I can’t believe it’s the end of 2019. This year has flown by and now 2020 is almost upon us. Many people are recapping their 2019s (and even the whole decade) and I wanted to do so as well, just in my own way.
At the beginning of the year, I was another late-20s mature student starting a new degree and trying my best to pass the first year.
At the beginning of the year, I suffered from impostor’s syndrome; I didn’t have much confidence, in myself or my skills (despite them being there).
At the beginning of the year, I was a complete noob when it came to filmmaking, had never written a script before or been on crew for a film.
At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t sure any of my ideas for films, stories, or videos were good or even worth exploring; I wasn’t sure any of my opinions were worth putting out there.
At some point during the year, I was trapped in ideas of toxic productivity and would be exceptionally mean to myself if I didn’t meet my own high standards.
This was the beginning (and middle) of 2019.
But now it’s the end of 2019.
I am about to begin semester 2 of second year of my degree. I passed first year with a 95/100, the highest grade I have ever gotten in my life. And I don’t mind being a mature student.
I have effectively become a filmmaker, something I never in a million years thought it would happen. I made my first short film, which challenged me and taught me many new skills. It also taught more about myself. I can write scripts now. I have realised that I am an extremely visual person and enjoy picturing shots and seeing how an edit will look like in my mind. I am closer to finding my own voice as an artist. I know I want to tell stories about topics that matter to me in a way that is engaging and that makes people feel something, either through visuals or writing.
I have become more confident in myself and my skills. I know what I am objectively capable of and I can recognise that without feeling cocky or like I’m bragging. I know I have lots of knowledge, drive and creativity to offer.
I don’t doubt my stories or my ideas anymore. Now I only have enough healthy dose of doubt that helps me improve them instead of tearing them down and never letting them develop or see the light of day. I value feedback and bouncing ideas off my trusted creative friends more than ever. I know my ideas are worth putting out there and exploring; I know I have contributions to add to various conversations that others can find valuable.
I have realised my ideas about productivity were toxic and am now working hard every day to be kind to myself. I don’t want to put myself under unnecessary and crushing pressure; I want to enjoy the process of what I make fully, because that’s what adds value to me as an artist.
And finally, I’ve truly recognised the value of putting myself out there — of being vulnerable. I’ve realised there are more opportunities that come with showing vulnerability and that it helps you meet like-minded and great people. I now value and respect immensely anybody who puts themselves in that position, more than I did before. And I want to do more of it myself, embracing my (sometimes present) fears with open arms. I want to keep on being brave.
This year, my first short film got screened at the GMAC. I shared my creation, I made myself vulnerable and in doing so, I met people, I received positive feedback and got to experience the surreal but wonderful sensation of seeing an audience react to my film in real time. That same film got me my 95/100 mark in first year and opened my eyes to an artistic path I never considered exploring, but that is now hard to see myself falling out of love with.
I learned so much. I grew so much. I almost can’t believe I did all of this in one single year. And I’m ready for more of it.
I look forward to what 2020 has in store. If it’s anything like 2019, I am sure I will enjoy the ride. ?