Posts Tagged 'Life'

So Now Then

Ten years ago tonight, with the clock ticking toward midnight, there was an immense anxiety in me about what would happen. The world might forever be changed. It so filled my mind that I don’t really remember anything else I talked about that night, aside from this one thing – will I get to kiss my girlfriend? Y2K be damned, I didn’t care if the world ended or not; only about what it would be like to kiss her.

I didn’t. I chickened out. But it’s okay, we made up for it and then some for the next year or so.

Boy things were different back then. Looking back on the last ten years of my life, I am in the unique position of having come of age during this time, which is a strange thing and who knows, maybe ten years from now I’ll be saying the same thing about the next decade. But for now, I want to remember when.

This was the decade I graduated high school. And college. It’s the decade I got my first car. My first job. While things were in motion, this is the decade I fell in love with the movies and with acting and with writing. I directed my first movie. Isn’t it strange to think that 10 short years ago, I hadn’t seen my favorite movie of all time? Most of my favorite movies, in fact. I started reading books. Started reading The Bible. I hadn’t heard most of my favorite music yet. Think of it. All of these things that occupy my time and my mind and my heart and direct my life on a daily basis, and I didn’t have any idea they were out there. Things I can’t imagine being without; not the physical thing-ness of them, but the experience of them. The knowledge of them, the understanding of them. If you take enough of those things away, you take me away. I’m not me without them. I couldn’t be, I wouldn’t want to be, and I don’t know who I’d be. I’ve seen well over 1,000 movies in the last 10 years. Many of them good, some of them bad, and quite a few of them life-changing. Life-changing. A movie. A song. A television show. A fiction. A podcast. People doing things who I don’t know personally but somehow know deeply. Now how in the world does that happen?

And what about the people who do populate my life? Friendships that were only a few months or a couple years old are now lifelong bonds that have carried me through so much these years. People I didn’t know, or only knew peripherally. And now, what would life be without them? Where would I be? I had the immense fortune of having incredible friends around me at every turn these last 10 years. Where I would be without them is lost, completely stupidly lost. What kings and queens of goodness they are, what multitudes they hold.

There are small big things too. I voted for the first time, had my first beer, got my first tattoo, my first apartment, got my first corporate job, quit that job and moved to another state. I took my first trip out of the country, I went on vacation by myself and found I am a good traveling companion. I wrote and wrote and wrote thousands of pages of stories and journals and movies and essays and papers. Endless experiences and events and things done and things wished for and not received and regrets and elations and disappointments and poorly-timed, well-worded remarks that got me in mountains of trouble. 10 years ago I thought I was right all the time. Now I know the percentage is slightly lower, and things are often my own fault.

10 years is enough time, it turns out, to meet someone, love them, know them for 7 years, be hurt by them long enough and badly enough that you don’t know her anymore. 10 years of my life is still a pretty high percentage of it at this point (a little over 38% of it). And there is no bleed-over. It is a thing contained within one decade, a little parenthesis of a thing that, 20 years from now will matter, won’t matter, who knows? But there is before and there is after and it doesn’t reach either of them. It is cut off. That’s a little scary when you think about it.

10 years ago, I thought of my life in terms of my parents’ rhythms. Married by a certain age, children by a certain age, career by a certain age. It took time to realize that a different pattern was waiting for me. 10 years ago, I don’t think I could ever know I’d be sitting where I am today. If I talked to myself, I wouldn’t believe me. How much I had to learn. How much I have to learn. 10 years ago, I thought I would be a film actor. I don’t think I thought very highly of the theatre. 20+ plays later, I see I was a fool. The thrill of walking onto a stage in front of an audience and inhabiting another life is one of the most beautiful things in the world. The experience of being watched is similar to playing a sport, but it’s a different kind of thrill. I love them both. Still another is to write something you’re proud of and see it performed by someone else in front of a couple thousand people. And another to write and direct something, find the time and people and equipment to capture it on film, edit it, toil over it, and then see it projected onto a screen in a dark room with people you don’t know. To hear them react to it, find it is all out of your hands now. These things are magical. I wouldn’t trade these things for anything, and I wouldn’t ruin them by explaining them away to my younger self. If I never see them again, I’m glad for what I’ve got.

