I’m sure every human can relate to this in one way or another. You have a project, a dream, a desire, a job, a whatever, that you had been extremely ecstatic about. It was one of those things that you fell asleep thinking about, that you spent hours working on or planning. And then, outer circumstances changed. And the motivation and desire just…fizzled. I don’t know. It just became more of a “I wish” instead of a “I’m going to”. That seriously blows. And I would say it’s a load of horse shit to give up on it, but some things are nearly impossible to continue with when everything else is changing and demanding that time, effort, energy, resources.
This situation happens to me. It happened to me very recently. I spent two months writing and rewriting a screenplay. It started off as one thing, and became another over time. It was my child. I spent another few months creating color samples & palettes, scoping out locations, contacting various must artists through ACE and NMPA, and casting.
Just to give you a little more backstory on myself, in case you haven’t read any of my other posts; I am a very internalizing and sad person. Since as far as I can remember, I have gotten down on myself for every little thing. I used to be engaged in all sorts of activities as a child. Soccer, softball, piano, violin, pottery, dance, theater, film acting, shelter volunteering, improv classes, gymnastics, etc.. But at some point in all of these activities, I felt that I simply wasn’t good enough. So I quit. I am not a competitive person, nor have I ever been, so this isn’t what kept me from pursuing the things that made me happy. I just quit on myself, knowing that if I became too happy, when I got sad it would be unbearable. And it just became a habit. A shitty habit.
So, recently I have slipped into my depression again. It happens. It sucks, and it feels almost unbearable. But it got pretty bad this time around. I
stopped leaving my room, stopped leaving my bed. I was only awake about 4-5 hours a day, and that time was spent crying and wallowing in my misery. I hated getting out of my bed to do anything. I was dehydrated, and my head throbbed like it was being hit with a brick
every time I got up to go to the bathroom. I knew that this was bad for me, to isolate like I have been. But I also knew that any attempt to leave, any attempt to “get out there” and “do something”
would result in my feeling even worse. So I didn’t. Why would I? I have no friends. No one reaches out to me when I go AWOL like I do for them. Why waste time trying to get people to care for me when it is clear no one does? If people don’t care enough to ask how you’re doing after being dead to the world for weeks, do they want you in their life at all? Probably not.
Anyway, during this time, this tiny little thought keeps scraping at my brain, clawing at it with nails so deep that I just can’t shake it. It’s about my film, something that has given me joy and made me proud. I have a serious issue where I feel as though no one is proud of me, that no one thinks I can make something and follow through with it in a beautiful way. This project, this piece of art, is the longest I have held onto a screenplay, the longest I’ve spent on something difficult without throwing in the towel. How could I drop it now, after all of this work?
Things get shitty, right? Things get “impossible”. Maybe they really are. But that project, that little joy piece in your life, it’s still got a fingernail dug into your skull, doesn’t it? It’s
got a scrawny little piece of keratin fastened to your memory. Maybe you’ve moved on
from it, maybe you think back on it and wonder what would’ve happened if this hadn’t happened or that didn’t change. But those things did change, that thing did happen. While you can’t necessarily time travel and get to do your keratin-hope, there is still hope for you yet.
I’m no cure-all fortune teller. I’m no guru on life. I’m a seventeen-year-old high school student who still can’t make her way outside the house without feeling a knife to the heart. I don’t want to give up on my project. I love it. I’m proud of it. It means something to me, because it is me. And I really, honestly, truly, do NOT want the fuckery of my low serotonin to mess up my baby.
I hope the fuckery in your life doesn’t mess up your project, either.