I've been off work since Christmas and thinking about this year-end post idea and that year-end post idea. Now it's 12/31, 7pm, and I'm still figuring and formulating. Goals, resolutions. Who am I? Who do I want to be? How do I get there? And then I found something today that made me smile.
This year I did a massive cleanup of my files; I went through the last one today. It's labeled FSU Film School, and I quickly realized that I would throw away nothing within it. And I found my personal intro page that I submitted to a packet that had a page from each of my classmates. How I pored over that packet, so eager to meet other people who did things like go to film school. Here's what mine said, circa August 2000:
Hi! Liz Rizzo here. I've lived in South Florida for over twenty years, so not only will Tallahassee throw me into major culture shock (having arrived in the south by traveling north), I'm seriously worried about freezing my butt off! So right off the bat, my apologies if I start to kvetch about how absolutely freezing it is at any temperature under 60°! Don't worry, I'm bringing a parka. I'm not kidding. :)
Let's see, a little history. I have a bachelor's degree in economics with a minor in geography from Florida Atlantic University, I did some research and technical writing in ophthalmology after college, and for the past few years I've been working as a copy editor and ad trafficker in the publications department of an international corporate real estate association. It's all been breathtakingly exciting! I said to myself, and now time for something completely different... maybe utilize that obsession with film...
My film production background consists of six classes at Palm Beach Community College and some work on friend's projects in the past year and a half. My favorite thing I've done is a music video I directed, which turned out to be quite the love/hate project. Some people get it and some people - not so much. Recently, I've been doing some gripping and booming, which I enjoy. And I'm assistant director on a friend's 8mm film short this summer. Working title: The Aquaman Project. Who doesn't want to spend summer days building the aquacave?
A few of my favorite things: independent film, film shorts, sci-fi/fantasy, Star Trek, Magic (card game), aerobic weight training with The Firm, the Internet and the evil addiction of Everquest. I enjoy hiking and camping, and I'm hoping to get the opportunity to explore the wilderness a bit. The thought of writing crosses my mind... but to me writing is like eating, sometimes it's wonderful, sometimes it drives me mad; either way, it's something that demands to be done. I suppose it's one of my favorite things in a way. You'll have to remind me I said that.
My dream is to create independent films in South Florida. Favorite screenwriter/directors include Neil LaBute, Whit Stillman and Victor Nunez. My goal at FSU is to learn about every aspect of the filmmaking, and I absolutely can't wait! Don't you feel like they should make a survivor series about first-year film students? 24 students, picked to spend the next two years...
I always feel like I've changed so much year to year, and yet, reading this, I feel almost the same. Weathered heart, last minute decision to move to L.A., and current dream project of directing a big-budget Legend of Korra film aside, I'm still this geeky girl with a passion for filmmaking and learning like a sponge - no matter how hard the lessons prove to be. I still jump in.
I think that's what's gotten scariest. I feel like the world expects me to be someone else at 42, someone more grown-up somehow, and then I pull on my Chucks. I feel like a freak all the time; a girl in a grown-up lady's body that feels the same, but looks a little different. Someone people react to differently in 2014 than they did in 2002, even though I still feel the same.
I guess I should be used to it. The girl who wrote this essay thought everyone at film school would be just like her and found that like minds are a much rarer, precious commodity. At 42, I do know that I can't do much about people's perceptions, assumptions, or beliefs about women, beyond just being myself, making the best choices for me and trying to stay true.
So here's a resolution for 2014: To keep being me, to keep loving myself and others, and to keep finding like souls. That's why we live in the LaLa. Because we know it takes all types.