So…I’m a HUGE fan of cinema, film, cinematic arts, movies or what have you. Awards season is to me what pre-season or football season is to die hard sports fans. I start with the Golden Globes, binge all the way through to the Academy Awards, then close out the year with the Emmys (sometimes…hey I said film, not tv…). Last year, of course #OscarsSoWhite was trending because no actors of color were nominated for their performances in some of 2014’s most stellar and outstanding films. It was a travesty, the Academy was called out on it, and it was sure to never happen again. Fast forward to January 2016. It was a chilly Thursday morning and around dawn I awoke and logged into the Academy website (for those of you keeping score, it’s like Draft Day. I love it.). I watched the live stream and can remember being disappointed because I’d felt that the Academy followed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s selections too closely and chose horrible performances, films, and directors. At the very least, many stellar performances had been left out, ignored, or simply unacknowledged. I was disappointed, but not for the reason people thought…so imagine my surprise when individual after individual, within the industry and not within the industry, began expressing their chagrin at the lack of selection of actors of color — again. How could this be? Two years in a row of the blatant disregard of the artistic contributions of entire groups of people. I won’t get into the process, the politics, or even the shame of it all. I will simply say this: a filmmaker’s greatest achievement is longevity. People will forget who wins best actor this year (unless it’s Leo, I mean…can we please?), but they will never forget their favorite film. Some of the world’s greatest performances went unrewarded, but certainly not unacknowledged. The stories that resonate the most, are the ones that stick with us, not the ones that take home trophies that people will forget they ever received, or were not even nominated.
I typically don’t make any. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cool and everything when you think you can only change your life, develop a good habit, or discover something new one time a year. I love the idea of newness. This is why I’m always finding something new for me to do. If I were to make resolutions, they would be to eat more doughnuts and sleep late whenever it’s possible. But at my age, I know better. At any rate, here’s my advice to you:
Invest in lots of great music that makes you feel something deeper than a repetitive chorus of mindless lyrics. The kind of music that would kill you with humiliation to have someone search through your playlist. I’ve had music like this for years, but it’s only now that I don’t care what people think of the music. I didn’t buy it for them, or buy what they think is cool.
Read. Read. Read. And when you’re done, read some more. (This one always surfaces so if it ain’t broke…)
Take a trip. I always do anyway, but make it someplace you’ve never been. Just to mix things up.
Eat whatever the hell you want. Life is too short to deny yourself anything. Unless it’s detrimental. No one said one cheeseburger was going to kill you. Learn self control. Then eat anything. I do. Of course I eat what I should most of the time anyway…so…I eat what I want too.
Always opt for kindness. In every situation, in every place, at every time. Kindness, kindness, kindness. Even if you’re not the one in the wrong.
I used to have this insatiable wanderlust. Then I traveled. A lot. And then I came home for awhile. But then I left again. But I always managed to catch the wind and find myself elsewhere. Find out where you’re supposed to be and never stop pursuing your dreams. Don’t run away from your life. Find your purpose and live it to the fullest. I’ve found that since my heart wanders so very often that I belong in the wind. And I’m ok with that. I truly love it.
I thought the other day that there were people everywhere doing things and becoming things and chasing dreams and here I sat just watching it all happen for them. But I realized almost immediately the moment I began to feel sorry for myself that I simply and deliberately chose to seek out and surround myself with people whose dreams inspire my own. And it filled me with light. And hope. And inspiration. I’m a dreamer too. Be a dreamer, and let that attract the light and the hope to you and be a constant source of inspiration.