Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How do you know that you've 'found yourself'?

The teen movies all have it. Well, apart from the ones where teens are vampires or overly depressive bitches. Most films that focus on the lives of a teen always seem to have them hit rock bottom, and then rise again, eventually showing that they have found themselves. Now I'm going through this strange stage in my life where everything is becoming so much more clear to me and I'm, how do I put this, thinking a lot more. But no, nothing substantial has happened to me. I haven't hit anywhere near rock bottom. Being 15 years old, nearly 16, I believe I am in that phase of finding what I want out of my life. It never stops though. People constantly find themselves, change every day. There's never one point where people decide they are one thing and not the other. That's what the movies don't tell you.

Okay okay, so it's not a movie's job to tell you how to live your life. But I am easily influenced by anything, particularly movies. I watch An Education, I want to study and read French literature. I watch Black Swan, I want to be perfect. I watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off...I want my own musical number. In most of the movies I watch, characters will always have a distinct turning point and are usually as unique as they come. And yet, all the time they always seem so sure of themselves. Lately I've been wondering about my own 'character' and wondering if I have hit a turning point. So here, I seek the help of the film characters who have most influenced me in my life, and see who I really want to be. In other words, I'm just another teenager who wants to know who I am. I guess.

One of my biggest character 'idols' is Jenny from An Education. I love this film to bitty bits, which has a lot to do with how damn stylish it is, but mainly because of the heroine of the story. Jenny is a very smart girl who is always pushed to achieve with excellence and usually does, unless you are talking about Latin, one of her weaker subjects. She works hard, under a lot of pressure from her father, to go towards an education at Oxford. This means that there is little or no time for her to have any 'interests', but that's okay, because all she knows is to work hard to keep other people happy. Her first turning point, though, comes when she meets David, who is in his thirties and studied at the "University of Life". Through David she is welcomed into a world that accepts her for having interests rather than an education.

Ultimately, Jenny is betrayed by this world. While she may be having a really good time, she's thrown away all of the hard work she achieved while still at school, which will come back to bite her on the ass in future. Lessons learned from the movie? Always have interests, because they make you come alive as a person. Never underestimate the power of a good education if you're smart and a hard worker. But if you make a mistake, take it as experience and move on. The real turning point that Jenny had was the way she came back after all of that experience. She learnt about herself through something that was completely new and exciting to her. It hurt her, but she then realised that after all of that, she had enough courage to, for loss of a better word, 'rise again'.

But it all sounds like the same stuff we've heard all throughout our lives..."learn from your mistakes", "always have courage", "this is your life, not anyone elses". That doesn't make it any less true. But yes, you do learn from your mistakes, even though you pretty much regret making the mistake in the first place. It's hard to have courage when you lack confidence. Of course it's your life, but there's a lot of pressure to live up to other peoples standards. What are we supposed to do? Not care about anyone else? No. Because the one problem that lies within everyone in this world is the fact that we can't consider the needs of everyone else on this planet all of the time.

Consideration, I think, is one of my best, but most annoying traits. As I said to a couple of my friends, my motto in life is "always think of the other person". Most of the time, I always take into consideration how the other person would feel if I said I didn't like a certain movie that they love, or something along those lines. Most of the things I do are all done with a lot of consideration (just like this post...I don't expect many to read it anyway but I just needed to post it). But I reckon this attention to consideration makes me weak and unable to stand up for myself. You hear that "this is your life, not anyone elses"? I can't adhere to that. I want to make everything a lot easier for everyone else. I may not be really good at it, but that's what I aim to do. I'm a bit like good old Nina Sayers from Black Swan in that respect...I'll always say sorry, even if it makes me sound "fucking weak".

But who am I kidding? That's probably who I'd like to be. I'd like to be the nicest person on earth. I'd also like to be the makings of an awesome movie character. For example, I like to think I have a deep passion for film. But really, the only people who do that are the ones who watch lots of Italian neorealism and silent films. Me? Oh, I only just like movies. I like to watch them, and then I can tell you what is right and what is wrong. I'd like to be able to read only classic novels and revel in the works of Oscar Wilde or Shakespeare. I'd like to have this huge capacity of brain power and motivation that allows me to study for hours on end. I'd like to have all of these old fashioned interests. I'd like to live by Jenny's ideals, more than anything.

