Today, I finally got it.

I was writing a letter to a friend today trying to explain all the emotions I’ve had in the last few months (big task, I know). I talked about the terrible case of wanderlust that I’m currently suffering through and the general humdrum of North Carolina living.

And then, I made a discovery. For so long, I’ve been trying to figure what it means to “be” instead of “do”. Not in the sense of being present or trying to reconcile boredom. More like in the sense of how one’s passion and one’s dreams actually becomes a part of one’s being. These seem mutually exclusive, right? Clearly passion and ambition and desire are all sentiments ingrained into our consciousness…but I have never felt like that before.

I must say that I didn’t know I was missing the feeling until I felt it today. Amidst my handwritten rant (I have to conjure brevity when writing on paper, as my hand is no longer used to the weight of a pen) I realized that I am a documentarian. I have been making documentaries for a while now and my love for the craft has skyrocketed in the past years. But to be a documentarian is not simply to create something.

I have been yearning for travel, longing to discover, looking for ways to liberate myself from the suburbia that is my life and catapult into something I’ve yet to experience. I want to go go go and immerse myself in cultures outside of my own–access the inaccesible and then represent that for those I’ve left behind. To me, this is what it is to be a documentarian. My heart’s needs have been physically detectable. It’s as if I have a palpable ball of energy in my chest, a mass of air that needs to be released… and today as I wrote, I finally knew what it meant to be. To not just do documentary but to have that consume me and constitute me and define me.

I’ve been thinking about this all day. It might not make sense in the words I’ve typed up there but in my brain, it makes a lot of sense. I know now that my feeling stuck and directionless and confused and allll the conundrums I’ve pondered through in the past few months have only been an indicator that I am not an apathetic or unmotivated person. It signifies the exact opposite, actually, and I can find comfort in that.

…waking up early makes me contemplative.


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