Making A Movie Day 5 — Killing & Burying the Ideal Self

Okay, after a couple of hours of wallow and nap, I’m up and active.

Today, as my previous post affirmed, did suck.  Not because anything awful happened to me (thank baby jesus in da manger), but because personal growth is hard.

I spent most of my waking hours this past weekend working on my whole life inventory’s (80 pgs, 9 point font, written over the last year and a half ) — resentment breakdown list, which is about 30 resentments so far and about 15 pages or so.

I was supposed to have it finished by this morning so I could read it in one sitting to my group therapy mentor and then we could begin work on my character defects. To keep healing and growing, you know, but the truth is I wasn’t able to finish the resentment breakdown so we rescheduled the read aloud for next Tuesday.

I wasn’t able to finish it because my obsessive attention to detail and enslavement to thoroughness, makes it quite impossible for me to skip or skim most things. Especially anything art and spirituality/emotional & psychological healing related.

Yet my obsession with the passage of time — my race to accomplish more, BE more constantly tricks me into setting unrealistic deadlines for myself.

Deadlines that bludgeon me with a clock hand — the size of the metal ones you find in train stations.

I set deadlines that prove unrealistic and unhealthy for my detail-oriented nature. It’s not that I can’t make the set deadlines, but that I’m usually pulling all-nighters and sacrificing other areas of my life to do so.  Often times, I don’t make many of the severe “around the corner” deadlines I set for myself because I can’t bring myself to sacrifice the quality of the task at hand.  I know I’m cheating it if I do.

Of course, when I inevitably don’t meet said austere deadlines — I pummel myself with a large block of wood that has the word “F-A-I-L-U-R-E” spray-painted across it. So then I set another deadline (the one I should have originally set for myself) and meet it.

Instead of blindly following the pattern, as usual — today I heard my mentor’s voice when she said to me again what she’s told me for a long time, “Your life is not a race.”

My life is not a race.  What a brutal yet liberating concept to assimilate…

I’ve always felt that I’m falling one step behind if I don’t race to finish the book, finish the film, get the grant, get the awards, make high honor roll, etc.

I’ve lived in an incessant relentless competition with my ideal self since I was about 7-years old.

Focusing on my ideal self obviously means, however, that I’m never enough now.

I compare my body, my career, my romances and lack thereof constantly, relentlessly with those who seem to have all their chit’ TOGETHER.

As Carly Simon once sang about Warren Beatty:

Well, I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun
Well, you’re where you should be all the time
And when you’re not, you’re with
Some underworld spy or the wife of a close friend
Wife of a close friend …

That’s the person I compare myself to — never those “worse off” always those “doing better.”

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said (By the By, Happy BDay Papa King!!!):

I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the “isness” of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal “oughtness” that forever confronts him.

This “oughtness” is my greatest and gravest obsession — to become the best me and all the while I’m not the best me, I feel that I’m just wasting my potential.

It’s clear to me today, that I fail at this feat because it’s an impossible one to achieve — Likened to trying to reach the Sun on foot.

Worries swim through my head all day and all night: If I don’t finish this resentment breakdown then I can’t work on the “To Do’s” for my film then I’m pushed back a week, and then and then and … Always falling deeper into the “isness” and further away from the “oughtness” …

The question is: Do I continue relating to my life this way?

If I am ever to be happy, to take enjoyment in the things I do — in the variations of the Self I become — I must humble myself to the moment that is, raise my white flag, and embrace that I’ve failed.

I will never win “The Race” I’ve imagined myself winning since I was a little girl because the race never ends … but the body, the mind, and the soul do tire …

I’m tired.

Thus, I surrender to the process of living — the one life has set out for me — and drive a stake through the heart of my beloved Brass Ring.

Making a movie — making this movie Dear Dios — isn’t about proving to myself that I can do it or that I can do it as quickly and as perfectly as my ideal self can — It isn’t about the Nicholls Fellowships or the Sundance Labs or the Cannes Film Festival –It isn’t about getting signed by CAA or backed by the Weinstein Company…

Dear Dios is about learning to make a movie with other creative people I’m inspired by in a manner I enjoy — learning to make a film that I artistically respect and love — learning to cut out the unnecessary middle men and make my work available to people all over the world through forums that are affordable for them and economically lucrative for me — learning as an artist/filmmaker and business woman to work from a place of principle not of fear so that humility, quality of craft, and accessibility of art are my aims not the Brass Rings.

On that note, this blog — which follows the making of a portion of my first feature Dear Dios over 365 days — will focus primarily on making the movie while achieving balance in my life as a whole person — spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, socially, romantically.

There is no race.  I have nothing to prove.  I have failed my ideal self and exchange its dead body for a chance to enjoy the great unknown — like a nomad, a wanderer, an explorer.

A groundless, frightened, passion-driven thing that admits she knows nothing and exists on earth for the sole purpose of learning.

That being said, I’ve made my tumblr account for Dear Dios, which will illustrate the film’s press kit a.k.a synopses, logline, tagline, artistic inspirations such as paintings and photographs, music links, articles, ETC.  I’ll also include a paypal button as fundraising, starting on the smallest scale, will begin shortly.

I plan on buying a domain name and forwarding it to the tumblr account and of course, linking that up to this blog and my main website.

I plan on updating my director’s reel, resume, main website, and official news/press blog.

Oh, yeah, and I haven’t seen Baby Dewds in almost 2 weeks, which means I have to get in some Baby Dewds University quality time ASAP.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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About vanessalibertadgarcia

Vanessa Libertad Garcia is a Cuban – American writer & filmmaker who grew up between the burbs’ and hoods of Los Angeles. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, she’s completed a myriad of successful projects that tackle both the film and literary worlds. Ms. Garcia has worked in various capacities as writer, director, and producer on fiction films such as the HSF/McNamara Arts Grant recipient “A Two Woman One Act” and documentaries such as “Maid in America,” which debuted on PBS’ Independent Lens. Two films out of the many, which have screened at top festivals such as The Los Angeles Film Fest, The Habana Film Fest, Cinequest, and Outfest to name a few. Ms. Garcia has had writings published by venerated literary staple Lambda Literary and the up-and-coming Amor Fati. Her first book “The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable, Embarrassing, Repulsive” is drawing laudable reviews. It’s available for purchase at amazon.com, barnes&noble.com, and many other sites. She presently has a feature film titled “Dear Dios” based on the books’ characters and a second book — the collection of poetry “Bloody Fucking Hell” — in development. View all posts by vanessalibertadgarcia

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