#NonBinary

I love Wednesdays. 1) Because the work week is half away over. And 2) episodes of my favorite podcast come out. This week, the PCHH crew talks about dichotomies– more importantly, they talk about Star Wars vs. Star Trek. I love Star Wars (so much that I have the sign of the Rebellion inked on my arm) but I also digging Star Trek (the recent reboot has sucked me in… anything with Chris Pine, let’s be real). Why do I have to pick between the two? Why can’t I love and support both?

Our society suffers from extreme black-and-white thinking. It’s either or… with everything. Star Wars or Star Trek. Marvel or DC. Democratic or Republican. Apple or everyone else. We start these thoughts young with good guys or bad guys. Sure, having the either or makes things a bit simpler rather than having a million options to choose from but when it comes to thoughts, the black-and-white is more harmful than helpful.

One of the things that I’m training my brain to do is to let go of the black-and-white, binary thinking (it’s fucking difficult but I am doing it). I’m the type of person who either see life going horribly wrong or going just fine (and when I say fine, I think of the neutral emoji– so I either think things will be eh or it will be the end of the world… Still working on upping my inner positivity). I’m slowly banning absolutes from my vocabulary and recognizing the examples in my life where things are gray like saying that I’m fine verses that I’m just good or bad. I’m getting better catching myself using dichotomous thinking and letting myself ride- and enjoy- the middle ground.

I also think about the true definition about words before I think them. There’s this TED Talk that pitches the idea, let’s put ‘awe’ back in ‘awesome.’ According to the Oxford Dictionary, awesome means, “extremely impressive or daunting.” Awesome should be used more sparingly, during actual moments of wonder. The same with terrible– I’m not extremely bad at anything. No one is after some practice. Let’s take math for example. I’m poor at advance calculus but I can do basic algebra in my head… So I’m not a 100% failure at it. I’m just okay. It’s not one extreme or the other- it just is.

Why does everything need to be either or, dear reader? Where do you find the medium, the gray?

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#DepressionLessons

Dear depression,

Hi. I’m noticing you today. I hate you. I’ve never hated anything more in my life (well, except for math). I often wonder what my life would be without you (I imagine “better”). But even though you’re always leaving a bad taste in my mouth, you taught me a lot… So, I guess, in a weird and small way, thank you for your lessons…

1) Depression is never going to go away- and that’s okay. I have a chemical imbalance in my head. It sucks especially when the rest of my body is pretty healthy. I don’t get colds or sick very often. On long runs and bike rides, I don’t cramp. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. But this mess in my head… I’ve had it for all my 32 years on the planet and there is no end in sight. BUT it’s gets better. My depression will never go away but I get better every day tending to it. I take medication. I see my therapist. I make sure to get plenty of exercise. I don’t hermit and isolate myself. My depression will never go away but things don’t last forever– both good and bad times.  This too shall pass. Things ebb and flow. Keep on pushing through both the pain and the good stuff.

2) Things take work. Relationship. Dreams. Your mental health. If you want old habits to die, you have to put in the time. You have to take your medicine. You have to talk to your therapist (side note: finding a good therapist takes work. I’ve seen four different ones in the last six years. I finally have one that is actually helpful- shout out to Linda!). There are days where I don’t want to get out of bed. I’ll have zero motivation. But those are the days that I know I NEED TO GET OUT OF BED. Those are the days that I NEED TO PUSH MYSELF. For the longest time, I thought that happiness will come if you’re kind and generous. Though part of that is true the rest is bullshit. Happiness takes works.

3) No one is coming to save you. Not your family nor your parents. Not your doctors or your therapists. They may help but ultimately, your mental health is up to you. It’s up to you to treat, to manage. Your loved ones may push you in the right direction and give you stellar support but at the end of the day, you are on your own.

4) No one is coming to save you but having a pet will help. This one has perked me up and helped ease panic attacks on various occasions. There have been dark times when I wanted to end everything but then, I asked myself, “Who would take care of Hova?” She drives me crazy at times, meowing at 3am for her breakfast but she has also showed me unconditional love. I’m so grateful to have this puff ball in my life.

