Living the dream takes nightmares too.

September 3, 2020

This post was inspired by something João Gabriel Rodrigues wrote a couple weeks back. Jota said he’s competitive to the point that he can’t have fun. If he’s set to do something, that something has to be the absolute best, otherwise, what’s the point? As I read his post I realized I have a lot of that too. And some more.

If you ask me what I’ve been up to, the answer is gonna be quite different than if you ask me how I’m doing.

Here’s what I’ve been up to: I turned 30 last year. I got somewhat of a steady job for the first time ever and switched from working on set to working in post. I thought I was done talking about anamorphics and it turned out I wasn’t. Last fall I taught a class for an entire semester in the college I graduated from.

I traveled through Europe and met a bunch of people I only knew from the internet. I (self) published two e-books after two years of drafts. I’ve been involved in all sorts of projects I never expected. Yesterday I wrapped shooting my first feature film as director of photography and next week I start teaching classes at Langara college. Today I’m posting a video and livestreaming about a camera I had before it was announced. The first big payoff of five years working on the YouTube channel.

If that’s all you know from me – because it’s the information I volunteer -, then it really sounds like I’m living the dream.

Here’s how I’m doing: since I rushed back from Brazil to Vancouver before the border closures in March, I’ve been afraid. I’ve been feeling weak, scared, and insecure. I’ve been sleeping four to five hours a night, and I hardly feel hungry. I’m also randomly sad and there are days I hate feeling like this.

I’m used to dealing with impostor syndrome for a single aspect of life at a time. Dealing with it on multiple fronts all at once was a new experience. The latest rush of accomplishments – feature film, secret new camera, teaching -, plus not faltering with the channel and pushing for some more still-secret projects got me reeling.

Right now I feel like playing video games for a week straight and not stepping out of the house. As much as I want it, I know that’s not what I’ll do. There are classes to be taught and videos to be made.

Feeling weaker now was different from previous times. On the feature I had a team I could be honest with and say “today I’m feeling like garbage and I need some extra help”, so they stepped up giving me time to recover. On the channel I’m not on my own anymore, Blake and Lila help me on different fronts and they help a lot. For teaching, Sara has always been an inspiration and endless source of support. Last, for absolutely everything I do, I got Ari. Ariana is a major source of inspiration and motivation. She pushes me forward and always helps me when things get out of hand. I’m super grateful for having these people around me.

I guess the idea is there’s always some sort of balance. While things are great, others are not so good. I take them as I go and I’m still learning to take breaks.