Friday, February 16, 2007

I really should stop watching filmmaking documentaries.

Or, I dunno, maybe I should watch more of them. Because watching them just makes me think, goddamn, I wish I was doing that. I was out making movies. Does that sound stupid? It probably does. But who gives a damn. We're all allowed a few moments of stupid fantasy now and then.

I wish I had come out of high school with a better idea of what I wanted to do. Instead, I came out of high school with almost no idea what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be a writer, but I didn't even know what that meant at the time. I was raised on horror and fantasy fiction, thinking that all you needed to tell a good story was some interesting twists and shocking ending. It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I realized what real storytelling was about, how you could actually use a story to say something about the world, about the human condition, about things that really mattered.

So coming out of high school, all I knew is that I wanted to write, and that got me a crappy job as a junior reporter at a crappy little 8-page newspaper. And that crappy little job somehow blossomed into a career that I still have to this day -- not writing, exactly, but newspaper. I didn't come out of high school thinking, "I want to work at a newspaper," but somehow that's what ended up happening. Careers have a way of sneaking up on you like that.

It's probably no surprise that I've been dealing with some discontentment issues lately. Those who know me personally have probably heard me say as much, and those who only know me through this blog have probably sensed it seeping through the writing lately. I'm not really going out of my way to hide it. I'm discontented.

I've been turning to just about anyone I can get my hands on for advice. There was a group discussion at the bar following one of the "Seen Change" performances that was dedicated to trying to find me a new career, something that might be more satisfying. One of the suggestions that came up was, "Write a good book," and that suggestion got me to actually start editing work on a novel that's been waiting for an edit since the summer of 2005. Which is good.

It's going slow. I'm 50 pages into a manuscript that's just shy of 400. I'm not working at it as hard as I should be, I'll confess, but I'm picking at it. Bit by bit.

Someone else told me, you're young, go have an adventure.

It's lovely advice. I want to. I wish I could.

Someone else suggested going back to school, retraining. They were doing it, why couldn't I?

Which, you know, is a damn good question.

So while browsing through the courses available at BCIT, what do I find but this.

Yeah, BCIT has a film program. And it's a film program designed with a flexible schedule to accomodate older adults who need to hold down a somewhat steady job while they go back to school. How perfect is that?

I can't afford it, of course. I could save, and maybe afford it in a year or two. Or maybe three or four depending on how many things break down (heaven knows my car doesn't have much life left in it).

And I can't help but think how much easier this would have been ten years ago. Before a stupid marriage that was doomed to failure, and the acquisition of debt that comes hand in hand with that. I can't help but think how much easier this would have been without a mortgage, without a credit line, without a visa, without an overdraft, all of which I'm struggling to make disappear so I'll be free of the remnants of that former life.

There's a part of me that wants so badly to just throw everything around me in the trash, and go somewhere else, and start over again. Maybe with the same career at a new location, and maybe with something brand new. Maybe start everything fresh, back at school again, for something I might have a passion for. Something I might actually love to do.

But there are just too many pieces of my former life that still have their claws dug into my current life. Too many to just shake off and be free of.

I'm still young. Have an adventure.

Sure. As soon as the bills from the last one are paid for.

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