I think it’s appropriate that I follow up my last post about the trial and tribulations of living in the East Village with one about new beginnings. Many things have happened over the last four months that have helped remind me that the only thing that’s constant is change. I mean seriously.. I’m always moving.. figuratively and apparently, literally.
I had a birthday. I suppose 32 puts me squarely “in my 30s” but I’m entirely okay with that. I’m also okay with sharing my age because most people mistaken me for 24, which I can imagine is a hinderance in business situations. I digress.
Recently, I’ve experienced many fortunate things. But thanks to some very bad luck, I was, and am still am able to fully appreciate how much my life has turned around for the good. At least for now. One of those lovely experiences was a Tribeca film screening of Mistaken for Strangers. On the surface, it was a documentary about the lead singer of The National, Matt Berninger, filmed from the perspective of his brother, Tom. But the brilliant film had so many other layers, about the relationship to ones family, ones self and the creative process. I hope to pass along the inspiration with some take aways from the movie and Q&A session;
• Regarding the creative process, when you reveal the pain and struggle you’re going through, that’s when the creativity flows. It’s funny – so often it seems as if popular musicians or actors just appear out of thin air. Sometimes we learn afterward that they actually struggled for years before hitting it big. We all work hard but how many of us have held side jobs, lived as paupers, and consistently had to keep smiling and performing in the face of rejection? And through all of that, reveal our deepest selves through our performance whereby revealing our vulnerability is actually what helps us connect to our audience. So maybe the key to success is revealing our humanity – revealing that we’re all just people going through the same struggles, with the same needs and concerns.
• It takes crafting to tell the truth. For the last few months, I’ve been in the throws of pitch after pitch at work. I research both the market and consumer. Then eventually, after my brain has been saturated with facts, some sort of story formulates in my head, or is usually scrawled haphazardly on a scrap piece of paper. Then eventually these notes make their way into a PowerPoint. And finally, I go back through the links and PDFs of research to find data points to back up my story. But in the end, it’s about finding one truth. Then figuring out how to tell that truth. I am so amazed as to how clearly this process relates to so many other areas of my life. It has helped me in writing my novel. It has helped me figure out myself and how to tell my own story. What is the truth for how I live my life? What dots can I connect from my past, my habits or my behavior that reveal who I am and what truth do I choose to tell? And it has helped me see the world differently. The truth is subjective. It is formed by how you see the world and how you organize facts. So figure out how you want to tell it.
• Don’t stop. I can’t tell you how many ups and downs I’ve had over the last few months. Or maybe I should tell you given my above statement. Mostly it’s been related to my living situation that is one day away from being completely resolved (hopefully!). The other day I was exploring Bushwick and found myself in a magic shop. Actually, I think they’re called Magick shops. Yes, I bought a few inexpensive rocks and a ring in the hopes of ridding negative energy and symbolizing new beginnings. I am entirely aware that this could be complete nonsense but it makes just as much sense as baptism, touching a torah, saying a prayer, wearing a cross.. you get the idea. We look for external forces to help us get through our lives. We view these objects, chants, or rituals as a means to guide us in the right direction. But the truth, that I sometimes don’t want to admit, is that no external force is going to save us. It’s the way we behave after performing these rituals, whether it makes us more loving, more confident, more at ease or more determined, that helps us get through the hurdles. The only way you can change your situation is by changing yourself. So don’t stop and keep going because you’ll get through it.