Being a team that is dedicated to highlighting diversity, we decided to attend the “Hacking the Script: Disrupting Diversity in Hollywood” panel at SXSW. The focus of the panel was on how to challenge unconscious bias in order to create more representation in Hollywood. The panel speakers included Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Yara Shahidi […]
Here’s What You’ve Missed:
It’s been a whole year since my last update and, well, a lot has happened. January and February saw me traveling the map, I got my first passport stamp in Toronto where I learned that I am pretty resourceful and can somehow manage to keep my shit together in freezing temperatures and questionable living conditions. April May and June had me continuing pulling all my skills together, seeing friends get married, surviving and somehow making internet. July August and September were trips, birthdays and the release of a documentary. My mom beats cancer. October is a rush. November had me on the west coast for the first time ever working wild hours in a city LA rapper loved to talk about. Then watching the country fall into madness. December was anniversaries, planning and staring at the open abyss that is the unknown.
What hasn’t changed you ask?
The self doubt and anxiety but, there are pills for that.
Somehow along the way I became the lone man on the watchtower and between manning the cannons, keeping the ship afloat and morale high, I’ve lost the core of myself. They say that battle does that. Conflict takes the man and makes the warrior but I’ve been at war for a long time and every time I see home, another cataclysm or disaster hits and I’m back in the battle. Dramatic yes but let’s face it, life is like that. It comes at you fast, breaks your ribs and takes your wallet leaving you to wonder what the fuck happened. Long hours, little sleep, bright moments and then plunging back into the dark, the little jar full of lightening still clutched in your hands keeping the night at bay.
I’ve talked about that a lot and always think about what that means and does. Lightening in a bottle. It’s not the strike of luck or the one time thing that’ll never happen again. It’s the moment that your bravery struck and startled everyone, made you notice and respect you and your power. You have to put it in a jar to keep yourself burning bright, to keep yourself moving, to keep yourself from letting the bastards get you down. At the risk of throwing myself under the bus, it’s the one thing I’ve been struggling with the most. Keeping that jar safe and remembering to use it. That’s the part that’s scariest. You think lightening and imagine Zeus exacting revenge on the world; it’s more you deciding to remind yourself of brilliance and to hold on. You ride lightening.
The shift is real, the ship is on a blind course and unsurprisingly, it feels like everyone is grabbing for a wheel they can’t actually steer with because everyone wants to be the one who saves the day, with or without help and take the commendations that come with it. That’s fine. Again, that’s a fact of life but you also have to remember that you are you before you were on this mission. You have a life, thoughts, feelings, dreams, aspirations, hopes and most importantly, a world and a ship of your own.
Self care is critical. Letters from home. Pictures with friends. Seeing a shitty movie. Watching the stars. Leaving it all behind for awhile so that you’re a better, more human human. When you forget that, you fall to shit.
Mental and emotional combat does damage and you pulls you into the war that isn’t yours. You take up battles and causes and you know are folly and follow in because what else are you going to do? Your nerves are shot, body shakes, your head full of so much static our confidence flails and you can’t muster more than simple sentences. You don’t trust your own voice. You see yourself in shadow, in mirrors, banging away from the other side trying to punch out and grab you to remind you of who you are, where you’re going and how the hell we ended up here. You’re not a solider. You’re not pawn. You’re a general. Fighting commanders who forgot what it’s like. You rebel. You plan your defection. You find exit strategies that allow you to be a good deserter, one that’s envied instead of reviled. You’re fine for now, grit your teeth and work through it all, not for what the battleship has done for you but for what you see on the horizon; your world. Your ship. Your home.
Homer’s Odyssey is basically that. A guy who was tired of the bullshit and decided fuck it, I’m going home. Along the way, shit got weird, he almost killed a few people by mistake, fought some demigods, harpies and sirens and he was still dog determined to get home. All that war he didn’t want prepared him to be a warrior for what he knew was right. I mean, it got worse when his wife didn’t remember him and another guy had taken his place but I mean, what’re the odds of that happening outside of a soap opera or a Greek epic?
So here’s the moral of the story. You are the same person you were when you got on the ship and you’ll always be the same one during the journey, you will doubt, you worry and you will look around in despair. You will cry. You will get depressed. You will wonder what any of this is for. You will see it in glimpses, those moments of light that spark and push you forward, the . That hints that make it worth while when you are surrounded by those who matter most. Take that. Keep it.
You are lightening in a bottle.
Unleash that motherfucker.