I guess it’s easier said than done, but at one point of my life I really thought I could be a heart surgeon. After one lesson about the human heart in middle school, I thought I had found my calling. I aced all my science and anatomy tests, and was hassling the teacher to learn more. Everything about that portion of my seventh grade science class fascinated me. It took hold of me, and I thought my newfound passion for science would always stay with me. Fast-forward a week (which seems like a lifetime for a middle school kid), and I had dropped it all like a bad habit. I was on to bigger and better things, like playing the saxophone.
It’s funny to think about what drives us as individuals. In middle school, you’re not planning for your retirement or worried about your health insurance coverage. When you’re at that age, money isn’t what drives you. Unless your parents or environment directly affects you, you’re usually left trying out a half of a dozen different things that interest you. Each new hobby, sport or extra curricular activity you dive into you, gives you a small glimpse into what your future could be. As a kid you fantasize about the limitless possibilities that life has to offer, but you never really know when true inspiration will hit you. The mac truck of inspiration hit me head on my junior year of high school.
I spent a weekend making my very first short film with a few friends of mine in the middle of my junior year in high school. When I saw the culmination of our work playing in front of my eyes, I had the same feeling I had way back in seventh grade, but this time was different. I couldn’t shake it. Looking back on my years leading up to that point, I realize that creating films and videos had been part of my life ever since I was a young child. All of the times I would use the family video camera more than my parents would, casting the roles of my “films” with anyone who was nearby; my mom, my dad, my sister, the family dog, I made them all famous once they stepped in front of the lens of my Hi-8 camcorder, and entered my weird little worlds.
“Filmmaking” wasn’t new to me, but being apart of a video production in high school was the first time I realized that I could actually pursue it as a career. From that point on it consumed me. Someone in the family is getting married? I’ll film it. College English professor assigns a final project? I’ll make a short film. Filmmaking and videography poured into every facet of my life. Unlike my daydreams of becoming the next Doogie Howser M.D., the thoughts of becoming a filmmaker were not fleeting. These dreams had taken hold with no signs of letting go.
So who knows, instead of sitting here typing up this blog, I could be raking in the big bucks as a surgeon. At this very moment, I could be elbow deep in a man’s chest cavity removing his broken heart and praying to god his nose didn’t light up, triggering the terrifying sound of failure.
I’ll never know what could have been. I’ll never know why I’m driven by the strange and beautiful craft of videography, and I’ll never know what drives others to choose their own unique path. All I know is that I love what I do, and I’ve surrounded myself with others who have done the same.