Nearly half-way: four weeks have given me so much and not just the course, as always when travelling by oneself, you learn about yourself.
This week we were discussing ‘the inciting incident’ in a film: the moment that sets the goal of the movie for the protagonist. To illustrate we were asked for the inciting incidents that brought us here and I was so taken by surprise that I didn’t even have time to lie: my break-up.
Yes it happened two years ago and this is still an after effect. It is the reason I chose to do this course in New York: the first time I came to this gorgeous city I was with my ex. It was bittersweet, the relationship started with a trip to Paris and ended in New York , but I never wanted that to be my lasting memory of the city.
Also, without a relationship to hide behind, I had to think about what I wanted with my life and I decided that even if any goal might be unclear, I still wanted to enjoy it.
I had to remind myself of enjoyment the other day, when my neurotic perfectionistic persona surfaced and I actually worried about a presentation. Note: the point of a story-presentation is that the group can help you with any problems you’ve come across and improve your ideas by brainstorming or mind mapping or whatever you kids call it these days. My story had a beginning, a middle and an end: it’s practically halfway there! Still I worried it was just not good enough.
Story of my life: I start something I love doing, I put too much pressure on myself, I get scared, tears/tantrums, I stop doing it, I’m back at square one. Weave in a few unbalanced relationships to rock my emotional world and that’s basically my last decade in a nutshell.
This month I also learned that if you write a screenplay along the theory of the Hero’s Journey – where the hero leaves his ordinary world in search for adventure – the last act of a film should be about forgiving/ accepting the old world from whence the hero came, to be able to find peace/ a balance with their new life. If one is unable to do the latter, history will repeat itself and bite you in the arse until you confront it. (That is a free-flow translation, perhaps not a Joseph Campbell technical term.)
So here I am, two years later, acknowledging that I am not and will never be perfect; that despite this I’ll probably be a bit perfectionistic at the best of times and a tad neurotic at my worse; that I will always love though it might hurt me, because I refuse to live in fear; that hurt is part of life – all is forgiven; and finally, that no matter where I end up packing up boxes, waiting tables or fetching coffees: I am a writer goddarnit… and not a bad one either.