Do the right thing

Last semester, I decided on a whim to take a film class. It was a whim because I’m not a huge film buff (read: we used to go the cheapo video store every week as kids. I got Bambi every single time for probably over a year. I do not have exceptional cinematic taste). But I had room, and there weren’t any English classes to take. Why not?

I hated it at first, to be honest. It was a small class full of intimidating potheads and baseball players, for one. Not ideal. Our teacher also insisted that every single person share something during weekly discussion, which really, really sucked. Especially in the first few films, when I was new to the whole idea of stuff like mise en scene and montages and, uh, anything profound related to film analysis. (Plus Apocalypse Now scared the bejeezus out of me. Eek. Gory war nightmares after that piece of work.)

But I learned to love it. The turning point was when we watched The Shining. FINALLY something I could confidently comment on. I think I even shocked the prof when I got all chatty about Kubrick’s interpretation of King’s novel. ZING, unusual Stephen King obsession pays off.

(Your eyebrows are scarier than anything you do)


From then it, it went ok.

The point is this: the right thing is very rarely going to be the path of least discouragement.

And as an example I’m going straight for writing. Writing writing writing. I wrote for years before college, just having fun, entertaining wild dreams of publication. Then I disappeared into my alma mater for three years and barely wrote anything. Why? Because writing got harder. I started to question myself. And I got lazy, and didn’t commit to it. Fast forward and now I’m at the beginning of my last summer before college. I’ve just decided that I’m going to take to the empty page again and I sit down in front of my keyboard with relish, ready to pound it out like old times.

Yeah right. It hurt. It was almost like physical pain, how hard it was. There’s a little mission control somewhere in my head that tackles creative enterprise. All those operators were on vacation and there were cobwebs in the corners.

(My mission control is not full of middle-aged white men)


Now we know why so many people want to write a novel before they die, and so few do.

For me, writing is all I’ve got. I’m not particularly talented in many other areas but writing is what I cling to when I think I’m just a hopeless pile of semi-educated unambition.

So for me, it was the right thing to do to renew my vows of writing. It will be long and discouraging and will it probably commit me to many a crappy job to make ends meet? Hoo buddy yeah.

But you do the right thing because it’s the only way, not because it’s the way you’ll get the least hurt. It’s one of those things about human nature. You get hurt so you can grow back even stronger than before.

This is my long-winded way of saying that I could work at a resort in CO this summer, but it’s so hard to decide what the right thing is. Well. It’s not so hard to decide what’s right. But the right way is so often the scary one. And knowingly picking the road in the shadows instead of the one well-lit…that’s so hard.


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