Friday, May 7, 2010


After about 5 semesters of above average performance, I take a nose dive and fail the 5 classes I register for in the following 2 semesters. My will plummets. I'm shaken and unwilling to risk any more time and money. I take a year off to forget it all with the notion that being a full-time student, while attending a different school online for a separate degree, while working full time, is not so much about confidence as it is about insecurity.

Performing obligations independent of some external prompt is not something they teach you in school. They build the routines that service you through a stagnant, if stable, career. The most you can do to show some element of control is pile your plate and accomplish the string of commands, making the most of it while you go along. The less it impresses upon you any strife, the more you can do. But the minute you question it all, the minute you suffer any debilitating emotional effects, the whole house of effort comes crashing down and on an institutional timetable, that means a full stop. I withdrew from school because up until this point, I had not had an upset to this degree. It happened in large part, due to my experience in my first film production.

I was coming to class late. I was having a hard time getting my storyboards completed. My drawing skills a mess. My short film ideas were tossed, one after another. My camera only recorded half the footage I shot for my final. Much of what was left was overdeveloped. I had the bad juju, and my lax ways in the beginning of the semester didn't help me pull through. At the end, my professor was convinced to prove every possible way I would fail. I came late to class on the day everyone was showing their dailies, and I left without entering.

Since then I've attempted to review books on visual storytelling and on drawing. I've thought a lot about what stories I would offer and if I shouldn't go ahead and put a production into play just to practice what I've been taught. But outside of an institution I have to motivate myself and I'm left to wonder about how truly passionate people resolve their issues. To wait to be told to do this or that is just evidence of a grand fault that will affect me for the rest of my life. There are reasons to spare myself the anguish of another trial I don't have the heart for.

But to admit defeat is to turn my back on a deep desire molded since I was 10 years old. I enjoyed my youth, I played video games, like girls, scraped my knees, rebelled against my mom and all that. It never came fully to surface but I thought then and I still believe that constructing stories for a living is probably the best damn career I can think of. In fact, I don't even see it as a career but an instrumental function in my design; to use my imagination to show people what's possible.

I admit, you couldn't hinge the world's fate on my shoulders without me knowing and expect me to come through. The peace in between moments is precious. I would sit out on a stoop and daydream to senility if the weather was good enough and my bills were paid. But reaching that calm plateau in life should come earned and with people to share it with. And how could I even begin to accept those blessing if I'm unhappy with my legacy (that is hoping there is a legacy to feel one way or the other about).

Fitness, relationships, wealth segment my life and my day into a series of activities, some of which I constantly trade away for pause or distraction. But at my age I want more and I don't have it and I only have myself to blame. Conditioned by the complacency of my childhood, I could argue against the universe and my parents and whomever. But life being what it is, what more can I expect to control than myself once I'm cognizant. Heroism displays the higher objective always. That's why a transformation is involved and an icon created. The act of fighting our own hesitation and impulses is an ancient formula, but school doesn't teach that.

I've re-admitted myself to the fun-house; college. I'm going back, if for nothing else, to finish what I started or at least let the clock run out on my financial aid. I don't have faith in myself, only in the moment and its power to make the future. I hope my regard for time has matured enough to be an asset in the coming challenges this fall and beyond. I pray that the love I have for realizing tall tales and romance and epic dangers doesn't fail itself under the weight of cynicism. Wish me fore-sight, clarity, will power, and luck.

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