Wow! In seven months I get to call myself a graduate from Film School. I will have my Bachelors of Science in Digital Filmmaking, and I’m about ready to have an office, since plans kind of fell through with the other place. Life is good! All I need now is a few more shots for my B-roll of my documentary, and it’s been suggested that I might consider applying for a Film Festival. These are the moments that I love. It seems like a validation of all my hard work, and I couldn’t be more excited on what the future has in store for me.
I have some friends, who are about to deal with the one year anniversary of their son’s tragic death… things have really changed in this past year. I think I appreciate the people in my life more. Even if we aren’t close, I seem to wish that they have safe travels and hope that they arrive back safely. Life is too short to let negative things get in the way, and if there is anything I’ve learned, it’s too treat people better, because you never know how they may change your life.
We started this local Geek group called The Geeks of the IWV last August in response to the celebration of his life. I thought it was a good way to help my friends mourn, and to help deal with their grief. I never thought that this whole process would change me as well. I feel that I’ve become a better person, a better friend, and more positive about life. I love my kids so much more than I ever thought I did. I love my wife more because she’s supported me. My friends have also seen a difference in the way I handle things. With this group, I’ve been able to network so much better than I ever thought possible.
I think tragedy can become triumph in the end. The tragedy itself never goes away, and I in no means, say that to cheapen what’s happened, but I think it can lead to self discovery. When I had my suicidal melt down and work, I needed help, and I was able to find that help through a professional. The tragedy that hit me at the time was that friends, and family members had suffered suicide in their lives. Around that time, there were five people that I had heard committed the act. I knew one of the people locally, he was a hip=hop dance instructor at the gym I was going too at the time. When I found out what happened I became morose because I felt like if I had the chance to talk to him, he would have known that he wasn’t alone. We connected over our fondness of hip-hop and talked about trying to choreograph some dance moves to a Michael Jackson song or two. His death really impacted me.
Human connection is important. I try to pay attention to what people wear when I see them at my job, and it often times leads to conversations, and friendships. I’ve become acquainted with so many people by noticing the lanyard they wear around their necks. If it’s a sports team, we’ll start talking about sports, and we talk about favorite players, and teams that we like. The one that gets the most attention is when someone wears either comic book characters or video games. Those usually spark the best conversations and I’ve made a good set of friends because of it. It’s funny what you can learn about someone if you pay attention to what they wear.
I had a conversation with my little brother today, and I think that I finally summed up my goals in life. I told him that it’s hard work building an empire, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing. I want to do movies, music, podcasting, and on top of all of that, I want to have the accessibility to show that I’m there to support those who can’t handle mental illness. Sometimes, there doesn’t seem to be any options than to end their lives. All I can say to that is- I’m here, you’re not alone, I love you. Don’t let the darkness be the answer, because there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I know that it doesn’t seem like it, or that the light is too far to see, but endure, fight through it…you’ll come out stronger in the end.
These are things that I’m more passionate about now. I’m getting the tools to help lend a voice to the unanswered, and I plan on using it to help. My creativity is there to help entertain and maybe even be thought provoking at times. Life’s hard, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve wanted to quit. I almost have, more times than I would care to admit. My depression hit me hard because I felt like I was stuck in a spot that I wasn’t happy in. I had set plans to leave everything behind because I couldn’t deal with being stuck. Life was closing in around me. Now I’m moving forward to a bright future. I’m not stuck anymore, and the momentum is carrying me along a new path. Somedays it moves very quickly, than other days, I wonder if I’m still moving, but forward is always ahead of me.
While I’m not going to mention names of my friends who lost their son, I do want to leave a thought on the eve of the anniversary: I love you and your family. My heart goes out to you in your time of suffering. I’ve seen growth from both of you in this past year, and I think you’ll learn to manage with your loss better as time goes. Your eldest left a giant hole in the lives of everyone who had the fortune of knowing him. I wish that I could have known him better than the chance that I had. By the time my family and I had entered into your lives the way we did, he had already became a working man who was busy with school and work. The time I did share with him was great because we geeked out about the same things. Just know that there isn’t a day that you two don’t cross my mind, and I’m always going to be here for you.