5) My greatest challenge is being mindful and living in the present- but I’m getting better at it. I feel best when I live in the moment. I know that about myself. Let me give you an example- two weekends ago, I biked though out Austin, Texas, enjoying the sunshine and stopping to take photos or to grab a quick drink (which is another lesson I learned, something that I should have paid attention to in high school health class- booze will make you feel worse. So, I now drink pretty infrequently. I’m all about those soda waters with a twist of lime). My mind was clear and I was happy. So, I try to focus on things like music and sunshine and

6) But remember to check in with yourself- OFTEN! I stare off into space often. But please know that when I do, I’m often checking in with myself. How am I feeling? What am I thinking? Do I feel safe and supported? So, I’ll stand in the middle of the market, asking myself how I’m feeling and if I’m hungry. After a tough work meeting, I’ll see if I need to cry or can I move on to the next project. I live in my head but in a good way- and all those things that I feel and question? They are completely valid. I don’t have to justify my feelings or defend them. I can feel whatever I need to feel.

7) Your adulthood is all about unlearning shit from your childhood. In order to be mentally stable, you’re going to have to reteach yourself A LOT. I learned bad habits from my parents. Yes, I love them dearly but they made me question a lot of things- like having a traditional marriage and beauty standards (i.e. skinny doesn’t equal pretty). With that said, my self-perceptions are often times wrong. I’m not ugly. I’m not stupid. People do care. Life is worth it.

8) You don’t have to be perfect. Fuck being perfect. And fuck thinking that you need a purpose. You are your purpose. You are enough.

What have you learned about mental health, dear reader? And you go, Mimi

#ICanSeeYourFuture

Oh, Miss Cleo… Your commercials were the best.

Guys… I saw a psychic.

A mystical guide recently opened a boutique near my home. I walk by it every day, curious about what goes on inside even though I’ve always been a skeptic of the metaphysical. I once received a spiritual healing- I didn’t feel more cleansed and spent the day after crying. People have given me crystals which look pretty but just collect dust in the corner of my bedroom. I’ve read plenty of books where I’m supposed to manifest the life I dream of and everything then will fall into place (bullshit). Even God is a bit of hocus pocus to me (technically, I’m Mormon but I stopped believing about 12 years ago and haven’t been inside a LDS church since). But for some reason, I decided to stop in to Miss Parris’s store- I blame the $20 bill burning a hole in my pocket.

Miss Parris and I talked for a while. She looked a bit like Professor Sprout from the Harry Potter films and had a thick New York accent. I tried not give her too much details about my life and I asked for some guidance about what direction I should take. She asked me if I want her gift through cards or a palm reading. I offered up my hand. Miss Parris glanced over it and told me the following: 1) That I have a lot of negative energy around me (ain’t that the truth?). 2) That I have a fear of abandonment (yup!). 3) That despite my negativity energy, I will live a long and happy life- my happiest years are ahead (whew!) 4) That I will have a really great offer in three months (I’m excited for June!). 4) That I’m going to receive something important paperwork in the mail soon. And oh- 5) That I’m going to have two kids.

I left Miss Parris’ questioning everything. Sure, she was right about some stuff (my fear of being alone was dead on) but what about the other stuff? How did she know that I was going to have a happy life? What about this offer? And the kids- were these human or fur babies (I refer to my cat as my child- am I destined to be one of those cat ladies?). Despite having more questions than answers, I decided to roll with Miss Parris’ predictions and am staying hopeful about everything.  But of course, my mind wanders and I start to think about my chakras, fate and higher powers…

One of my favorite Disney movies is “Brave.” Merida is supposed to wedded off and she wants to change her fate. So, she sees a witch who turns her mother into a bear. I watch that film and wonder if fate is a real thing- are our lives really predetermined? Or can we change it? And if fate is real, where does that leave our free will…?  I want to believe in both- we are destined to live certain lives but every now and then, we like to throw things off balance (in both good or bad ways) and slowly find our way back to our path. No one can truly predict the future but we are habitual creatures and we fall into patterns. By breaking up such patterns, we can disrupt our destinies. We can change our fate… so that big opportunity that I’m supposed to get this summer? Maybe it’s not a divination after all. Perhaps I was just needed to be shown another possibility.

Do you believe in  psychic or some higher power, dear reader? What about fate- what are you doing to disrupt your destiny?

#EqualPayDay

Equal pay for equal work. It should be that simple, right? Nope, it isn’t.

Today is Equal Pay Day- the day that highlights the continued wage gap that countless of women and minorities face in the United States. A woman still earns an average 82 cents for each dollar a White male earns for similar work. Black women make just 60 cents on that dollar and Latinas only make 50 cents to that dollar. Black men make 75 cent to the White men’s dollar while Latinos make 65 cents.  These disparities exist regardless of industry and regardless of educational level, and this failure equals a loss of more than $32 billion in combined wages. Equal pay is good for families, business and our economy.

