Evidently I’m not a “how to” blogger…

So, I was debating separating my philosophical ponderings and filmmaking journey posts into two tabs… because, if you haven’t noticed, I tend to get caught up in my thoughts (i.e. write a solid five pages in a way that’s reminiscent of the Seinfeld-esk artistic approach -aka- there’s no specific purpose in starting where I did; I have no real direction or conclusive point I’m hoping to make; most of the time I’m not sure how I ended up where I did, and, all in all, I finish with this eerie but somehow satisfied awareness that I just used a wonderously superfluous amount of words and time to talk about a whole lot of (chronologically ordered but for the most part totally unconnected) nothing. Except, I stray from this artistic styling in one minor, yet, some might say, fundamental way: Seinfeld is hilarious.)

I, however, am kinda just deep, I think, (maybe ‘scatterbrained’ is a more appropriate word) and, looking back at the way I started my last few entries –  the extremes of “Oh wow this page with writing appeared on my screen as if from nowhere and ahh, look, it’s talking to me, hellloo!!!=)” to “yep, been contemplating my hands for the past 20 minutes”’ – evidently I am also genetically always stoned. Which also explains why writing takes me so long (or maybe not the writing itself, just the arriving at a point part) and I lose myself in a convoluted web of tangents even when I do go in with a purpose – which, believe it or not, I did this time – let’s get back to that shall we?)

So, due to my lack of funny, and my previously mentioned blog aspirations of creating some kind of ‘how to’ – the filmmaking journey – I decided I should create two separate tabs giving readers the option of entering the ever spiraling abyss that is my mind or the choice to avoid it like the plague and still be able to find useful information… then I saw this blog by another (actual, rather than aspiring) screenwriter who just got up and moved to LA and is diving into the filmmaking industry as a Production Assistant (PA). (I will in fact describe how this became my decided point of entry into the filmmaking world – like I said, I have a purpose in this entry and a plan for everything to come full circle; it’s very exciting 🙂 … how many parenthesis and brackets it will take me to get there, however, is something I have given up trying to predict… it’s certainly always an adventure! [well, if you think of an “adventure” less-so as a boat-trip to some Caribbean destination, and more-so as watching a teeny mouse make their way through a maze the size of Texas]). So, (uy! – I will try harder to get some damn cheese from this point forward) I found this screenwriters blog when I was researching what exactly a PA does and it was extremely helpful:

http://12ptcourier.com/tips-for-a-pa/production-assistant-job-description-duties/   and check out the entertaining, yet concise, straightforward nature of his About me: http://12ptcourier.com/about-me/

Also, his links rock (my favorite, another blog: http://www.anonymousproductionassistant.com/ “A view of Hollywood from the bottom”- how creative is the title itself?)

Ironically, in reading these – and acknowledging the amount of unnecessary word-junk my entries contain, utterly disqualifying them as any potential informative or practical ‘how to’ – I was not in fact motivated to separate tabs and make my blog more informative or practical.  Why you ask? (Although realistically, you’ve probably just said ‘F-this’ and clicked on the above sites – ‘peace out and good riddens passionfuelsgreatness, crazy bia’.) Well, it’s because, I realized, I’m not this – and in analytically comparing and reading through my own About me (http://passionfuelsgreatness.com/about/) I felt a little defeated at first… but then (because it is also characteristically, not concise) I kept reading and realized, ‘Wow, here I am – I’m doing it again.’  I’m so used to having functioned my whole life trying to fit a mold; functioning according to guidelines and imitating them rather than believing in the power I have to create my own, based on who I am rather than who everyone else is… it’s so ingrained in me that I almost feel like I’ve failed  have five posts and already my first emotional reaction when reading another blog is that maybe I’m completely inadequate as a writer as a blogger because I clearly haven’t met the standards or written according to what I now observe as eloquent “how to’s” — look how wonderfully these people write and how efficiently they convey information…I flipped back to my own sporatic, plain, blog and thought, ‘ugh, what have I been doing’… what have I been doing? And then it occurred to me, I’ve just been writing honestly and openly… maybe it is about nothing… or maybe it’s about everything… why do I automatically I assume I suck just because it’s not a “how to” blog of the filmmaking journey? (I mentioned this in an earlier post only as one among many possibilities of what it could be or might be [and more so as a proof/reassurance to myself of my sanity in spite of perpetually talking to the ethereal “you”] why, now, do I feel like it’s less because it might be something different) in feeling this, even for a minute I’m completely contradicting everything that motivated me to start this blog, this journey, in the first place…

