I have had people in my life tell me that when you are moving towards a dream things will come out of the wood work to hamper your progress. I was almost afraid to believe it thinking that it would send negative energy towards what I was trying to do, so I just continued to plow ahead. Rather quickly, after getting myself knee deep into my documentary project did I start to feel resistance from all sides. I felt family pressures and opinions and along with that comes guilt, especially us moms that wonder if we should do anything but cook, clean, taxi and love on our kids because if we, God forbid, look the other direction for a moment, we could fail miserably at being the PERFECT mom with the PERFECT children. Ugh, I am beginning to loathe the word perfect! I also started to feel doubtful that I could actually come up with a good story. I mean, I had my story, right? I had a fighter who had an injury who was determined to come back from it! There, a story!! The PERFECT story! Well, not quite, but I’ll come back to that.
My ROOKIE-NESS became the greatest resistance. Is that a word? For purposes of clarity, MY definition of the word ROOKIE-NESS is the refusal to listen to intuition because you are so excited that you have the new perfect thing to do and charge full speed ahead without enough experience to make it perfect! Ha! This is the PERFECT (that word is haunting us) definition of this place we have all been in, unless you are on the other end of the spectrum with FEAR-GLUE on your shoes! Hey, that rhymes, living and loathing (even if you don’t know it) your life because you are terrified of making a mistake or failing, back to that PERFECTION place again. Can we dump that word and replace it please? I’m thinking…what can we replace PERFECT with? Hmmmm…….now more resistance rising to the surface…time constraints, money, experience, parts I found uninteresting, like hours in front of the editing program, NOT my calling.
You may have figured out what I am getting at here. My documentary on the MMA fighter, is not going forward. Resistance did come up to try to stop me, and avoiding this idea that it can sometimes, didn’t change the project from coming to a halt. So, where did I go wrong? How could I have launched into a project with such ROOKIE-NESS that I could not complete it? What an IMPERFECT situation I have gotten myself into! Now there is the dreaded IM in front of the haunting word PERFECT! I cannot escape! IMPERFECTION!
Folks, what if the “IM” in this word just had a tiny little added part “I’M”-PERFECT. I’M-PERFECT, how could this be, you say? I just royally messed up and didn’t complete what I started and I sacrificed time with my family to do it! Sacrilege!! Nonsense! What, you say? “She’s trying to weasel out of the responsibility !” Let me try to convince you otherwise, it won’t take long! I’MPERFECT is my new word to describe all the imperfection that comes with jumping in to try something and taking your FEAR-GLUE off your shoes. I learned more from this I’MPERFECT project than I could have probably learned if it went forward. I learned where my heart is, I learned that I want to balance my time better with my family and work and do something closer to home in my community. I learned that ultimate fighting is cool and there are some cool aspects but I would really like to do something that can make a difference with kids and the homeless and a subject that I believe passionately in. I learned that before you even start with a subject you must pause to ask more questions. I did a fair amount of, I should have asked him this or that to make sure that my subject wanted to share the nitty gritty of his life and that he was comfortable with the process. I should have had him sign our agreement sooner or I should have had a bigger team and I should have planned better. Then I spoke with my lawyer, who also has made a documentary, who said that even if you ask all the questions and have the agreement signed you might not be able to foresee changes in the subjects life or mindset about it or comfort level with being exposed. BTW, you’ve heard this….”Never should on yourself!” Right? I’MPERFECT people don’t do that!
What is that song by Alanis Morissette? “… Thank you providence, Thank you disillusionment, Thank you nothingness, Thank you clarity….”.The story did not end up being a story that could turn into a successful documentary because there is much more to a good story than a cool person trying to do something cool. FEAR-GLUE reared it’s ugly head to prevent the story from being all that it could be. Part way through, the parameters that were set forth by people involved about what could be shared in the story would not allow for this. Life is far more complex and we are I’MPERFECT and in that, we are supposed to have flaws and bumps in the road and reactions to those bumps to make us more than a machine spitting out a PERFECT product. We are living, breathing, loving, and passionate beings created I’MPERFECT for a reason. That is our story, what we encounter and how we learn from it and pick ourselves up from it. We are I’MPERFECT and that’s what makes us great, flaws, failed projects, bumps in the road, and all! It is how we learn. I guess that word PERFECT with just a few tweaks and a little I’M in front of it is not something to loathe but to embrace. You follow? Plus, I know all of you would be in the audience for my first documentary premier and you are smart, you’d know if I was leaving key character elements out about my subject, right?
Embrace your I’MPERFECTION and know that there is learning in it, which actually makes you closer to PERFECT, not that this is your goal. Thank you for supporting this story and I’m now working on what the next steps are for some local challneges that kids and families are facing right here in Southern Oregon. The Ashland Independent Film Festival is coming up in April, too, bringing all kinds of awareness to international and local issues. I hope to see you all there!