Why does this continue to happen? Discrimination– racism, sexism, etc. Tradition– women are more likely to be in low paid and in low-skilled jobs or in “feminised” industries (think teaching or nursing). Women are more likely to care for their loved ones and often times get hit with a motherhood penalty (women’s earnings slip 4% for each child they have. Men’s earnings get a bump when they have children) . Women are also traditionally not selected for upper management positions.

How can we fix this problem? 1) Allow employees to discuss salary and compensation. If you don’t know what your coworker is making for the same job, how can you know if you’re being underpaid? These gag orders limit employees’ rights and help contribute to the wage gap. 2) Implement paternal leave and encourage new fathers to take it. 3) In the same vein as number two, create universal childcare. Often times, it’s the mother who has to care for the children at home when she could work. If we had great, early development childcare that was mandatory, both parents could work, lessening the gap. 4) Raise the minimum wage. 5) Look at your living situation at home. There is an inequality at home in heterosexual relationships at home- women do more childcare and housework which creates incentives for them to leave the workplace. Reverse those stupid gender roles (and that includes encouraging boys to be teachers, nurses, full-time parents, etc. and girls to strive for big, high-executive positions). 6) Keep talking about the wage gap- with your friends and loved ones, your co-workers, even your boss!

Equal pay for equal work. It needs to be that simple.

***

Check out the Pew Research Center for more information about the income disparity. 

#Jaded

Love can suck it…

I hate to say it but I’m one of those millennials- advertising doesn’t faze me. It’s the same with most millennials- traditional ads don’t have an affect on us. I’ve been in the ad business for sometime now and I know a ton of marketing tricks- product placement, influencers, DOOH, geotargeting… my eyes glaze over posts when scrolling social media accounts. I may look at an ad for a nanosecond but then the message flies out of my brain and I immediately forget the messaging. I installed AdBlocker on all my devices so I don’t have to bother with someone trying to sell me something. I don’t mean to be jaded about it advertising- or maybe I am? I guess you can say the same thing about love…

Let me introduce to my friends- Friend A, Friend B, Friend C and Friend D.

Friend A– Single. Desperately wants to be in a relationship. Plays by the “rules.” She’s on a bunch of dating apps and receives many messages (in one day, SIXTY messages!) But then is often ghosted or stood up on their first date. Is she acting too desperate?

Friend B– Single but wants someone special. Frequent Tinder/Bumble/Hitch user. Meets guys offline for drinks but always goes back to ex-boyfriends (and their beds). There is too much former temptation.

Friend C–  Recently divorced. Was happy to get out of her failing marriage and is ready to swear off men for the rest of her life (“thank God for dildos,” as she puts it) unless the perfect man (i.e. Channing Tatum) comes into her life. Every guy she meets is a quote-unquote dirty bag.

Friend D- Single for a year or two. Is currently dating couple of guys but hasn’t experienced any sparks. The men she’s meeting are nice but they aren’t exactly who she’s looking for. She wants to give up.

Relationships- ew…

I would like to introduce you to my Jaded in Love friends. We drink way too many brunch mimosas as we talk about our favorite subject: love and all that comes with it. It’s amazing what my friends think about the L word and relationships. They are strong, smart women who have been burned by men and are having difficulty finding quality me to date, let alone marry. Lately, they have been chatting about never finding anyone and settling down to a life of singlehood (um… nope). Me, being the relationship Pollyanna, try to give my friends advice. Get off the apps, I say. When you’re supposed to meet someone, that someone will turn up in your life. Paradoxically, when you stop looking, the right person turns up. Or- pick one and see what happens (I’ve had this exact conversation before, minus the Elmo and Cookie Monster voices- “just take a bite!”). I know that there are a TON of options on OkCupid but you have to choose one. Despite my efforts, my friends leave the bar refusing to go to any more weddings of happy couples, looking down on themselves and feeling alone.

I hate that my friends were screwed over and I get it- dating, relationship, it all can be awful (been there, done that plenty of times). They can suck. You’re tired of trying. You’re tired of getting hurt. You’re tired of being unappreciated and giving your all especially if you realize that your partner isn’t in it for the long haul. You’re burnt out and when you are, it’s hard seeing the good in people. It’s hard being vulnerable. It’s even hard to put on lipstick and a cute dress when you know it won’t impress. So, how do we get rid of such feelings?