It’s to find my fuel… find my passion.  I could probably restrain a huge part of myself and write a kick ass how-to, I could probably study my ass off for another 8 years and be a kick-ass doctor… but what in the world for if it’s not a reflection of who I am and what I want? Life only happens once, and I’m the only one in the world of my kind (passionate, crazy, completely incapable of resisting the self-imposed peer pressure of losing myself in every new thought, wondrously/pointlessly superfluously worded and all)… I have to stop trying to be what I’m not, and worse measuring myself according to what I’m not. I have to start just accepting and embracing what I am… I thought I was starting to do that…  and now look at me, here, thinking how much work it’s going to take to change the direction of this blog completely, how much I will have to restrain myself and do it more ‘professionally’ or ‘typically.’  Wasn’t the whole point of my about me, of this next chapter, to make peace with living a little more irrationally, atypically.  It’s amazing how quickly and subconsciously I emotionally succumb to self-created conspiracies..

I cannot belittle, shape, or limit my blog based on the idea of making it something it’s not, i.e. a how to on getting into the filmmaking industry from scratch; I have to just let it be what it is.  I think I’ve learned so much from life, from my experiences, and yet here I am trying to define something as insignificant as a blog (that uhh, no one else is reading, absurd muchhh) as though pre-determining what it should be somehow gives it more value…what the hell is this thought process? I hate it – I thought pre-determining my whole life would give the journey more value, it didn’t… so why am I here now? Why do I continue to reflexively do this? It doesn’t make any sense…

Assigning my blog some ‘known’ or ‘accepted’ value by defining it, by giving it a purpose that it does not yet fulfill, only undermines the value of what it is so far; I perpetually diminish what it is by constantly defining what it’s not yet, and what’s worse, before I ever even give it a chance to be something of its own and create its own unique value (which, um, is also my first 24 years of life in a nutshell). Why do I insist on mentally-creating a self-debasing schism between what is and what is not yet? It just makes thing difficult, depressing… it makes me feel trapped and inadequate… I find myself in a jail cell where I have to function (or write)  according to some predetermined format that I really could give a shit less about and believe I would break through if I could, if the world, if ‘they’ would only let me… but, I thought I knew better now… I thought I’d learned, it’s not them, the ‘world,’ that’s stopping me.  The barracks created in my mind may now be impossible to tear down because they have been solidified and reinforced by other people in the physical world for so long, fortified into impenetrable steal bars … but, if this huge ominous imprisonment I once sat encircled by can be materialized into existence… then so can anything.  I already know this. I’ve experienced it. About a year ago I realized that for a long time I had been locked in a convoluted maze of steal pillars and predetermined paths … I realized I couldn’t possibly live my entire life behind bars even if there is an audience applauding on the other side of them, on the outside looking in, watching me make my way through the dizzying maze as though every correct turn I made was their own accomplishment.  I felt alone, empty on the inside looking out. I had to take a different path…and then, just like that, I found the lock and materialized a key into existence (just as the maze of steal bars was materialized into existence the day I was born)… the key fit. I felt powerful, I felt free, I felt full… I felt real; for the first time I felt more real than everything that was purely mentally-created and propagated around me…  and yet, here I sit, looking at the bars, strengthening them just by acknowledging their existence… and I’m wishing I had someone else’s key, why? I know it won’t work or fit in my lock, it won’t set me free… why do I want it? No on else is keeping me prisoner anymore, I’m choosing to stay here and creating excuses… why? Every time I re-enter the maze the bars just get stronger and my own key becomes weaker… less real…I become less real…

… I mean, ok, ok (in less philosophical not so other-dimension-land), I get it, I understand why I wanted to make the blog a”how to” (akin to why I thought being a doctor would be nice); I wanted to help people. Specifically, I hoped maybe one day my blog could help people in my position, starting from scratch, and then I found these other how to blog’s that were so great, that I was so thankful for – I wanted to be to other people, what these bloggers were to me; I respect them, I respect these writers, I want to help people too… but, do I think I have nothing of my own to create? to offer? that will have value in just being what it is instead of only gaining value “relatively” in comparison to others like it – be it the journey or the blog? Aren’t I then limiting myself in defining everything I do and create only by what’s come before and already is? I haven’t even started yet and I’m already limiting the endless world of possibilities that come with starting from scratch because I’m so desperate to qualify and quantify the journey. WTF. I have to stop doing this… if I’m still mentally, even subconsciously doing it on such a small scale, believing my blogs falls short in not fitting some self-propagated idea of what it should or could be, how can I ever expect to stop doing it on a large scale, on the ‘my entire life’ scale…

