can always turn back.

    you will always be able to get a job, but you might not be able to get another dream.

    Don’t give up.

  2. mitchelllamamama Says:

    Hi Amy (?), thanks for the support and good thoughts. I don’t know you, but I can’t see anyone with enough drive to make major life changes as a terrible writer. 🙂 There was a time when I was actively working on my writing goals, and a published friend told me, “the difference between published and unpublished is perseverance.” I believe that’s true. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment, I hope you come again. 🙂

  3. CasaDe Says:

    I think that motherhood refines your dreams into meaningful possibilities. Fame isn’t possible right now; working on another paragraph, though, is. Virginia Woolf probably wrote, edited, rewrote, and reedited her first work while surrounded by the mundane.

    The meaningful possibilities become the dream.

  4. mitchelllamamama Says:

    What a wonderful way to look at it, CasaDe. Meaningful possibilities. As for Woolfe, I need to remember that it was her who wrote “A Room of One’s Own.”

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