Don’t fear your future, embrace it

It’s okay not to have your entire future figured out—take your time, you’ll be alright

Since I graduated this past June, I find myself content with where I am and what I’m doing with my life.

But I find myself at a standstill. As I’ve written in other editorials, myself and many of you are constantly getting asked the same question: what are you going to do with your life?

As content and happy as I am, I am aware that I still want to progress myself into my future. But, like I said, I’m stuck.

My ultimate goal is to be working in the film industry because I believe in the power of films and the stories they tell the world. However, with the creative arts, there are many ways to break into the field.

I’ve been telling myself that I want to go to college next year to do a post-graduate program in film, but there’s something about it that’s making me hesitant.

Part of it is the money. This is a question that those around my age who want to break into the film industry ask themselves all the time: Do we go out and make films ourselves and submit them to festivals and such, or do we go to school to get our foot in the door, but also drop $15,000 or more? There is no right answer, and it’s a constant question that runs through my mind all day. On one hand, I’m afraid if I leave it up to myself to do, I’ll get lazy and won’t find the motivation to create all the time. On the other hand, it saves me money. However, going to school will actually give me that extra step that I need in order to learn about the industry and have some hands-on work experience.

Applications to apply are starting to open up and I’m beginning to get nervous about what path I’d like to take.

I know and understand what my end goal is, but the path to get there will always be the hardest to figure out.

I’ve also been realizing that I’m extremely critical of everything I do, specifically toward the work I produce. Now, I know that I’m not pumping out creative work on a daily basis, but when I do, I get so wrapped up in it being as perfect as it possibly can be, and sometimes that worries me.

The process of being a creative requires consistent practice and application. Otherwise, you lose sight of what it is you want. Though it’s tough when your mind is wrapped up constantly on creating the perfect project, I realize now that my weakness is not creating enough. I spend so much time focusing on watching videos, and collecting gear, and I’m wasting my time not actually getting up and going out to create for myself and add to my creative portfolio.

What I do know, is that whichever path I do choose, I will do what’s right for me. I know that I will not sacrifice my happiness as a creative for the sake of accustoming myself to a life I don’t want to live. I know full well that I’ll have to at least have a job to pay my bills and such. However, at the same time, I will not allow myself to give up on my hopes to become a filmmaker in some form.

Many of us fear the idea of instability and are consistently creating a plan for our lives. We want to stick to a lifestyle where there is always a plan. But, to me, that worries me. Constantly planning for what I hope to come next sets me up for disappointment, because as we all know life can hit you in the face sometimes.

Having a plan will not always be able to combat that. Sometimes, what’s important is to stay as flexible in your life as possible and to understand that nothing is guaranteed. Whether you’re a first-year, a fourth-year, or in your final stages of your Ph.D., don’t be afraid to adapt to the times. This is something that I’m realizing as I figure out my way into the film industry.

Believe me, I’m anxious, afraid, upset, and worried all the time about my future. I’m also excited and can’t wait to see what comes. You probably are too.

I just need to take the chance and leap into what it is I want to do, and I think you should too. Right now, I realize I haven’t, but I know I will soon.

Allow yourself to be afraid of the future, but also allow yourself to be excited about the unknown, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get where you want to immediately. This is your time to be you and be who you’d like to be. Motivate yourself to do what allows you to achieve as much happiness in your life.

For me, that’s film. And as anxious as I am about the future, I know I’ll be okay.

And you will be too.

 

YOURS,
MAHMOUD SAROUJI