As much as writing feels like thinking, communicating feels like breathing, and the idea of filmmaking feels like living… I cannot determine or shape my entire path based on an idea, any idea. If I really want to find what fuels me, I have to stop limiting who I am or where I could end up by the idea of a valuable defined path; I have to stop creating mazes as a product of other people’s thoughts or my own conditioning.  I have to choose to define my path by who I am in the moment and honestly assess what I truly find valuable for just being what it is, not for what it could be.  Otherwise, key or not, I’m going to end up exactly where I was… 24 years in, opposite end of a gigantic convoluted maze made up of steal-bar-lined pathways, just a few feet from the cheese… and suddenly it will occur to me, ‘huh, I don’t even like cheese.’   I have a choice: I can enter the maze and be led by the avoidance of dead ends towards a final expected destination, like so many people do (which the majority of colleges I think train us to do), or, I can choose not to enter the maze, turn around, walk the other way and be guided by the possibility of creating new possibilities; discovering my own path and being fulfilled at every turn because the direction I choose is defined by who I am and what I already have, not by the idea of who I could be or what I could have (which would constantly define my path and base its value on who I am not yet or what I do not have yet.) Why is it so hard to let go of the idea of living perpetually unfulfilled? When in the world did I get hooked onto this addiction? Are we trained to live this way? Are we so scared of creating our own path, do we have so little faith in our ability to create and survive, are we so goddamn insecure that we convince ourselves that “a piece of cheese” is so much more valuable than anything we have to offer that it will make up for denying our innermost instincts, our wants, our passions, our humanity and individuality, our freedom – ourselves – along the way? Could it ever make up for how the world is deprived of what we could’ve contributed had we had the courage to embrace our inherent value and surpass barriers constantly reinforced by the powerlessness of mediocrity but permeated by the strength of individual passion?

I can’t help but get a visual of that adorable little compulsive cleaner robot dude in WALL-E, whose passion is, clearly and simply, to clean; to keep everything hella-clean… but, when WALL-E (a clearly anti-path-following kind of robot) boards the ship with muddy tank-like-tread-rollies (feet) the lil dude can’t get to the trail of dirt WALL-E leaves behind. Grrr… you see him get mad (he kinda wiggles, super cute), but he’s not mad at WALL-E for the mess, he’s not mad at having to do more work – he’s mad at the mess!!   It’s not work, it’s not what he does; it’s who he is.  So, he’s left with no choice. The impossible, the barriers, the rules, the way the system is wired, none of it matters, none of it is real; all that matters, all that is real is this mess. And has to clean it, he must; his only choice is to fight the impossible with the impossible. (The previously impossible is, after all, the only thing that ever conquers the impossible, time and time again ;)).  He musters up all of his courage, wiggles, scrunches down, prepares for the worst, and jumps off the designated grid, pausing for a second when he lands as though an alarm might go off, as though he’ll get in serious trouble for doing what he’s made to do, for just being who he is. But, nothing; no alarm; nothing happens… he’s free. And how much do you love this guy at this moment in the movie? I LOVE this little dude, he is the freaking cutest, gutsiest, most awesome little dude – no eyes, no face, no legs, no beating heart or fuzzy tail like other Walt Disney characters, and somehow I fall in love with him every time.  I could be a total weirdo (okay, admittedly, I’m a weirdo) but I fall in love with him because, from this moment forward, he’s not a robot, his passion makes him human.  His passion makes him powerful, admirable, memorable, lovable; his passion brings him to life; his passion makes him real, and, it changes the progression of the entire human race (well, in the movie; his and WALL-E’s passion, and even Eve’s – even if it takes her a while to get over the whole designated grid, robot thing– I forgive her, it’s not easy to let go of the way you’ve functioned since your date of manufacture. And I’m grateful for WALL-E. He inspired her (and she’s fast with a big ass gun; her, inspired = powerful); he inspired everyone. Passion inspires passion and it can change the progression of everything…).

This is really what I want: to inspire; to change the progression of the entire human race – I know it sounds extreme, but really, we all already affect the progression of the world, every day, one way or another, for better or worse, just by being here. How we choose to bide our time while we’re here and affect it’s progression is our choice and it is limited and shaped only by the barriers we choose to create, propagate, or revere. And I don’t have to be Steve Jobs, or my little cleanomaniac dude, or AnonymousPA blogger, because the thing I can do best, the best thing I can do for the world, isn’t to do what they do; it’s to do what I do, to be who I am, undefined, or, at least unlimited by what’s been done before, and to have faith in my inherent power to create something that’s my own. My passion is to inspire passion, inspire kindness, bridge understanding between people’s hearts and minds… that’s as far as I’ve gotten… I don’t know how to qualify it, quantify it, make a job out of, make a blog out of it, make a life out of it…

