When you picture your life, you don’t always know which way it is going to go. Actually we have no clue how it will turn out and that’s part of the fun. We get to dream and hope and visualise a life that we can be proud of. One that excites us and forces us to step out of our comfort zones to achieve it.
For as long as I can remember I have loved film. Watching movies is one of mine and Islas favourite things to do. The feeling of getting lost in a story and checking out of your life for a while has always been a bit of a rush to me.
I have countless notebooks and scraps of paper with film ideas on. Some dating back to when I was a teen, some from just last year.
In photography I get to tell a story and I love being able to do that, but moving images are appealing to me more and more as I progress through my life, my talents and my dreams. I have introduced moving images (short film clips) into my photography business and everyday life over the years, but I haven’t been brave enough to carve out the time to create the things that are in my head, or really push myself to learn more about it all.
Maybe I’m scared, maybe I’m not good enough or I don’t have all the kit, maybe I haven’t got the time…. The list of excuses goes on.
But recently I received an opportunity to take action on this dream. I spontaneously applied for a Higher Education Film Course at Cardiff University, and I got an unconditional offer.
As I left school with some rather atrocious GCSE grades and attended college for a brief period before dropping out, the fact that I applied late, with no qualifications, but still got accepted made me feel amazing.
Getting the validation that I was ‘good enough’ to pursue this dream was overwhelming and sent me on a sky high whirlwind of action.
I jumped straight in, like I did when applying for the course in the first place, and had no fear about what the future would hold.
As I grow older though, I am learning more and more about me. About the things I do, the traits I have, who I am and how I react in certain situations.
Having this knowledge of myself has meant that I can step back and take a second to really think about how this opportunity would affect not only me and my life, but Islas (of course) and everyone around me.
Yes I could make it work, I could send Isla to breakfast club and after school club and spend evenings and weekends working on projects and hardly see her. Not loving the sound of that!
I could go without doing the things I love to do now, like random spontaneous road trips and visiting friends after Isla finishes school.
I could go without seeing my partner for days/weeks at a time, but I don’t like the sound of that one bit either!
I would be exhausted and I could end up running myself into the ground.
Yes I would be doing something that I have always wanted to do……but to what end?
What is this opportunity going to give me that I can’t give myself?
I know I get caught up in new ideas and throw myself into them, so why don’t I use this drive and excitement and do it for me. I can teach myself what I need to know and there is nothing like learning through play and action. I know that’s how I work best anyway so why not go for it?
I have decided that what felt like a divine opportunity, was actually a divine lesson in looking within and trusting myself.
I was given permission to dream big, and you know what, I can dream big all by myself and make it happen. I don’t need a bit of paper or someone else telling me I have achieved something, when I can take action and achieve it myself.
It may take me longer, but I know how I work, and a full time 9-6, monday to friday course isn’t for me. Instead I will continue to do what I love and work in photography, but I will also schedule in some time each week to be disciplined and work on my dream to make films.
I have the ideas, I have equipment, I know the basics of how to add it all together, so I will just do what I do best, and continue to learn through doing it for myself. I also have an amazing network of creative friends and some are even videographers, so I know I have people around me that I can call on if I lose motivation or need help.
So, just like I did with my photography business, I am going to keep learning as I go, keep pushing myself and keep creating for me, and who knows, one day I may even have a short film to share with you all.
To all the academics out there. Yes I know I may never get to the level of ‘filmmaking’ that is achieved if you go to Uni and study for years and years, and eventually get a job for the BBC or something, but you know what, that’s not my journey, and I’m ok with doing it my way.
I want to do this for me, so who better to teach me!
After note: The song “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac just popped into my head so I’m currently dancing about my kitchen feeling like I can do anything I want to do, and do it my own way! Haha.