Something to Say | Op-Ed

There’s a time for reflection. It’s usually best reserved for after great change, events, or moments in a persons life. Any more thought beyond that just turns into worry.

Lately, I’ve been mixed between reflection and worry. Reflecting on the great deal of change, improvement, and mishap I’ve experienced, which has then evolved into worry for the future–and not just my own future.

These thoughts came about at arguably one of the most vulnerable times in anyone’s life–my mid-20’s. Once I hit a quarter-century, I was thrown into a crisis, much of which was brought on by myself.

The uneven past, the un-aware present, and the uncertain future were constantly staring me in the face for some time; looming over me, following me around, and blocking me from seeing anything else.

What did these thoughts consist of? Mainly life, as vague as that may be. But what was causing me to reflect and then worry about was life–the how’s, why’s, and what-if’s of me and my path.

I was experiencing many life changes in my early 20’s; things ranging from love, relocation, loss, and just about everything in-between. And while many things were affected from these changes, the main issue I had trouble coping with was the question of my talent, skill, and career.

I’m a natural creative, an active body, and a firing mind, with a rollercoaster of emotions not too far behind. All of these things were quickly losing steam, and it was freaking me out.

Here’s where the reflection turned to worry.

When I was in college, what I considered to be my “path” in life was ultimately discovered; it was telling stories. The medium I did that through was writing, photographs, and moving images.

In just a short amount of time, I quickly honed in on my craft; constantly learning, developing, and growing my skills. It became as much of an emotional labor as it was a physical one, but it never felt like work; it just came naturally to me. My mind was abound with ideas.

I accomplished what I considered some of my greatest work around this time. The stories I was capturing and telling were getting deeper, my reach was going further, and my passion was growing stronger.

A couple particular pieces of work I was most proud of (and still am to this day) are some of the most authentic. One was about finding random people on the street and confronting them with a straight-forward yet difficult question: "What’s your story?” The responses and openness I was met with were quite vulnerable and real; needless to say, this film went on to a few film festivals and took “Best Film” at its premiere. Watch it here: ‘What’s Your Story’ | Award-Winning Documentary

Perhaps then, the one film that’s most near and dear to me is my short film titled “Disconnect”. This was one of my first major undertakings as a filmmaker. There was a $0 budget, working mainly with non-actors, and a script that was 2 years in the making. With many locations, scenes, and story arcs to capture, intensity and detail were of essence.

What also makes this short film special (and the point to round up here with this blog) is the fact the story was something real, from my heart, and created with intention. It was a story to share. Watch that here: ‘Disconnect’ | Short Film

If you’ve stuck around this far in the blog, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve arrived at my point.

Where I’m at now in my life–and what I think is the reason behind my reflection turning into worry–is that I feel lost and unsure. And I’ve found that all of this is because of one simple thing: I don’t have anything to say.

My work, my thoughts, my actions–all of this feels so empty lately because I simply don’t have anything to say. I don’t have a grand story to share, an event to write about, or anything worth capturing. I’ve placed this expectation on my creativity, and so far nothing is living up to it. But this has brought me to a sliver of clarity.

I have to realize that it’s okay. Not having something to say right now is okay.

Now all this isn’t to say that I haven’t been doing anything. I’ve been traveling, opening my mind to new experiences, and meeting with different people. But ultimately, the major “thing” that I’ve been expecting to be behind my work just isn’t there, at least for now.

New creations, thoughts, ideas, and experiences are happening. But until the next big thing comes along, or until I feel I have something new to say, I’ll be working hard with my head down.