On this note, I gotta go back to other dimension land for a sec… (maybe I think if I had their key, someone else’s key… I’d know what to do next, what to do now that I’ve escaped the maze, now that I’m on the other side of these huge steal bars — I feel real, I feel full, but still in a way, a little lost (less lost – a lot less lost than I’ve been… the past few months sitting on my bum recuperating from knee surgery, unable to interact with the world, unable to value myself by ‘what I do’ because I couldn’t really ‘do’ anything, have been a psychological trip to say the least)… freedom though, without direction, it’s like being on a boat without a compass and no land in sight… I’ve never sailed that way before; it’s new and it’s intimidating.  But, using anyone else’s key will just leave me trapped in their self-constructed maze instead of my own, so I have to use my own key. Without a compass or a destination, believing in my own key (my own passion) is the only thing that will eventually raise my sails. I’m not in the maze anymore, I’m on this boat now, in the middle of nowhere, so I have to believe in it now more than ever… and then I have to trust the wind…

*Note to self (As though I haven’t been talking to myself this whole time — I know it seems crazy, but like I told you, this is what I do (I’m a weird kid) sometimes I need to remind myself to remember, because I know, first hand, how time can distort and weaken my faith in perspectives, that even if misguided, I believe are worth remembering and learning from):  If you ever get confused, if it ever feels wrong, remember to create your path with each step, and to not judge or define the step that came before or limit the step that could follow by comparing your path to maps and destinations that already exist. Create your own destination. There is no map, there are no alarms, there is no grid. Trust your heart and mind. Jump.  Passion fuels greatness only if you let it; only if you let yourself be you – let yourself be you.  Have faith in you. Use the passion of being who you are to define what you do and where you go; use only this – you will always find a way if you choose not to live in a mindset that conceives dead ends. Be honest with yourself V, at every interval. Fuck the maze. Fuck the cheese. Be focused, but always open to the possible and ‘impossible’. Don’t be afraid to trust yourself, don’t be afraid to trust the wind. Be confident. Be free.

… I’m afraid my promise to come full circle after ‘stumbling upon this PA blog’ introduction, and explaining my decision to enter the filmmaking industry as a PA will not come to fruition tonight… I’ll try to make that entry soon, but in the meantime I’ll summarize where it was going with: I started this journey about 2 weeks ago. I have zero experience. I have zero formal education. (There really is no map – which is great because I don’t even have the option to default to it.)  But, every step, so far, feels right and I’m so incredibly grateful.  And, without planning or even still fully understanding how it happened, I will be on a professional set on Monday (in two days) as a 2nd Assistant Director!! I’m going to have no idea what I’m doing—but, I’m going to do my freaking best at it and put everything I have into it… because if nothing else, finally a concept that has firmly sunk in and irrevocably interlocked with my soul (after years’ worth of reminders and notes to self): what you give is what you get; in work, life, relationships, experiences– everything… every moment.


About passionfuelsgreatness

I've had tons of practiced answers to the question "what do you do?" and edited a bit depending on who's asking... but, I've always felt like there was something fundamentally wrong with the question - like I'm being asked 'who I am,' but in so many chapters of my life I felt like the answer had very little (if anything) to do with who I was. And, really, what irked me most was that I got a small dose of satisfaction every time I gave someone else a "satisfying" answer, rather than one that was actually relevant to who I was. Those small doses became an addiction; something I needed to feel valuable, or, better said, to feel valued... or both really. Then, I went to college, graduated (with a degree 'people' respect, but I will probably never use - and a side major in Philosophy, which I use every day, even though my mom and my bank account don't know it), moved to California, and for the first time I had the chance to live completely on my own, answering to no one but myself... Everything changed. I met people who didn't measure me by 'what I do, where I studied, what I studied'...they couldn't feed my habit... (insert "a lot of life and beautiful experiences" here)... I moved to Spain for a while, I went backpacking across Europe... and I came back home, to New York, to start over. In having met so many utterly unique, brave, and intensely autonomous individuals, I see now that it wasn't the question that's bothered me – it’s the incongruity between who I am, what I want, and what I do; it's the answer -- the discord between what so many of us do and who so many of us are. What feels so innately wrong is the gap between what so many of us would do and could do, what we’d discover about ourselves, our passions and potential, what we could contribute to the world around us, if it we didn’t need to answer the question “what do you do” to satisfy other people’s perception of who we are (a question that undermines its own intention when we end up ‘doing what we do’ to satisfy who other people are instead of who we are). I think the greatest waste in the world is to let the gap between what you do and who you are belittle what you can achieve and who you can become. It's more obvious to me now, than ever before, that passion fuels greatness like nothing else in the world ... Finding my fuel...
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