I’ve found that the best metaphor for life – and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this – is a train.  Either you’re on it moving forward, seeing everything fall behind you, or you’re standing at the edge of that train station watching it go by.

Pic by campotta via Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/awmasry/1552826752/)

I’m a young man getting older by the day with an overpowering sense of my own mortality.  That might be the most important way I can describe myself to you.  The second most significant is that I’m a graduate of a very prestigious film school.

Don’t worry: these two things make sense together in the end.  I took a screenwriting class once.

Filmmaking is a calling I answered when I was 13, when I first saw Christopher Nolan’s film Memento.  That was the film that opened my eyes to the medium’s possibilities and the promise of its storytelling abilities was irresistible to me.

Ever since the credits rolled to Bowie’s “Something in the Air” as I sat awed on the carpeted floor of my parents’ house, I knew without a doubt that this would be the thing I’d live and die doing.

Since then, I’ve followed the archetypal path expected of my ilk: watched a bunch of movies; called them films; and went to film school.

Along the way, blessings have fallen on me, from a very traditional, “become-a-doctor” family that has been more than supportive of my – ahem – unorthodox choices (wait, that makes me sound like I came out) to people including, but not limited to, our own Offender Justin who have lent me a helping hand at various points and periods of my life.

It’s never been lost on me how fortunate I am to be where I am, with the people I’m with.  But even though that archetypal path is paved, it doesn’t make it any easier to walk it.  Sometimes, the trail is ready before the one to walk it is prepared.

Most people travel the world before they get the peace of mind to go after their dreams.  Me, I had to travel inside myself, take a good, hard look at what was there.  Take this not for a reconsideration of goals, but as a reevaluation of myself.  It isn’t a journey with an end, I know, but I feel like it’s the most crucial one to start early.

But that’s not an excuse; it’s a reason.  And the fact of the matter is I’m not getting any younger.  For once in my life, my keen awareness of my temporariness will do more than give me an ulcer.  Yes, what we do in life echoes in eternity, but what if we do nothing?

I’m on my feet now; I’m at the station; and yes, I’ve been watching that train go by.  I can let it pass or chase after it in dramatic fashion while strings play.

I love movies – what do you think I’ll do?

I don't really even like this movie.


  1. you’ll do what you have always done
    run son run as long
    as long as it’s fun you’ll have already won

    nice post man. heartfelt

  2. now all your blogs make sense

  3. Jerome, I love this. It’s as if you are in my brain! Creepy. I

  4. Ummm…somehow that comment posted without me hitting the send button…weird. I was saying, as a filmmaker myself, I really empathize with what you’ve said here. I started grad school for motion picture production Fall ’09 but then my big sister was diagnosed with cancer Jan. 2010 and died 5 months later. When that happened my life was thrown into a strange limbo–“limbo” to say the least. I’m not certain when I will go back to film school but I’m realizing lately that that doesn’t have to stop me from learning or taking on or creating projects myself.

    I’m feeling that more than ever these days. Tired of being stuck. Doing nothing. It’s hard as heck to put the pieces of one’s life back together after losing someone you love so much, but it has to be done. These days I’m so aware of/concerned with time slipping by. My sister was a filmmaker as well, amongst other things (scientist, make-up artist, writer). She was a very talented and brilliant woman but she passed at 24, and hadn’t nearly scratched the surface of all the great things we knew she was destined to do or be. I’m more determined than ever to reach my dreams, to make things happen, and to never settle for less than what I know I can have.

    Anyway, nice post.

  5. U-turns, baby, U-turns. At your age I was certain I wanted to be an architect. And I was. For a while. Then I got itchy to write scripts, had a dream about it, and jumped ship. I was 30.

    So: don’t beat yourself up too hard and be open to the happy U-turn.

    And something pithy here about the scenic route being better than the I-5, blah, blah, blah.

  6. “…but what if we do nothing?”

    In the end, all we ever really do is nothing. As time goes by, few will remember what we did, and even if they do, it’ll just be for a few seconds on a forgettable Tuesday afternoon before they return to more pressing issues… like watching porn.