Is that me though? No. I've been living with this dream in my head for ages, but now I've pretty much realised I'm never going to be what I'd like to be. So the point of this post is not only to tell y'all why I love Jenny out of An Education or just to ramble on about 'teen' stuff (but I guess all of you are thinking that anyway and just wish I'd shut up, haha). It's to tell you what I have decided I really want out of my life. I want to continue being considerate, to try not to be cynical and to always remember that my life isn't that hard compared to others. I'll continue watching movies, even if they aren't the 'right' ones. I'll always understand the importance of a good education. When people ask me what I want to do when I'm older I'll actually tell them that I want to become a director, instead of saying "I don't really know yet" just because everyone frowns upon my career decision. But most of all, I want to have an influence on people. That's one thing I'd like to do more than anything else in the world. As Anne Frank said: "I want to go on living, even after my death." It's just a small piece of greatness that I know can be achieved...we all just have to live, though. That is how, I believe, you find yourself.

How about you? Got any characters you look up to? Any dreams and aspirations you want to be achieved?


  1. This is the personal post? If so I love it. You are such a good writer at laying it out there for all to see. I am envious of this skill.

    When it comes to 'finding oneself' I am pushing 40 and still am waiting for that to happen. I am starting to feel that life is just passing me by without any calling at all. One day I might grow up.

    Lovely post Stevee

  2. This is the personal post. Oh, and thanks! Really? Thanks!!!
    I'm sure that I'll reach 40 and feel like life has passed me by without any calling at all. But even the smallest achievements are the best. For example you have a wife and children, who I'm sure you're pretty proud of!

  3. Yes. Yes I am. I am extremely proud of them.

    Thanks Stevee you have pointed out the obvious to me...HAHA Silly boy

  4. Um...characters that inspire me. I don't know really. I quite love eccentrics. I like knowledgeable people...I like characters who are pop-culture obsessed and read and watch and listen to things, and talk about things. I wanna be like those fabulous women who sit in Parisian cafes surrounded by intellectuals, smoking a cigarette and discussing death and art and stuff. You have really lovely aspirations, but I wanna be done being considerate and only think about myself and well, still be liked. Is that strange?

    But all that being said, I really want to write and make films. I've said it many times before...nothing makes me happier than films, and to make it my life would be the best thing ever. I have a creepy obsession with immortality, and this seems like my only way to achieve it. I hope.

  5. Great post - great post! I can identify with you so much! (Okay, that might be because I'm a 16 year female movie lover)... I've gone through a couple of turning points now, and I don't think it'll ever stop.
    I can also relate to you concerning people that ask me what I want to do after high-school... I mean, it changes, my ideas change, but everyone sounds totally stupid, when I pronounce it in front of a grown up (except my mom, maybe).
    And I can also relate to seeking inspiration in movie or book characters... I also want to have old fashioned interests, I want to be a movie buff - and I don't know if I am. I mean, I hardly watch many black n whites, not to talk of Italian silence films... And I watch a lot of Indian films. Am I just an Indian film buff?
    However, I do learn a lot for school, and I teach myself languages and stuff... Maybe that's something I want to do and actually do.
    Oh, I'm rambling. Your post really inspired me.

  6. That's the one thing I don't like about movies, is how there has to be one big turning point where everything changes, and suddenly the main character knows who they are and what they want and how they'll get it. Not to be cynical (which I will anyway), but I think people can go their entire lives without knowing a damn thing about themselves. Which is depressing. Shit.

    Anyway. I try to be educated and learn languages and whatnot, but I can't think of any movie characters I want to be.

    Excellent post, then.

  7. Fantastic post,
    It's true that people have strange ideas about film making, I also get some strange looks when I say I want to become a film maker.

    Anyway, I've never really had these problems you describe, probably because I've always had a very strong character as long as I can remember, this has it's downsides though... So I can't say it's a better way to be.

    I wish you luck with your filmmaking ambitions, the world needs more female directors!

  8. Nice, personal post Stevee. At least you are more mature than I was at 16 lol. I certainly thought I could be anything I wanted to be until much later ;)

  9. Wow, thought-provoking post! You should submit this to the IMDb Hit-List. I know it's not really strictly about film, but it deserves a spot there by far, and it'll definitely get a mention over at S.V. in the next few days. This is just brilliant stuff. Well done, mate! If I'd spent my teen years writing stuff like this instead of being a real idiot (which I suppose I still am), I can only imagine where I'd be...

