Somewhere Else

Dennis Palumbo from"Dennis Palumbo and Kelly Get Unblocked," Waking from the American Dream #33, September 15, 2011:

"There's no intrinsic meaning to anything. We just decide what something means. And as a result, there's this idea that if I just work hard enough, I can just bang out all the dents and defects in me and I'll be terrific. And when I'm terrific I'll be lovable and what I do will be successful. 

See, my view is exactly the opposite.

I think that because we see what successful people seem to look like and the lives they seem to have -- I mean that's why tabloids are so successful, that's why reality shows are successful -- people are looking at these lives and going, "Oh, man. If I ever lived there..."

One of the most powerful things about what I do for a living -- I've been in private practice for about twenty-four years now -- I have people in my practice who are so successful, they're the kind of people I used to envy. And I would think their lives must be perfect. Well, I know from personal experience their lives are not perfect and that they still struggle with their art and still struggle in terms of how good they are, how talented they are.

Let me put it this way. There is a sentence that I think will take years off your spiritual journey and save you thousands of dollars in therapy bills. I probably shouldn't say it.

And the sentence is simply this: Everybody thinks that the party's happening somewhere else and it isn't.

Right now, like it or not, this is your party. This is it." 

Dennis Palumbo was formerly a Hollywood screenwriter (My Favorite Year; Welcome Back, Kotter) and is now a licensed psychotherapist, Psychology Today blogger, and mystery author. His latest crime thriller is Fever Dream