There are topics that I come to time and again because I feel like we need to hear some things more than once. We need that sort of a mantra that keeps us going. That ‘I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can’ sort of thing that fuels us through the dark times. The times where we trick ourselves into thinking we’re worthless, unlovable, unvaluable, and untalented. The times when we let everything snowball so that it feels like we can never move that wait from our chests. We don’t see though that it’s just snow and that we don’t need to lift it, we need but to tunnel and we’ll get through it.
Depression and doubt don’t just go away, but they also don’t own and control us.
They are not who we are.
They are a part of who we are.
But just a part.
Like joy and love.
Sometimes the best way through these negative things is to just tunnel through them. To find the things we love and to embrace them and let them remind us that the sun still shines, that the universe is still unfolding, and that this is but one moment of millions.
But it’s that passion that we need to hold onto in these dark times. And lord, these times are dark. That passion that keeps us fighting for ourselves, for others, and for the art itself. We talk ourselves out of so much that we could build a dump from all of our regrets.
I wish I had done this.
I wish I had said this.
I wish I had gone there.
Not everything is regrettable.
Not everything was a mistake.
That moment you thought was romantic may have been cringeworthy to another person.
That trip you felt you needed to take might still be taken later.
That thing you didn’t do, you had a reason not to do it, maybe you weren’t wrong.
What we need to remember is that life is a puzzle we are all still unraveling, and the perceived mistake or failure may yet lead you to the light. Life is nothing if not ironic in how it doles out wisdom. I remember a trip I took where I hung out with a friend I had never met before and they wanted me to go to a concert with them, where they knew the band. I wanted to go but was at a convention for horror authors and was in town FOR THAT, so I made the hard decision and went back to the convention. Had I not gone back I would have never hung out with an author whose work I deeply admired and some other writers and had the time of my life back then. I can regret a million things but some of the stuff I wouldn’t trade for the world only happened because I didn’t do something else or didn’t choose another path.
Passion is the same in that you never know what you will love if you don’t try it out.
If you talk yourself out of it before you even try it then how do you really know?
If you want to write, then write.
If you want to sing, then sing.
If you want to dance, then dance.
If you want to paint, then paint.
If you want to make movies, then MAKE them.
On and on and on.
There are ways to do these things that doesn’t mean we are pinning our futures on them. To me, you should first see if you even love a thing, really love it, before you start spending real money it or planning your life around it. If you want to make a movie, like Kubrick said in an old quote, MAKE IT. With phones giving us the opportunity to make high quality movies and short, edit them, and even SCORE them all on the phone, for free, then you should. Try it out. See what you like, what you hate, and what you think you can do better. See if you still have that fire in you once you’ve made something.
If you don’t, then hey, there you go, lesson learned.
At least you tried.
If you DO love it, then you can move from there. Get a book and read up how to do it. Take some classes on how to do it. Watch some tutorial videos. Talk to people who make movies and ask how they do it. Or heck, just keep finding your own way. That’s what I did. I won’t say I am the most polished filmmaker out there, but I made the movies, and they are fully realized and watchable.
The only one that has any right to tell you you can’t do something is you, and let’s be honest here, half the time you’re full of crap!
We work so hard making excuses for ourselves, oh, well, I won’t be any good at it. Oh, well, it’s too much money to do that.
Oh, well, I am too busy.
We make so many excuses, like we’re our parent getting us out of something we don’t want to do, when this is something we are already interested in.
It’s something we WANT to do.
NEED to do, in many cases.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at it at first.
Why would you be?
But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to be better and better and better.
With a life full of so many regrets, why add to them?
Why not pursue some of those butterflies in our hearts?
What is there to lose that isn’t worse than the empty feeling of What If?
It doesn’t mean that you loving to sing at karaoke will make you the next big thing, but it also doesn’t mean that you can’t see what it’s like to sing with a band and if you like THAT too.
We all have passions and interests and dreams, and we can’t all reach them alone so why not connect with people like us who can help us, and we can help them and together we can get a little closer to the things we love?
I have lived long enough that I have watched so many people I love walk away from the things they love that it breaks my heart. You can encourage and support them all you want but if they let that fire die in them then there’s not a lot YOU can do. They have to find a way to rekindle it.
And that sucks.
Because most won’t.
But they can.
Pursue that passion before it’s too late.
Chase that dream before it’s faded away.
Follow those butterflies before you lose them.
Don’t add to your regrets.
The worst thing that happens is you learn that you’re really not that into the thing you thought you loved. You like singing in the shower but not in front of people. You like writing journals but not stories. You like making home movies but not fictional movies.
There’s nothing wrong with any of that.
But you’ll never know unless you just do it.
Take that step because if you don’t, you’ll be another old person looking back on the towering pile of regrets and wondering What If just as you’re heading out the door.
HEY! I write books, do a podcast, make movies, and review movies. Hit up the links to check it all out, yo!