The Year of Decision
The consensus seems to be that 2016 sucked. Without going into detail, the general vibe I get on social media is that 2016 can't come to an end fast enough. And while I definitely understand many people's frustration and depression over this past year, I will not succumb to that thinking. I cannot. No one should. Just because the calendar turns the page doesn't mean life gets better.
Last year, at this time, I made a decision to pursue a graduate degree. It was going to be a two year process. We have now hit the halfway point and I've never been more happy of my choice. It's been hard work, it's been long nights, it's been hectic weeks of writing, school work, day-job, kids, family, etc. It's been all of that and it's been worth it.
I also made the choice to be a writer. Not a director. Not someone who was trying to be a filmmaker. A writer. I focused on writing, whatever it was. Blog posts, articles, scripts, books, short stories, etc. And I told myself that no matter what happened with my writing, no matter the success I found with it, I wouldn't leave school. Once I started school, I was going to finish it.
Flash forward to this year and I'm having the same conversations with the same people about the same things. And in the past, I was always either coming away hopeful or depressed. (The nature of the creative mind, I suppose) But this year, I was neither. I was determined. I had made a decision last year and I was still on that path. Those same conversations did nothing to me.
"He's starting to believe" - Morpheus, The Matrix
What changed? It wasn't overnight. It wasn't some light in the sky epiphany moment. Gradually, I started to believe that the only person holding me back was me. My stupid lack of confidence in my abilities. My stupid belief that I wasn't worthy of the things I wanted. My stupid, stupidity about stupid things.
"Daddy. You stupid." - Dexter Field (numerous times in 2016)
I don't like giving unsolicited advice, but I'd like to offer this. Instead of doing resolutions, make choices. Come to decisions about what you want to do with your life and do it. Stop telling everyone what you want to do and just do it. Figure out why and what you want in this world and go for it. The only thing that stops you is you. Not your friends or your family and definitely not a year.
It might be a hard look in the mirror. You might have to realize that your just playing a rigged game and if you want to get anywhere in your life, you might have to change the rules. Then go change them!
"The future is what you make of it." - Doc Brown, Back to the Future III