Lessons can came from funny places when we need to learn them. Maybe it's the feeling of desperation which necessitates better eyes to find new ways to analyze our problems and be inspired by the actions of others...or maybe you just get bummed and watch a movie.
I am a person who loves cinema. Anyone who knows me or has even had a 2 minute conversation with me could tell you that I often (ok, always) speak in quotes from movies, find myself slipping into a character mindset, or making plans to go the movies (having probably just gone to see one). I've never quite known why I love them so much - even the bad ones - though I think it's the visual story telling mixed with a overly high level of imagination and empathy that hurls me into a character's shoes. And with this brings an outer-body, while somehow introspective look at myself. An allegory and temperature reading on how I'm doing, played out in front of me on the silver screen (I'm owed many an Oscar).
Last night, I "starred" in The Theory of Everything, the remarkable story of Stephen Hawking. This was a great film and a great night for 2 reasons: 1) I successfully DID NOT cry in front of my girlfriend while we watched and 2) I felt like I learned something about myself.
I have been exceptionally quiet.
I have a vision and direction that I feel God has placed on my heart. To be a storyteller, make things, and express a uniquely creative passion for helping people - what some would call Advertising. And while not every (in fact, few) project or portfolio piece I've worked on has saved or changed a life, I've always held an inherent hope and desire that my work would simply help others in some capacity, as well as bless my client by exceeding their business goals.
And so, I am determined to get better at what I do to do bigger work for bigger names with bigger capabilities to make a bigger difference. The desire and vision for this dream is directly liquidated into the currency of hustle - copious amounts of blood (tricky x-acto knives), sweat, and tears. Having always believed an adage along the lines of "if you work hard, it will work out," I've gritted my teeth and muscled my way through the pains of hustling, only to find that it has not really worked out like I thought it would. I've been scammed, worked for free under the promise of eventual opportunity, and been strung along to find no pot of gold at the end. I say none of this to be a "woe is me," but I was made aware through last night's film that I've let these short comings quiet my joy and thankfulness. I believe this is a dangerous pitfall to stifling creativity and more so, happiness.
Someone once told me that perspective can change everything. Dr. Hawking lost virtually his whole body and yet he is regarded as one of the greatest minds since Einstein. Despite the adversity that tried to silence him, even losing his physical ability to speak, the man did not stay quiet. He theorized, solved, and dreamed up epic solutions to things that my mind believes only exists in science fiction.
I recently read a quote that asked "What if you woke up with only the things you thanked God for last night?" And while I would first like to say to you that God loves you and wants to lavish you with gifts as a loving father would to his child (Matthew 6), I also realize that I have a seriously long praise chorus that I have to be thankful for, like we're talking something Rush would play over the span of 2 days.
So I would like to loudly proclaim "Thank you," to many people for many things. To God, to family, to friends, colleagues, bosses, directors, and organizations that have helped in some way to get me here. It's a short song right now but I'll keep working on singing it better and more often.