Since my last update a couple of days ago, we've gone up by 5%. We're over 75% funded now! Thanks for the help in spreading the word!
I'm writing to share something very personal that happened to me recently. For several months, my day job has been supporting a group of scientists at a research facility. A couple of weeks ago, some managers decided my (sometimes) cheerful disposition might be more of an asset in their corporate offices, separate from the research facility...a much more stressful environment. I fought the good fight (and by fight, I mean I mostly avoided eye contact with my managers in a desperate attempt that they would forget I was alive), but yesterday I lost the battle.
When I announced my defeat to a scientist, he expressed his disappointment and said, "You've been so good for everyone here." I was taken aback. I had known my life had been changed by working here, but I was unaware that I had helped others too.
I've hinted at it before, but I was a bit of a lonely child. I didn't really have friends until I ran off to college and joined the circus (re: moved to NYC), and even then... I was shy, awkward, nerdy, didn't fit in, and there was even more: from a young age, I'd been plagued by a debilitating anxiety disorder, hypochondria. This has always been my biggest secret, the reason why I never let anyone get too close, lest they should find out.
When I started here a few months ago, I found myself fitting right in. People started coming up to my desk and staying for a long chat, or they'd take their coffee break around my desk area and stay for an hour. I learned about their lives, their wives, their projects. They asked me about filmmaking and acting, and were actually interested. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was making friends. This had never happened to me in a work environment.
In time, I even started being open about my anxiety, something that I would never have done in a million years a few months ago. Eventually, a new friend at work recommended a book, The Power of Now. I'd tried reading it before, but something made me promise him that I would read it again. At the same time, he also recommended to a mutual work friend another book about physical health. We both set on our journey to improve our health, he his physical health, me my emotional health. Of course, I'd tried to confront it before, but without much success. This time it felt different. I felt stronger, like I could finally confront it. I was inspired watching my friend take this book everywhere with him, and I began to do the same.
I only realize now, after my coworker said that to me yesterday, why I felt powerful enough to finally confront something that had been terrorizing me for most of my life. I had the support of a community. I had friends. And in turn, everyone here had a friend in me, which is why I was good for this place. We were a multi-racial community of individuals from all walks of life with one common cause: we're all nerds who need friends.
It's been said a million times that a community can change the world by coming together. I just experienced that first-hand. And that's what films try to do (at least my films): inspire a community in order to change the world. These few months here have made me a better human being, and in turn, a better filmmaker.
Incidentally, nobody here has ever asked me why my skin is so white. Because at a molecular level, we're all the same, aren't we?