I was walking with a friend the other day, talking about our (collective) futures, and he was referencing me and another friend, saying, "Honestly, I just don't see you two going in the same direction."
In the past year or so I've found this both a frustrating and amusing comment. Frustrating because I think to say it, people have to make huge assumptions that most people are really not qualified to make about another person. Amused because if they know where my life is heading, I do wish they'd tell me.
I've learned that while long term plans are a good idea and practical, it's also very practical to make sure that you're aware they will probably change. So when people ask me about my post graduation plans, they go somewhat along the lines of "Well, I think I'll probably move to California... and we'll see what happens..." (After a friend A. laughed at me, I've stopped including the preceding "If I fall in love and get married and have a reason to not go to California...") To be honest, California is my Plan B. In my chosen career path, that's a bit frowned upon. People expect you to sell your soul for a chance in this industry. Screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Breach) came by the other week and talked with us, and he talked about getting an Oscar, how badly he wanted one, and not just one but several, and his intensity was riveting and a little disturbing. That's the passion expected of people in the film industry. But do you really want to spend your life chasing after a little golden man? I mean, I will definitely want one, and strive to produce work deserving of one, but it's all part of Plan B, you know?
What's Plan A? I don't know. I'm leaving it open. Because moving to California and becoming a struggling filmmaker who lives in a cardboard box on the beach, that can't be it, you know? It's not a bad, plan, really, and I can definitely see components of it in the ambiguous Plan A. But I'm just being cautious. I've already had the opportunity to learn, at age 20, that your career isn't everything. And so I can't make it Plan A.