joel schumacher

My Breaking Point

This past weekend I did a one hour podcast interview with Kurt Sasso over at TGT Media. The subject was my comic work, specifically The SuperFogeys, but Kurt and I veered off into some deep thematic territory. We discussed aging, retirement, righteousness and endurance. And those two months when I watched movies and did little else.

Kurt asked me about whether or not I’d ever reached a breaking point when I was compelled to make a radical change in my life and behavior. While it’s true my final day of wearing Underoos was painful and a long time coming, it was my two month movie marathon that did the better job of bringing me into a semblance of maturity.

I was 21 and had just gotten off a religious mission. I hadn’t seen one movie or TV show in all that time. I was starving and I had a lot of catching up to do. I also entered into a relationship with a girl and then almost immediately got dumped, hard.

I didn’t have a job, I wasn’t in school, I lived with my mom and the opposite sex had rejected me. I was low and movies were my comfort food.

My brain fried in no time. Remember Joel Shumacher’s abysmal, puntastic, Ahnold-enhanced Batman and Robin? I thought it was good.

After two months, I just snapped. I was sick of myself. I was horrified by the amount of time I’d wasted away in front of the TV and how much money I’d spent on video rentals. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t be that guy.

So, I wasn’t.

I got up, got a job, enrolled in school, gave the other gender a second chance and started my new life as an adult. Two years later, I was married. Three years after that, I was a college graduate. Nine years after graduation, I have three kids, a nice home and I’m the Art Director for a non-profit group.

The biggest reason things have worked out as well as they have (which isn’t to say there haven’t been some dark times–there certainly have been) is because I’ve put my trust in God along the way.

The second biggest reason is because after two months of not working or doing anything of any particular import, I decided I wouldn’t ever be that guy again.  That guy on the couch, helpless and aimless. I decided to work hard and never stop.

And I never have.

Have you ever had a moment of epiphany? When the way forward was clear and all you had to do was decide? What did you do?