The thing with being jaded is that you’re fixated on past pain- and that’s what I tell my friends. Being jaded is a defense mechanism that helps people rationalize their bad dating life and relationship experience. I feel like my therapist when I tell them to dig deeper into their dating psychosis. That includes the pain. You can notice it, acknowledge it and move on. The past is in the past. And this is coming from someone who is always living in the past. What is responsible for those issues- an ex? Daddy issues? If you’re still hurting over an ex, try to appreciate what you had while you were together. It was one part of your life that you should be grateful for- find the learning lessons (but remember that he’s an ex for a particular reason). Break down those issues.

You will find your Ricky.

There are good people out there. Sometimes, they’re not online. They’re your friends. Your coworkers. Your next door neighbor. Get out of your shell and get out there. But don’t rush things. My mom once said that love is like cooking arroz y gandules– you need to let it simmer before it gets tasty. And remember that people different- one may think that “all guys are dogs” but there is a single man out there who is kind and generous and wants to give someone like you the world. We also put so much emphasis on the total package- looks, personality, security. Believe me, Channing is nice to look at but that guy at the end of the bar will always make you laugh and buy you your favorite flowers. Give him a chance, too. Be open and just try.

And remember that dating is supposed to be fun. Fun, I tell you! If it’s not, then you’re doing something wrong.

To my friends- you will find that love you so deeply desire soon. I promise. Stay hopeful- love comes when there’s hope. Until then, I will continue to buy y’all champagne and orange juice.

Are you jaded over love, dear reader? What else are you not feeling?

#BuildingOne

One of the things that I love the most about my job is the community. Believe it or not, the active kink world is a pretty small group- especially out here in Northern Nevada (everyone knows everyone in Reno). I’ve been going to different events around town, talking about taboo subjects like BDSM (i.e. bondage, rope) and sexual health (STIs, condom usage, using poorly made adult toys, etc.). It gives me great joy, not only educating people but making new friends and building connections. It wasn’t until I starting doing this when I realized that I was starved for such kinship. That connection of community.

I have a lot of friends and I know a ton of people but lately, I’ve been craving more. I need that sense of community in my life. I miss feeling like I’m a part of something BIGGER. Perhaps it’s because I stepped away from politics and volunteering. Maybe I’m finally morphing into my inner curmudgeon/ hermit (I think I just need to get out of my head). Communities provide support to those who are impacted by daily stress, struggles and chaos of modern life- it offers several valuable gifts that combine to improve our emotional state, relationships and quality of life. Human beings are meant to be social and find some sort of meaning within their communities. So, why is it difficult to find your tribe?

Making (and keeping) friends when you’re an adult is incredibly difficult. I’ve lost plenty over the last several years. They have moved. They have refocused their lives, leaning in towards their jobs, partners, children. We’ve had falling outs. Hey, that’s okay. I’ve done my fair share of pushing people away and not giving them my full commitment (and for that, I’m truly sorry). My best friend and I recently compared lists of what we want in a future partner. We gushed over each other’s lists but then asked ourselves, we expect all these qualities in a partner. But do we have these qualities ourselves? I ask you, dear reader, if you were to make a list of the top ten qualities you want in a friend, would you say that you own those same qualities? Are you kind? Are you supportive? Are you being the friend you want to be friends with?

Without your community, you’re irrelevant (I’m feeling this heavily). Without your community, you’re invisible. Without your community, you’re ignorant. Political, racial, arts, work, blogging and even the ones online (Reddit totally counts!)- COMMUNITIES! Explore all of those aforementioned options and don’t be afraid to say ‘hi’ and be open. We all feel the need to belong and we all are looking for that connection. Your community is looking for you and your gifts.

Now, excuse me… I have a MeetUp group to check out and a gallery to visit… Who is a part of your community, dear reader? What are you doing to build it up?

Today is also International Women’s Day and we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Shout out to those women who influence others positively, those who challenge stereotypes and bias and to those who continue to progressively press forward to a better future. To quote Former First Lady Michelle Obama, “As women we must stand up for ourselves, for each other and for justice for all.” Go out today and support your community of sisters!

#HappyBirthday

Happy girls (and cats) come from Nevada…

Today is my 32nd birthday. I worked, went to lunch with my coworker and watched “Black Panther” at the cinema for the billionth time. It was a good day. This morning, I sat in my office, beaming about this past weekend. It was filled with good friends, bad dance moves, way too much booze, lots of laughter, filmmaking and some desperately needed snuggling. I’m really lucky and I thank everyone who made my birthday special. I felt this enormous wave of love- I haven’t felt that in a long while.

