“Oh my God, you don’t watch __________? But why? You have to! It’s right up your alley. It’s this, it’s that. Oh my God, but it’s a So and So film! They’re the best in filmmaking! Oh, so, is this just gonna be a happy story? Pass. Boring. I just don’t watch movies unless they’re Oscar contenders.”
As an avid consumer of TV, film, literature, music, it often gets daunting living in a time where our opinions could be shared so quickly and easily. Send tweet. Done. So now I suppose in order for this all to make sense, I should take you darling readers back to a few years ago. It’s fall 2013, I’m in my first ever creative writing class, it’s discussion time. When it comes to my piece, all I hear is things like “This is too happy”, “This growth is a cliche”, “May I suggest leaving at the character drowning without the rescue? The ambiguity will speak to readers more.” The thing is, I’m not a positive person by some miraculous genetic coding. In fact, if you ask anyone who’s known me as a kid, they might tell you that I always looked sad. I looked broken. That’s because for as long as I could remember, I’d been insecure. My mind has always raced too quickly for me to catch up with it and most of the time, I just let it.
Now, let’s take it back one more time to the ripe old age of 15 when I was clinically depressed but no one knew because no one was talking about mental health then. Why would a 15-year-old, perfectly healthy kid have trouble physically getting out of bed? Depression. And during that dark time where it felt like I was consistently drowning, unsure of how to even ask for help, I lost my father to a heart attack. Now if there’s one thing you absolutely need to know about me, it’s that I came from a loving, amazing family. I have and still am very close to my immediate family. Years of bullying and a whole lot of crap, immigration crisis with my mother at the age of 11. A tremendous health scare at 24. So yeah, my life has been anything but rainbows and butterflies, but at some point, I made the choice to look at this world through different lenses. I chose to look beyond my circumstances and I chose to imagine a world better than the one I was living in. Now if you ask me whether that’s the right way, I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is for me. Because that’s all we can really vouch for — ourselves. I can’t guarantee that this might work you, but I can speak with certainty that it worked for me.