The Tall Guy’s Office Hours Are…

I had a film cinematography teacher who was a cross between Jeff Goldblum and a mid-80’s era Lou Reed. One would think that this sounds incredible. How lucky was I to encounter such a magical creature?

Okay, but imagine a person made up of all of their absolute worst-known qualities. The self-indulgence, the myopic vision of what makes things good and bad, the shunning of people who just ‘don’t get it.’ Okay, this is just Lou Reed in personality with the looks of JG. One third of the time in class was devoted to his opinion on tragically misguided Hollywood blockbusters that would turn into conspiracy theories; one third spent on wistful tales of his time as a filmmaker, including sexual exploits done with a wink because it was just so CUTE AND NAUGHTY, RIGHT!? What a mischievous scamp!!

The final third of the time, he’d walk down in front of the podium, take the two steps down to the next level where a small table and chair was, slip his shoes off, sit “Indian” style with his crotch front-and-center and pick out anyone he thought had stopped paying attention to grill them on obscure, philosophical questions about cinematography or the dreadful assigned reading for the week.

His name is lost to me…Perhaps I blocked it out because he was also super sleazy and bummed cigarettes off of the students (rotating who it was) when we smoked in the stairwell (since it was too cold to go outside and we were up so high in the building), sneering at the brand if it was anything other than American Spirits. If they were his preferred brand, he’d crouch down to sit down on a step, as he fell into silence, with his eyes closed in feigned orgasmic glee. Then, he’d actually moan.

I should remember him since he taught me how to navigate infuriating and indulgent personalities, roadblocks to any kind of success in a career, and the ability to find ways to turn those challenges–delivered via disdain, of course–into success. Smashing the demands from him when he thought I wasn’t paying attention, by answering his questions in an equally confrontational manner, delivering stellar project work on difficult-to-watch obscure movies and acing the course.

And if I gave him the benefit of the doubt? That maybe it was all a lesson swaddled around a seemingly impossible and somewhat arbitrary course. A lesson that you would encounter people even worse in the film industry, so develop a thicker hide, honey.

Sure.

But, did he have to be so gross about it?

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External Reflects Internal

After I read through the last post, I realized just how much of an excuse maker I’ve become.  I haven’t embraced myself, faults and all; it is always someone  or something else’s fault.  Why haven’t I gone forward in my career?  Clearly, it’s the corporate mindset and its inanity of the day-to-day.  Why haven’t I felt as healthy as I possibly can?  I can’t afford to attend the yoga classes or the expensive grocery lists (eating healthy is hard, guys!) or the outdoors affects me in such a way I can’t do it (allergies, am I right?).

I’d like to accept what my life is and to know what I want out of it.  I’d like to be more patient and to move forward with that presence of mind that there will be a glorious result for me.  I’d like to understand who I am completely and be plugged into that journey in all of its surprises.

I take two steps and pause, not to reflect, but to look around and see that I’ve only gone two steps.  That’s it?  That’s all there is right now?  But, I’ve done so much by now.  Why does it take this long?  Because when you’ve been treading water your whole entire life you expect to shoot forward like a jet ski; to zoom past the failures, annoyances and setbacks once and for all.  Except, I’ve lost exactly how to look around and see that it’s pretty damn good from here and it will only get better.

Can you celebrate life even in the midst of a crisis?  Can you stop whining for a moment about everything that is supposedly unfair and realize your awareness is a gift?

I looked around and found this to hold on to:

If we can live life consciously and authentically—understanding that things do not happen to us, but rather for us—we can use everything that comes in to our as experience to our benefit. We can locate all the barriers that keep us from beauty, love, abundance, intimacy, joy, and good health.–Erin Lanahan/tiny buddha