A few weeks ago, I was talking with my friend about her turning 30- reaching this milestone of an age. She admitted that she was surprised that she reached 30. She thought for whatever reason, she wouldn’t live to see it. I listened to my friend and nodded- I understood. I didn’t think that I would see my 30s either (especially how I lived in my teens and 20s). And now that I’ve reached them- my 30s, I feel like half the time, I’m scratching my head in confusion, wondering what I’m supposed to be doing. I ask myself why… what the hell? all the time.

But it’s okay. It’s days like today and yesterday and the day before that remind me to keep pressing forward despite all the questions and negativity. Those are the days to live for, to strive for. Those are the people to live for and to strive for. I think about my newly 30 year old friend and say (despite sounding like my mother), “these are the best days of our lives.” We live to see and experience birthdays… and all good days.

I’m excited for this year and all the wonderful things it will bring. Happy every day to you, dear reader.

 

#LiveAuthentically

My authentic self- I like to make faces…

I’m in the middle of writing my memoir. It’s been a process, reliving some of the tough things that I’ve experienced. I feel like I’m writing a brand new character because I hid so much of myself throughout my life. To give an example, when I get really excited abut something, I squeal. I dance. I throw my fists in the air. I was once shamed for acting that way- that I was being too loud. That I looked childish. That I was embarrassing. So, I stopped. I hid the feeling inside every time I got excited about something. I wasn’t living authentically.

I turn 32 next week. I feel like I’m at a place in my life where I give no fucks about other people’s opinion and the only challenge I have is with myself, the inner struggle of waking up a better version of myself every day. That means challenging old beliefs and sorting through my baggage. Facing fears and doubts, all the bad self-talk. Being okay with being okay and not being great or cool all the time. Respecting all parts of myself. Speaking (and writing) honestly and genuinely. Owning my positive AND negative thoughts, feelings and actions…

I’m missing teeth- my front tooth is fake. I’m incredibly hard on myself. I love people- I’ve dated various races and genders (and I can’t stand racist and sexist jokes). I rarely shave my legs. I still don’t know what I want to be when I “grow up.” I cut my own hair. I talk with my hands and am not afraid to ask questions (I thank my journalism education for that). I don’t get along with my dad. I’m obsessed with traveling but I’m terrified of flying (thank God pot is legal in Nevada). I cry a lot. I refer to my cat as my “kid” to everyone (I will stay home to be with my “child”). I’m weird- I know that I am…

It is still incredibly hard, this journey. Part of me still wants to hide. Part of me still want to mimic others (especially when my jealous side comes out). Part of me is begging for someone else’s opinions. But I know that those parts of me will eventually disappear. My mom calls me her mermaid- I like to swim and I’m really good at it. But I think I’m actually a phoenix. The true version of myself is finally emerging out of the ashes. I’m trying to live courageously and actively am trying love myself and the people around me. I’m finally speaking my truth,

I like myself. I like my life. And I’m curious about and thrilled for the upcoming year and the next 32.

Do you live authentically, dear reader?

#BigDecisions 

Last week, my best friend had surgery to remove uterine polyps. While they’re not cancerous (thank God!), the doctor informed my friend that she has an eight month window to get pregnant or face the high risk of never being able to carry a baby for a full-term. She is my age, not in a relationship but kicks ass in her job and with her social life. When she told me what her doctor said, I panicked for her and asked if she was considering getting pregnant ASAP. She said yes… Holy shit, that’s a big decision.

There’s this Jennifer Aniston/ Jason Bateman movie where Aniston’s character wants to have a baby despite being single. Bateman plays her best friend who’s strongly against her doing so, especially when she reveals that she’s going to use a sperm donor. As much as I love this movie (that kid cracks me up), I have to admit that Bateman’s character is annoying. But man… I am that character! I bombarded my friend with questions- Do you really want to raise a kid on your own as a single mom? What if you get pregnant and then meet someone a month/a year/ a decade later? What are you going to tell him/her? Becoming a parent is transformational- are you ready for that responsibility and pressure?

I know that it’s none of my business to meddle in my friend’s affairs and I get it- I want to have a family of my own one day. Granted, I hope to do it the old fashioned way- raising a kid in a two-parent, heteronormative home. But I think if worse comes to worse, I can raise a child on my own. I’ve talked to a couple of my male friends in the past about possible donations and I feel like I have the bases covered if I ever came to that conclusion. Even with my BFF, I’d offered to carry her baby (ideally, I would have twins and give one to her but we’d raise them together so there would be no weird “Parent Trap” reunion). All this has me thinking- how do we go about making big, LIFE CHANGING decisions?

