Don’t Give Up

Yesterday, I published an essay on Medium about the creative process of making my short film, Torn-Between. It’s been 5 years since I published it on YouTube. What a crazy 5 years it’s been. It’s surreal to look back on now. In a way, I am amazed I was able to make it. Honestly, there are times I forget I made a short film. Because it seems like such a long time ago and so much has happened since then. But little things pop up that remind me of it. Like a few months ago, someone who I am casually friends with on Facebook came up to me and said how much they liked it. Totally random and unexpected.

I never thought I would make a short film. I dreamed of making it for over a year before I shot it. But there were moments during the editing process where I didn’t think the film would be seen by anyone. A lot of work goes into editing anything and I was busy with school and work at the time. I had shot it in Maine in the summer then sort of forgot about it when I went back to class in the fall. It wasn’t until early December that I realized I needed to finish it over winter break or I would never finish it.

The usual doubts of worry and fear came dribbling in as I began editing the film. What if people won’t like it? What if no one sees it? What if my message isn’t clear? What if the odd style of the film turns people away? It’s a story about a nameless character told through her writings and internal monologues. It has no dialogue, only one character, no action, not much of anything. It’s about an internal life rather than the external lives we’re used to seeing onscreen.

My doubts soon became overshadowed by wanting to see my dream become a reality. And if nothing else, at least the people who worked with me on it, especially my dad and Aunt Liz, could see their efforts brought to fruition. I am proud of my younger self for not giving up where there were many moments when I almost did.

While this film is a work of fiction, with some bits of my own journey in there, this film very much captures a personal thing in my own life. It was filmed at my grandmother’s house in Maine. It’s a house I would visit every summer for most of my life. It was a very significant part of my childhood. This house is no longer in our family. While that’s very bittersweet, I am forever grateful I was able to capture parts of it in this film. Like my mother’s childhood bedroom or all my grandmother’s china in the dining room. Little details I will always have because of this film.

After I posted this short film, I remember having a conversation with someone I knew casually about it. She had watched the film and really liked it. We were talking about the boxes we are put into as a society, as people, as women. She made a point that my film challenges the boxes. Choosing to stray from the status quo when it comes to relationships, careers, all the things the character in my film grapples with.

I remember at the end of our conversation her saying, “there shouldn’t be one expected way of doing things. And people shouldn’t be seen as less than for choosing a different path.” That’s what I wanted people to think about with my film. Don’t put yourself in a box you don’t fit in. Be whoever you want to be.

Happy New Year!

Observations at a Bar One Night in December

I sit at the bar
in-between a young couple
drinking wine and eating chilly
and an older couple staring at
the menu for fifteen minutes
no drinks in front of them
for a second I wonder if
I should get a glass of
red wine I see bottles
to the right on the top
shelf they look good
but then I remember
I am driving home in
rush hour car to car
traffic which does not
mix well with wine
I cannot lose focus for
a second of feeling
like a proper adult
around strangers who
barely notice I am
sitting next to them

All I Know

my breathing has changed over the years
I breathe from my belly instead of my chest
trying to fill my scarred airways
with the opportunity to open up
no matter the difficulty
a little struggle with air
I don't know anything differently

these days I am grateful
air flows without blockage
every time I hear someone cough
I whisper thank you to my body
thank you for breathing
thank you for fighting
thank you for protecting

Creative Spark

The books I read
Inspire me
To see reality
A little differently
Remind me why
I love to write
To make everything
Seem more bright
To look into the sky
And feel myself settling
Into the ground
With the soles
Of my feet
With a pen
In my hand
Connecting to my soul
Creating something
Out of nothing
That didn’t exist 
This morning

murphy’s law

murphy's law,
a man whispered to himself
as he walked away from me
nothing went wrong, not really.
it's only how he perceived
his small error to be
this moment sticks with me,
playing in my mind
at random times
over a couple of days.
what was predicted to
go wrong went wrong,
now where do we go?

this time of year

I try to remember to breathe
not to let these moments 
slip past me. Not overeating 
at dinner because I know
the leftovers will be just as good
if not better. Having memorable
conversations, remembering that 
everyone is going through
their own things and 
feelings are valid,
including my own. 
The older I get, the quicker
time moves. We were just 
at Thanksgiving suddenly time
decided to speed up and bring us
back here faster than I could 
understand. I keep telling people, 
we were just here,
weren't we? They nod. 
The human experience
with holidays and time is 
that it comes back around
faster than we realize. 
One moment it was winter,
then spring. Some of us
are still grieving
the end of summer and
that's okay. The shorter days
do not help in the passing of time,
especially on long days.
Breathe, remember to breathe. 

wordless day

I stayed in the mountains 
spent some time by myself 
to read and write and relax
silence scared me or so I thought 
pushing back the noise of every day life 
to embrace to silence of a still room 
made me uncomfortable at first
I finished a few books and
scribbled down a couple of poems 
I found my creativity in the silence
I cannot recall the last time
a single word didn’t come
out of my mouth for a whole day  
by the end I realized how much 
I embraced the silence of being
by myself without feeling lonely

the height of spooky season

the halloween candy is all gone
the shelves are bare
the last minute shoppers 
kick themselves for not
buying in it sooner 
the holiday section will be
christmas themed by tomorrow 

tonight kids and teenagers roam 
the neighborhood streets 
in-search of king-sized candy 
wearing costumes many
adults do not understand
for the children television
references have evolved 
since the last time 
they had small 
children in their lives 
a sign time is moving forward 

as the chill of mid-fall 
falls on the evening, 
soon the clocks will change 
once more making it dark 
even earlier than before 
though all of the halloween 
candy will be gone by then 
consumed by the children
quicker than the parents
would have liked

dentist ptsd

I ground myself
in the chair
pushing the thoughts
out of my mind
as best I can
knowing they’re forever
ingrained in my body
I shake
I cry
makes me feel safe
makes me laugh
I don’t always 
have to live
in the past
the present can 
be a little joyful
mostly bearable
a necessary
part of being human
taking care of 
my body knowing
the process will 
be uncomfortable.

Moon in Full

October’s chill hits my skin.
I step out into the night,
my barefoot on the cold wood.
Moon so crystal clear, so pretty, so bright.
I gasp at the sight of the shine.
How clearly I can make out its craters.
It reminds me of the midday sun.
I try to snap a photo but my phone 
lense cannot do this view justice.