As I sat in my room, packing away my belongings for my trip across the country, I came across a few things that made me pause.
First, was a yellow notepad that had an outline detailing all of the time travel elements for one of my scripts; it was convoluted and thus the outline was necessary (that alone screams “rewrite”).
I flipped to the page above it, and it had a Pros and Cons list of moving to New York or Los Angeles. This was written in September 2014.
Next, I came across my senior yearbook. I lost my copy of the yearbook in an apartment I resided in over six years ago. Of course, I didn’t know where I lost it, until a day while at Verizon, a co-worker Facebook messaged me saying she lived in that very apartment and found the yearbook. I hadn’t read those messages since 2009, so I decided instinctively to cut straight to the comments section.
And as I sat there, I couldn’t help but feel that it was as though all of the personal notes at the end were for this very moment in time. I had come across the yearbook before (I had held onto a friend’s copy during many moves), and you all know how it goes: you sit there, thumbing through the photos and then peruse the notes from your classmates.
Typically once you’re finished the experience leaves you with a combined feeling of nostalgia, sadness, and hope. This time, however, while reading every single note, I realized how many people I had informed regarding my desired profession of filmmaking. I only came into this idea late junior year, and I guess I spent my entire senior year talking up my then-unknown “success” of being a director.
Don’t get me wrong, I was never cocky about succeeding, but regardless, there was a noticeable trend; all of these people said three things–
A: You’re a great guy, never change.
B: I’ve only got to know you this year (I was more introverted up until Senior year).
C: “I can’t wait to see your movies,” “I’ll be in your first movie,” “You’re going to make our music videos,” “I know you’re going to be famous” or something to that effect.
I then wondered why it took me so long to get to the point where I actually left the small Northern town. I suppose I would’ve been shooting more films at that time had I owned a proper camera. Maybe if I went to the New York film Academy like I initially wanted to, then maybe my plans would’ve accelerated further.
Then I realized, no, my arc was a slower one; I wasn’t ready to take a leap of faith so soon in my life as I hadn’t developed properly yet.
I needed to get cancer. I needed to go to college in the UMaine System, closer to my family. Then work full-time, appreciating what I left behind in order to push me to say “Enough is enough.”
The plan had always been for me to go to NESCom, to meet the people I’ve met, and to only leave now, thirteen years after graduation.
But there was no plan, I just simply wasn’t ready. Time isn’t a straight line, not for these messages– these well-wishes were for me now; the Jamie Gagnon of 2016. The one who has had enough with the struggle that wasn’t his, and the one who will leave Maine.
I’ve been planning this trip for all of my adult life, and now I’m finally taking it. This is one small step to the future; whatever the hell that may bring.