Perhaps it’s because I’ve made interesting life choices or maybe it’s just my anxiety talking but when it comes to recent decision making, my brain just shuts off. The last couple weeks, I’ve been trying to hone down on a three-year plan: figuring out where I would like to permanently settle, if I want to stick with my career industry, how to squeeze in traveling and completing bucket list items, relationships and partnerships, etc. All this thinking has me exhausted, pondering about each and every scenario, weighing the pros and cons, hoping that my future is loving and happy and not depression-filled. The truth is that life’s really important choices are rarely black and white and at the end of the day (and the end of my life), I don’t want to regret anything. Regret is part of life but so choice- choosing how we want to spend our days is an art we must all master… Kids, partners, careers and all.

How do you make big decision, dear reader?

#ADreamToMe

When I was in high school, I tried to organize the LVHS Film Club. I had interest from students and secured an adviser (hi, Ms. Powell!) but was shot down the principal. She was pretty conservative and I’m pretty sure she thought that we were going to make porn or bloody slasher flicks (we definitely would have the latter). I continued to write scripts throughout college, always keeping the idea of filmmaking in the back of my mind. I thought about pursuing it but I struggled with other collegiate decisions so it was something that I never followed through with. When I dropped out of UNR and moved to NYC, I was fortunate to sit on some classes for free at the New York Film Academy (thanks, John Loughlin!). I met some talented writers and filmmakers and learned a lot but I pursued my journalism degree, moving back west and eventually found a job where I (somewhat) use my degree. But writing and directing movies is something that I’m still incredibly passion about- I just wrote a new script about race and robots that I really want to make this year. I’m just not sure how to make that happen.

Sometimes, especially of late, I wonder if I made the wrong choice with my life. I should have went to film school and got a degree in film. Okay… back up, Andrea. I’m happy that I got my degree in journalism (even though I’m not accomplishing the dream I envisioned in college- writing for “Vogue” and “Vanity Fair”- but that’s another blog post).  I like my job and, for the most part, my career path. But on the weekends, I go to the cinema to watch movies and think to myself, this is something that I need to be doing. Why am I doing at my current job? It’s not giving me the satisfaction that I want. What am I doing with my life? I watched “Black Panther” for the third time this week and cried in my seat, thinking that this (filmmaking) is something I will probably never achieve… I work the standard 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. I workout every day for two hours. Sleep a least six hours a night. On the weekends, I try to maintain my social life, self-care, chores and other responsibilities. All I want to do is be creative but I never have time because I’m either working or recovering. I have no idea how people have hobbies. In real life, dreams aren’t sustainable.

Ryan Coogler, you’re a genius. Thanks for the inspiration.

Another thing I’m struggling with is confidence. In the past, I would never let anyone read my scripts but now, I shove whatever I’m working on in my friends’ faces. I’m more confident about my writing and my vision but when it comes to asking for help to realize projects, I fall flat (and it’s not just with filmmaking. I struggle asking for anything). I went to a couple of local filmmaker MeetUps and just froze. I was intimidated and felt small- how do I make that feeling of stupidity go away? This last year, I’ve been thinking about grad school, possibly film school. I do research about various programs and print out applications. But then, my brain tells me, you’re old. You will be one of the oldest students in that program (even though I’m only 31- I know, I know). It’s a young industry. You have friends in their early 20s who are receiving film school rejection letters. Would you even get in with your undergrad grades? Plus, do you really want more student loans?

In rereading the text above, I realize that I sound incredibly negative. I know that I make A LOT of excuses and I know that I’m pretty damn on hard on myself. I could be like so-and-so (Spielberg, Jenkins, Coogler, Tarantino, Bigelow…) but only if I get out of my head and start working- even if it’s at a snail’s pace. I know that more and more serious filmmakers are giving film school the finger and shooting stuff on their iPhones (i.e. “Tangerine“). I need to follow that route. I need to start asking for help (hint, hint… from you, dear reader) and being more open. I need to start holding myself accountable (you can find some time on your busy schedule, Andrea). I feel like a shift is happening- more people of color are getting into filmmaking (yay!) So are women (yay!). And I really want to be a part of this. I know that I have good stories to tell. I have dreams to fulfill. I want to make movies.

What have you always dreamed about doing, dear reader- and what are you doing to make those dreams come true?