Doubts: Is it Still Right for Me? / by Sarah Kakusho

It's nearly a month since I've been back in the States from one of the most amazing, life-changing 5 months in my life. It's safe to say that I do miss my freedom in a city that never sleeps. But, perhaps, what I miss more is to be able to free my mind, to allow words to lead me places in my subconscious and even my unconscious I would never be able to see in my waking life. So, here it is again. Blogging culture certainly has gotten me going again, and what better to way to start it off with doubts.

It's amazing how much can occur mentally in the span of one night. The human psyche is amazing, and if I had the chance, I would study it more.

My current emotional states: lonely, restless, and down-right confused

Every year when I made my films with the teams I worked with, I knew intrinsically that there was something different about how I was as a person: how I acted to people outside of my teams; how I treated them; how I talked to them. It didn't matter who it was, whether it was friends or acquaintances, but regardless, frankly, because we were all very busy, I never took that into account.

But, I've had a breakthrough.

This year, because I myself was in charge of a project and I was able to create my own timeline and movement sheet, I could make use of the time more efficiently, without having to stay up all night just to get a scene completed. However, despite being able to make more time to do other things, I was still exhausted. Sleepless. My mind was restless at night, as it is now.

And, lately especially, I've been feeling a little down. I think it hit me for the first time just how alone I am in my endeavors to create something. I think I've always known it. It was the same in high school when I began the first stages of Project esCAPE. My ideas were too grandiose for people to just sit through, listening to them, and give me feedback on. Sometimes, I wasn't even given the chance. So, I locked these ideas away, kept them safely in my heart. It was like a small world that the people were not ready to see, or rather a world that they didn't want to see.

And now, to bring it back to the context today, I am working on a movie while everyone else goes to class. While I get to play around with cameras and editing software, everyone else is writing papers, reading books and interacting with each other. Of course, the education best for my future is the former, but right now, for some inexplicable reason, I'm yearning for the latter. I never really understood this feeling of isolation and estrangement until I found a quote by a director, Bryan Singer, who nailed it right on the dot:

"I'm actually part of a number of minorities. I grew up being a horribly awkward kid. A terrible student. And now I find myself as a filmmaker, and you feel kind of alone in the world because you're separate from everyone else."

I'm sure this is the case with any art, not just film. The lives of artists, though filled with so many collaborations, are so enclosed in a world that they create that they isolate themselves from the reality around them in order to make their world a reality that can exist in everyone's world, everyone's reality. At the end of the day when a project is finished, half the times, you never see the people you worked with again.

I feel that there's no one in the world that will understand the world I will be getting into. As arrogant as it may sound, it's hard to live life as a filmmaker unless you're living it, breathing it. You just don't know what you're getting yourself into until you're stuck in the middle of it. Was I caught up in this trap? I don't know where to turn anymore. Like I lost myself again.

How am I going to continue on this path? All the arrows point me in this direction and yet I feel that there's something unsettling. What am I afraid of? What's keeping me from spreading my wings fully and soaring? I feel I've come too far to turn around. What would I do if film wasn't my calling? Film had been my life up to this point. Why doesn't it feel like that now? Maybe this is the sanshoshima, the devilish function (the function within everyone that seeks to subvert truth through falsehood) and I need a means to overcome it. I need to chant more.

Where is the fighting spirit that I had that got me through study abroad? Where is the spirit that drove me to come this far?

Where the fuck did it go?