The scariest thing about growing up is asking yourself what’s next, and discovering that even after reaching your number one goal after graduation, it isn’t enough. There will always be that inner struggle—that discontent void or uncertainty about your current situation and the never ending question if there is more to what you already have.
But why should I complain? Growing up is also about adapting to the circumstances you are in. Sixty percent of the time, I am doing what I love and at the end of the day, it’s what I aspired for myself three years ago. The remaining 40 percent includes the downsides and inevitabilities of my situation—you can’t have everything, so I have to deal with what is happening with (subtle) power and grace. What can’t kill me can only make me stronger—dealing with things will also make me a better person, and hopefully, better prepared for the big things I hope to achieve in the future. Life isn’t over yet, and discontent—wait, let me rephrase, aspiration—keeps me running (although I’d rather speed walk, haha) to the finish line.
The one thing I love most about what I’m doing? The everyday chance to learn. I learn from my colleague’s advice, from so-called ’emergency’ (read: last minute) situations, and the professionals I interview. Just a few days ago, I got to sit down with one of the country’s top cinematographers. I got a one on one session on how to plan a short film, a movie, and commercial, and even got right down to the equipment needed.
I also learn a lot about people. I’ve been told to have ‘kutob,’ which according to my weak translation skill, is a sort of gut feeling about someone’s overall personality (read: trustworthy or not? friend or foe?). But even gut can fail, and only experience can improve better judgement. I have loads to learn about timing (and controlling) my reactions and responses to the people I work with and deal with outside of work, but I’ve gone a long way from the girl who easily trusted just about anyone.
Then there’s what I learn about myself. Thankfully, I don’t like to bullshit myself. If I’m pep talking myself, it’s about the reality of a situation and how I can turn it around. And in all honesty, I haven’t been the best person in the last few months. I let my anger consume me, I sometimes don’t give a second thought about what I say to superiors, and I still let other negative, defeatist emotions get the better of me. I still struggle with these weaknesses, and I’m grateful my colleagues at work are Gela whisperers (aka people who call me out on my defects with love 😉 . There’s still a lot of work for me to do, a lot more growing up that I need to demand from myself before I can say I’m truly ready for the next step forward.
I’m still not quite sure what’s next for me, but I’m certainly more conscious of what is required to get there. Hopefully these constant reminders of being grateful and driven will clarify things in the future. Life is scary, but it can only be lived if I don’t hold back.