So now then. What have we learned? What conclusions can we draw? What do we do now? How can I do better? The best answer I know is to say that these aren’t questions reserved for the ends of decades, but for every day. Contentment in limbo. It sounds like an impossible thing, but I think that’s where the truth lives. If I find out, I’ll tell you in 10 years.

Running, My Life

 

I’ve been running consistently to semi-consistently for about 3 and a half years. Spring break my junior year of college, I just thought one night, let’s go for a run. Now I’m addicted. I’ve gone back and forth, running outside, running on treadmills, on indoor tracks. Nothing competes with running outside. Nothing comes close. Usually, in the fall and winter people lose the nerve. Rain is a good excuse. Snow’s even better (to be fair, ice IS no good for running). Last couple days, got some new gear, and I intend to keep it going unless snow and ice take over. Here’s the checklist:

 

Accessories

Accessories

 

 

Under-Armor Gloves – Keeping the hands warm, they look slick, too. NikeFit Headband – big enough it keeps ears warm, keeps the headphones in, my head-mop looks wild, but it’s out of the eyes. Thick Black Socks – want to run happy, keep the feet happy, momma didn’t raise no fool. iPod – never leave home without it. For longer runs, my motto is – start with a podcast, end with the muzak. Strong blend of rock, rap, and jams. Cheap Watch – if it keeps time, it’ll do.

 

Gear

Gear

 

 

Nike Performance Mesh Shirt, Shorts – looks killer, breathes like a dream. Champion Nylon Windpants – when it rains. I prefer to wear some under-armor under them, I need to buy some.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shoes

Shoes

 

New Balance Running Shoes – Get to know your shoes. They tell you secrets you’d been keeping from yourself.

Right now, my regimen is as follows – Approximately 10-mile run every 3 days, and I’m going to add about a mile a week until I hit 14 or 15, then level off back at maybe 8. 8 miles is a good run. Also, the day before each long run, I do a 25-30 minute 3-4 mile jog/run. Yes, I run a lot, but many people run much much more than I do, and they run much much faster than I do. The idea is to do a half-marathon. When? Where? Not quite sure. 

I could talk about running a whole lot here. It affects all. I feel better, I think more clearly, I am more creative, I feel more in touch with myself and the world around me. When I’m having a terrible day, or I am stuck on something, a solid run is positively purifying. The physical opens up the mental, it sharpens you, your goal becomes evident. Immediate. And you are simultaneously emptied out and finely tuned. There is certainly a spiritual component to it, too, a symbiosis with creation and life. Sometimes I pray while I run. It’s easier to talk to God, easier to be thankful, less cynical, more open-minded. I listen better to Him.

I may talk more about running from time to time, but this gives most of the relevant information. Anyway, I highly recommend it. Start slow and small. Run a little, walk a little, run a little more. And always, always remember to stretch.

By Way of Incomplete Introduction…

My reasons for writing this are not yet clear. I write a lot, do a podcast, make films, have a full-time job, far too much reading to do… if only I had a blog to go with it all. And yet that it does not make sense only makes me forge on into the dark, keyboard in hand, hand on keyboard. Yes.

To give an expectation:

I will be writing movie reviews, some political opinions maybe, for about a month or so, random meanderings about countless subjects, as yet to be determined, perhaps a production diary of sorts the next time I shoot a film, and untold millions of sentences of me writing about writing (this is not to be encouraged, and I apologize in advance). And to start off, my work is about to send me down to Texas (I live in Kansas City) due to the recent hurricanes. And so, along with my film camera to document it all, I will be writing about it, too. I’m actually genuinely excited to able (hopefully) to help in some small way. Various projects or sub-blogs will undoubtedly creep into this one. Please, PLEASE, feel free to comment and absolutely disagree with me on any and all points I ineptly make. The other readers will thank you for being the lone voice of reason. 

So it begins.


It Has Come to This

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