On Not Being Good Enough

I’ve had an epiphany.

To be who I want to be, I have to cease being who I am now.

In other words, I cannot be myself if I want to succeed.

My current habits are not conducive to success in my field (or most any): waking up late, not eating enough, browsing my phone too much, avoiding the necessary work, and relishing in the unnecessary work.

I’ve been in Los Angeles for two years and have accomplished little. If I continue in the way I am, I will achieve nothing. In order to achieve success, I have to work against my nature. Today was the first day.

I’m waking up at 7:00 AM, running, then showering, then eating, then reading, then work. And by then it’s only 9:30 AM! I’d still be sleeping for another hour and a half at that point.

But it’s kind of easy — mentally, at least. As soon as you realize that you can’t be the person you are if you want to succeed, you just tell yourself that. When I encounter my usual distractions I say to myself “This is something you would do”, therefore I don’t do it.

Wish me luck!

 

My Birthday

My 21st birthday just passed, but that is not what I am thinking about. I am currently reading an article written by the brilliant Temple Grandin on what jobs/careers are best for an autistic person. I’m having a hard time. My mom and brother were staying with me for a few days and just left about thirty minutes ago. I’m so scared of the future.

A Birthday Wish

A happy birthday to you, my forever friend.

I wish I could say the things I want to say to you, but I am not ready for that yet. Neither are you.

So, on your birthday, I have a wish to wish for your sake and mine.

I wish that you find peace within yourself. It is something I know you have struggled with and continue to, I’m sure.

I wish that you do not take for granted the people in your life that care about you, because they care more than you know.

I wish that you see and acknowledge the irony and hypocrisy of your situation.

I wish that you see that the lesson that you chose to ignore was the lesson that was meant to be learned, but was instead betrayed.

I wish that you realize that keeping those who love you in a far off place is no way to live.

I wish all these things for myself.

Happy Birthday, my friend.

What I’m Listening To:

Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles

What I’m Reading:

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

What I Don’t Understand

Why is it happiness that we crave?

If there is a God, this is the cruelest joke.

We qualify a good life by how well it is lived. And, most of the time, how well it is lived comes down to how happy it made you. Happiness is the end goal.

Advertisers promise us that their products will make us happy. While that is a gross, callous lie, it’s not nearly as heartless as what world promises us.

You are told that following your dreams will make you happy; marrying a loved one and having children will make you happy.

It exists in the mind of people that happiness is an enduring achievement. It exists at the end of the road. It is the grand pursuit of life. “If I just do these things in my life, I will be happy.”

In my eyes, happiness is just the same as sadness — fleeting. What is so powerful, though, is the sensation they each carry with them that they are forever lasting. No one is forever happy just as no one is forever sad. As humans, we vacillate between these two potent emotions and along the way fall everywhere in between. The point is that no matter where we are, we don’t stay there.

When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, John Lennon proclaimed, “Happy”. Firstly, I must say sorry John, try again in the next life? But more importantly, his wish to grow up happy is just as illogical as someone saying they wish to grow up to be sad.

I often think of how intelligent human beings are; I marvel at all that our species has accomplished. And then I think of how susceptible we are to our own emotions. An absolutely capricious people we are, existing in one state of mind and unwittingly succumbing to another as a result of something as trivial as a change in the lighting.

But I still find myself happy, until the sun falls back behind the dark and wispy clouds, blanketing the world. Blanketing my world, as I recede into myself and think of all the terrible things that would consume me if it were not for the sun peeking out its fortuitous rays just minutes after their retreat. Then I’m okay again.

Fickleness seems like a truly poor evolutionary trait.

What I’m Reading:

Aldous Huxley’s: Propaganda in A Democratic Society

(it’s for class)

What I’m Listening To:

Unspooled: Episode 1 – Citizen Kane

(a new and refreshing podcast, film critique sans pretension)

As I Crash Again

To be honest, I shouldn’t be writing this right now.

What I should be writing is my two remaining essays for school. Both are due this coming Thursday and I have much left to do.

This is my process, though. At the beginning of each semester, I am nothing less than an academic wrecking ball; I decimate everything in my path. Unfortunately, at some point the wrecking ball loses momentum and sways back, continuously floating back and forth between its release point and target, losing power with each swing. From what I can see, I’m approaching my last swing.