  10. Great post :) If this is you at 15 nearly 16 I'd to compare myself to you when I was that age (not that long ago really, but it feels like it). I'm still finding myself bit by little bit, even at uni. I didn't even choose my course until the last few months of high school!
    Hmm...characters who inspire me....kindness and intelligence really stand out for me in characters, strong women. Jane Austen's best heroines....Amelie...Belle from Beauty and the Beast...Same kinda thing for male characters I guess (gonna out myself as a nerd - Captain Picard from Star Trek - Patrick Stewart is amazing, hahaha)

  11. Nikhat - I like the same characters as you do. Alas, I do not have the time to absorb all of the pop culture, nor the money to go to Paris :(
    That doesn't make you strange. I thought I might try do that once, but it didn't work. I'm still annoyingly considerate!
    I guess immortality can be achieved by making movies!

    Lime(tte) - I'm glad you identify with me! My ideas have changed a lot too...mainly because everyone kept frowning upon the director idea. But I always find myself coming back to the director idea...or an actress. I don't really mind which one, just something to do with film. And yeah, my mum is the only one who understands this dream of mine too.
    I don't even know what the term 'movie buff' means anymore. But you watch Indian films, which I think is pretty different, so can be a movie buff.
    I want to teach myself languages! I know quite a bit of French...I must try and teach myself fluently one day. And I'd also like to speak Swedish. Oh, the dreams and aspirations...

    Simon - I don't think anyone has a turning point just like they do in movies. That's just damn unnatural. I mean, you can't tell me that you wake up one morning and decide that everything is possible? Because it's not. Depressing, but true.

    Jack - Yeah, people here think it's a bit too aspirational since I live in Dannevirke, New Zealand and I'm a girl. Oh well.
    Oh I'd love to have a stronger character. Maybe.
    I wish you luck with yours, too. And I think the world does need some more female directors!

    Castor - Haha, I'm a little bit too mature sometimes.

    Tyler - Thanks! And no, I don't want to submit this to the Hit List...or anything that I write. It's not good enough for that kind of stuff! And thanks too! I guess you could say that reading Anne Frank's Diary really inspired me. But no, I'll never have a story as interesting as hers, or thoughts as well written as hers.

  12. Ruth - Thanks! I try to tell people that there's no rush to choose your careers at all, but the teacher's are all like "you have to do this if you want to do this!" Bloody hell.
    I like kindness and intelligence in characters too. I like the ones you picked :)

  13. Sorry for the late comment...i wasn't sure how to respond to a post like this. Anyways, for me i am intent on becoming a film writer/director. Its difficult, but its the only thing i feel i would enjoy doing

    And i think i mentioned this to you already, but i've had to become a stronger person due to certain people taking advantage of my friendship. I still try to be nice to people, but if i feel like a friend is letting me down i will let them know(Which actually happened once). And i don't talk to people who i feel have screwed me over(There was also one person i stopped talking to because he actually thought because i'm jewish i had money to give him)

    As for movie characters that inspire...i don't know if there are any. I guess i emphasize with creative minded movie characters, but that's about it for me.

  14. Oh oh...I know who I want to be like. I wanna be Gilmore girl...always have always will. The day I understand all of their references I will consider myself very smart.

  15. Julian - No problem. Being a writer/director is the only thing I feel I would be truly happy doing, but I'm the kind of person who can do anything.
    I've been screwed over a few times, but my bloody consideration always comes to the forefront. Maybe I'll grow out of it one day. Anyway, I hope I do. And that story is pretty horrible! Gosh, some people these days.

    Nikhat - I guess that's why there's a lot of Gilmore Girls on your Tumblr...haha.

  16. Does this take over your Being a Movie Lover post as my favourite thing that you have written on your blog?

    Yes, I think it does.

  17. Really? I'm just wondering whether I shouldn't just post personal stuff from now, because then I might seem a bit whiny, haha.


  18. Personal stuff is probably something I am more inclined to reading and loving (as writing is my no.1 love) so it is always nice to read posts like yours.

    It definitely wouldn't seem whiny, and you're welcome!

  19. Nice post here. It looks like you've touched on something that has gotten people talking. Congrats on that. If I had to pick the characters I relate to? Umm, NIcholas Cage in Adaptation, Jessie Eisenberg in Adventureland always appealed to me, and so so many others.

  20. Cherokee - I love reading personal stuff too! As long as it isn't written by angry depressives or it's about boys...that shit makes me lose it.

    Mike - Yes...there is a lot of talk around here! I love Jesse Eisenberg in Adventureland!


You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.


Related Posts with Thumbnails