Who Am I?

5 12 2010

Question Now that I'm in a new city, anytime I meet someone new I'm faced with the conundrum of answering the question "Where are you from?" The first thing that usually comes out of my mouth is to say I'm from Atlanta. But then when they start asking me where I went to high school and if I'm a Grady baby, I have to explain to them that I'm actually from New Jersey. And then they want to know how I'm finding my way around a brand new city, and then I have to tell them that I actually went to undergrad here in MD and DC so it's not completely new to me. And I feel like a big fat liar, because I'm really not from Atlanta. The truth is I just lived there for 6 years. I've lived in a number of different places, but my family is in Atlanta now so it's where I call home…

Same thing applies for my career. When people ask me what I do for a living I usually say I'm a college professor. But then at some point I have to explain to people that I'm actually a filmmaker who teaches film so that I can pay the bills. Well, that's not the only reason I do it. I really do enjoy teaching. But lately I've been asking myself if that's really what I'm supposed to be doing with my life? I mean, I've always believed that teaching would be a component of my life, but not that it would be my life. My goal has been to be a filmmaker.

The crazy thing is whenever I read my own bio, I realize that I have accomplished a good deal, and I have to remind myself that I already am a filmmaker. I've directed not one, but two feature films, a number of shorts, music videos, promos and commercials. My films have played in film festivals, I've sat on festival panels, and I've juried for festivals. So to define myself as a college professor sometimes feels like I'm only telling half the truth about who I really am, and who I believe God has created me to be.

Which sends me into another conundrum because it makes me start to wonder, am I in the right place right now? Am I doing the right things? Because the reality is that I'm not done making movies yet. I still have more to say. And the last thing I want to do is get into a rut where I'm so stuck in teaching world that I forget about the filmmaker side of me. It's so easy to get stuck somewhere that you didn't intend to be.  This gives me lots to chew on, knowing that my contract here in DC is about to end in about another 5 months. So what's next? Lord, help me to not lose sight of who I really am…

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