I don’t know why I wait until the last minute. This is reflected throughout my life.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I went to a Buddhist temple the other day. I didn’t know that Buddha was not considered a God. I liked that. The Buddhists (Nichiren Soshu, to be exact) believe that anyone can be as good as the Buddha. Everyone is capable of enlightenment. They teach you that you, yourself, are capable of good. You don’t need anyone else to tell you that you are good, for you have it within you. You can be as good as what you worship.

I witnessed myself act for the first time in years a couple weeks ago. The short film that I did a few months ago finally released. I didn’t do very well. That made me really, really sad. Genuinely sad. After watching, I had one of those truly existential moments where you undoubtedly believe that you aren’t good enough to succeed at what you want to do. Then you start thinking about how you won’t make your parents proud. Your parents will die knowing you weren’t good enough (of course you were in their eyes, but that won’t satisfy you). You won’t be able to provide for your family. You should just quit.

Fuck it, though.

 

What I’m Reading:

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

What I’m Listening To:

The Saturation Trilogy by Brockhampton (“Star” is my fav, I think)

 

P.S. There is no good reason for Bearface to be in Brockhampton.

What a Surprise

Sorry, had to run to the bathroom.

Well, it only took nine months! Here’s where everything stands for me as of right now:

I finished my first semester of school with straight A’s.

I currently have one month left in my second semester and I so badly want to drop out. By the end of May, I have five essays to submit, two of them coming in at fifteen pages a pop. I only wanted to go to college to learn, but I feel myself getting caught up in the politics of it all; not letting myself receive a ‘B’ because I “have” to get straight A’s so UCLA will accept me as a transfer. I feel like I’m wasting my time.

I am in acting class and doing quite alright, I’d say.

I’ve performed in three short films. The first just released and the other two are finishing up post.

I deleted all of my social media. I want to throw out my phone. It’s poison. It’s ravaged my focus, and it truly is an addiction.

I’m not sure where to go from here. See you in another nine, I reckon.

What I’m Reading:

Regrettably, nothing.

What I’m Listening To:

Geodaddi by Boards of Canada

What I’m Watching:

Just saw Lynne Ramsay’s new flick, You Were Never Really Here. Joaquin Phoenix is a god among men.

The Most Practical Advice on Accomplishing Anything

The most pertinent piece of advice if you want to accomplish anything.

I’ve always had immense trouble with following through. I get these wondrous ideas that ricochet in my head for days, but they never make it down to paper. Or they do, and they just never develop from there. This is because I talk about them.

Instant gratification, my friends, the bane to all of my work thus far. Now, bear with me, as I read this on the internet last week on some website I can’t recall and I’m about to quite loosely paraphrase it for you. It essentially says:

“When you get an idea, a new idea for a project, a business, etc., STOP TELLING EVERYBODY ABOUT IT. The science behind it is says that when you come up with an idea and haven’t begun to flesh it out, yet you still talk about it as if you’re actually working on it, your brain somehow thinks it has put some legitimate work into the project. So you go to a dinner party, tell everyone about this screenplay idea that you came up with and are working on, now everybody thinks you’re this genius screenwriter (and you revel in it), so you go home and sleep like a baby because you feel as if you accomplished something. You didn’t. It has to do with the power of suggestion, “speaking it into being” etc.”

This is what I’ve always done. After high school and before I moved to Los Angeles, I was working full-time and saving up money for that move. I wasn’t in school; so whenever I went to college parties with my old friends and I’d talk about my plans they’d say, “Oh my god that’s SO cool that you’re gonna be an actor and like living on your own in L.A. and like I’m just an Economics major like ugh.” That shit made me feel so good. Even though I hadn’t moved yet, I hadn’t booked a single role, I still felt as if I had already accomplished all of that; because they already envisioned me as that person. The work was done.

But therein lies the problem, because you haven’t done any work.

This is why when I began to read for pleasure (something I had never experienced before), I didn’t tell anyone about it. I knew that if I told people I started reading all the time, they would tell me that I’m smart. Thus, I would think I was smart. And I’d stop reading. So I didn’t tell anyone; and now I can’t stop reading. I’m doing the same thing with this blog. Not a single person in my life, except for my girlfriend who I couldn’t hide it from because she sees me type the posts :), knows about this. And I intend to keep it that way until I’ve built something worthwhile of this burgeoning domain.

What I’m Reading:

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, up to Chapter 9 (hey, at least I wrote today!)

What I’m Listening To:

Emergency & I by The Dismemberment Plan