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I'm Still Not Sure

I've tried to start this post several times over the past few weeks. For one thing, it's incredibly difficult to write after not doing so for months (seven, to be exact). It's another thing entirely to admit that I don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going, or who I am.

That being said, I've done it before. Two years ago, I posted a video on YouTube entitled "I'm Not Sure". Now, if you've never seen this before, I completely understand. I just watched it for the first time since I posted it, and it was cringeworthy. This is not only because it's weird to watch 20 year old me go through her YouTube phase, touch her face too much, talk with some strange inflection in her voice. Well, that's certainly part of it. Really, though, it's because nothing's changed.

At the end of the video, I say I'm grateful that I have a year and a half left of college to "figure it all out". That year and a half has passed. I graduated from college in December, worked at Walt Disney World from January to May, went on a cross country road trip with my mom, went back to work at Governor's School for the Arts in June, and now? It's July. Actually, the month is almost over. I've been looking for a job since the end of Gov School, and, while I've recently secured temporary employment, I have no idea what comes next.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea about anything.  I know I still want to write movies and television. I actually wrote a script for a feature film as my thesis. That script, along with the ideas I have for others, is nowhere near done. In a sense, neither am I, and that's what scares me.

I wrote a novel-length text to a friend the other day outlining a great deal of the insecurities. The entertainment industry scares me, the realization that I might not be a good writer scares me, and the idea that I may never make it keeps me up at night. Going back to that video, I realized I had voiced those same insecurities years earlier. I had probably thought about that long before I made that video. I will probably think about those fears long after I hit "publish" on this post. I'm starting to wonder if that's worse than any other kind of career or personal failure.

While at Gov School, I joked to a few of my students that screenwriting is synonymous with existential crisis. It's actually no joke. Couple that sentiment with the fact that I'm in my twenties and didn't actually graduate with an employable degree, and that little existential crisis of "what do I write" becomes a Godzilla of "who am I" and "what am I going to do". Suddenly, all those jokes and gripes from older people that young adults think they know everything make a lot of sense. I thought I knew when I was 20. I thought I knew I'd figure it all out in college. I'm hoping I'll look back on this and laugh in another two years, but I'm still not sure.

Going through the process of job applications and interviews makes it even more apparent that I don't even know who I am. I know what I like to do and see and read, I know what I have in my childhood bedroom (well, sort of), I know what I've done and accomplished enough to complete an application and submit a resume. That's sort of where my self-awareness ends.

In a way, I know that's a good thing. How boring would life be if I had everything figured out? How would I grow as a person? It's sort of comforting to look through that video and all my other older work and see that I got better. It means I can keep going. On the other hand, not knowing myself makes me worry that I won't be able to "write what I know" or "write something fresh", which means I may never be able to tell stories like I want to.

Like I said, though, I'm still not sure. I could be wrong about everything. Tomorrow, I could wake up with a brilliant idea that launches my career (well, maybe not). Either way, I'm in a tornado that I think a lot of people my age find themselves swirling in. Whether I'll end up in Oz or back in Kansas is anyone's guess. I'll be sure to let you know.

The one regret I have about that old video is that I clearly didn't take my own advice. I didn't figure it all out in a year and a half. Actually, I'm not sure that that was all possible then. It's probably not possible to have it all figured out in that short amount of time at all. Looking back, I'm more disappointed in the fact that I didn't seem to try. So, I'm going to try. I'm going to keep educating myself, keep watching movies, continue to look for opportunities, and do more than just write my ideas down in the notebook I carry with me. I figure that actually taking the time and the chances my work deserves and requires is going to get me a whole lot farther than just wondering if I'm going to wake up one day and be sure.

We'll see. I'm still here, I'm still not sure, but hell, I'm working on it.


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