I found myself appreciating (and, surprisingly,
identifying closely with) Alec Baldwin in the latest profile
in the New Yorker. A key outtake:
“I always think, What if you just took your hand off the wheel, and
slowly, over time, it all went away, and your life became about, you
know, ‘Is the mail here yet?’ I always think about that.” But this
dream of disengagement quickly gave way: in the space of a few minutes,
sitting in weak sun on a New Jersey driveway, smoking a cigarette,
Baldwin imagined himself as the restaurant critic of the Times;
the proprietor of an inn near Syracuse; and the presenter of a
classical-music show on public radio. “I could do that,” he said, and
he wasn’t exactly joking.
...“To sit there in the
studio and just say”—a rich radio voice— “ ‘And now Tchaikovsky’s
Symphony No. 6, with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony
Orchestra.’ Click. Hit a button, and then you sit back and listen, and
they pay you for that. And I can’t imagine they pay you as much
as the movies, but to me it’s getting to that point where there’s just
something else I want to do. I don’t know what it is.
Seriously-- if you have a conversation with me for any decent amount of time, I start saying these exact same things. I want to do *so much*, but I also dream of doing absolutely nothing. I'll fantasize about 'taking my hand off the wheel' for a while and doing no work of consequence at all. At the same time, I love being a reporter-- and I'd also love to own a bed and breakfast in Bruges, or operate a lighthouse in Mendocino County, or be a jazz singer in Tokyo, or a screenwriter in Los Angeles, or a personal trainer, or a masseuse... and I genuinely believe I'd be great at any of these endeavors.
In my senior year high school yearbook, I wrote that in 10 years I'd be "Playing serious [career] hardball in New York City, dating a high-profile lawyer, a hip-hop mogul, and Prince William." It was obviously a bit tongue-in-cheek, and I still have a few years left to get such an active love life... but it's an example of a general lifestyle wanderlust to which it seems Mr. Baldwin could relate.