The story of how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman is a fictional one, but last night when I was watching the latest episode on AMC, I could swear it was a mirror image of my life. I got home from a slow night at work, turned on the TV, and suddenly I could see me staring back at myself from a show about a criminal lawyer that is set in the past. No, I’m not a lawyer by any means, and I am no longer a criminal, but what caught my attention was how Jimmy was trying to find his identity in a new town at a new job when all he really wanted to do in life was to be happy and do the right thing. Why can’t those two things go hand in hand?
In essence, that’s what I’ve been doing. Granted, I am not out there shopping for colorful suits, I didn’t have a huge signing bonus that I can’t afford to give back, and my story takes place in Seattle instead of Albuquerque, but just for last night there were so many striking similarities between Jimmy and Saul and I that I woke up this morning feeling like we were the same person, at least for forty four minutes.
Spoiler alert, for those of you who haven’t seen the TV show Breaking Bad, I’m not going to ruin any of it for you as this story takes place before and after that series. This isn’t so much a blog about television as it is a blog about how what I saw on television was so much like my life right now, that I had to comment on it. Jimmy, like myself has always been a square peg, but man how much we both try really hard to fit into a round hole.
I’m a creative person by nature, but I chose to leave the world of massive creativity behind when I left L.A. for Seattle in an effort to try and do the right thing by working my ass off to pay for my debt that I put myself in the last two years in Hollywood. I went into debt because I believed in what I was doing. I don’t mean a small debt like “I owe it to myself” I mean a pretty large debt that is the equivalent to one years worth of tuition to a semi-prestigious college somewhere where in the pacific northwest, or southwest depending on inflation.
Much like Jimmy, I got everything I wanted. The job, the second job, the “coco bolo” desk that I tried real hard to put together the other week, but in reality my desk was from IKEA, and everything I wanted wasn’t in a desk job. Eventually, Jimmy finds a way to get fired from his job so he can keep his signing bonus and go into private practice by himself in a future episode and become the grifty Saul Goodman that I know and love. But the thing is, that’s where the similarities stop and where my life starts to kick in.
Maybe I haven’t been very honest with myself, or maybe it has just become second nature for me to think that I want something, get it, and then decide it’s not for me anymore. My “Kim Wexler” reminds me not to be crazy and to remember that I have only been here two months to the day and I have accomplished a lot in those 60 days. Sure, I agree with her in theory, but then I start to see something I thought was so secure and tight begin to unravel. Maybe it was just a slow Monday,when I barely made thirty-five bucks, and maybe there was a reason that Jack in the Box burger made me feel nauseated before the end of the show. Regardless, the doubt began to manifest and I had to start questioning myself and wonder am I just like Jimmy, a square peg trying to fit into a place where he doesn’t naturally belong?
Much like the character on the show, I find myself bending the rules a little bit like I always have so life suits me better. I find myself taking a calculated risk to get to the place I need to go quicker, but no amount of back roads or shortcuts are going to get me where I need to go. I am doing what I thought was the best thing for me because it was honest, and don’t get me wrong, I believe honestly is always the best policy, but guess what….winning the lottery or robbing a bank would solve my problem in a heartbeat and I think if I got away with the latter or was lucky enough to hit the former, I would be able to deal with the ethical backlash, no problem.
I know I’m not stuck anywhere, and I know that I could get up and leave this all behind like I have three times before, but what would that prove? I can change my outfit like a chameleon to match what I see on the outside, but the truth is I don’t feel like someone who tucks in their shirt, and I won’t bring myself to do that anyway.
I know I’m going to end up being me, just like Jimmy/Saul did, but I don’t think I need to change my shirt or my name to do that. One reason is because I already did change my name back in 2002 when Better Call Saul actually takes place, the other reason is because I can’t afford a new shirt right now. Wow, the similarities are almost too much for me to handle.
I’m not going to sabotage this opportunity, or throw it all away for some foolish pride, because I remember it was the right decision for a long time, it helped me to save myself, and I know it might turn into something good and I guess perseverance is the key to my success. However I will continue to think about if I made the best move every single time a little bit of doubt creeps into my head. I will persevere in spite of the fact that I don’t really know if this life I’ve created is for me, but one day I will know for sure.
That could be in a week, in a month, or later today, who the fuck knows? All I really know is that much like Jimmy, I’m trying to find my identity in this place, and I think that at least for one night accepting the fact that I don’t know if I fit in, actually helps me feel more like myself, whomever that is.