As a young adult you get asked what you want to do in the future a lot. What your plans are. What you want to be. Where you want to go. What degree you’re going to do, and what you’ll do with it when you’re finished. After a while the answers to these questions become so repetitive that I start to wonder if they’re still true, or if it’s just what I’ve gotten used to saying.
During my first few years of secondary school, I wanted to be a forensic scientist. My dreams were shattered however, when I realised just how bad I was at chemistry, and that it would be more painful than fulfilling to continue pursuing said dream. So I made myself think about why I wanted to be a forensic scientist, I mean it’s not exactly the usual career choice for a thirteen year old girl (not that I am gender stereotyping, it’s just not what you’d usually hear said), but that’s what my heart was set on. As silly as it sounds, it was actually due to my intense love for the TV show NCIS, and after seeing Abby Sciuto using science to prove things right or wrong, unravel mysteries, and most important to me; helping people find closure, I was sure that that’s what I wanted to do. However, after some more detailed thought it became clear to me that it was purely because of a TV show that I was so passionate about this career path. I realised that if a TV show can do that, make someone inspired to go and pursue a new-found dream, that TV and film was an industry I wanted to be a part of.
Inspiration can be a difficult thing to find these days, but at the age of fifteen I think I figured it out. One of the simplest forms of inspiration in day-to-day life comes from TV and films. It’s accessible, and it’s exciting, and makes you invest in other people’s lives as if they were your own, whether the people you see on-screen are real or fictional. They make you want to go out and experience life, tell your loved ones what they mean to you, fight for what you believe in, they give you hope, that there is always someone to turn to, and that even when things are tough and everything isn’t okay, that things can get better. I would watch TV as a young teen and just be so desperate to see the world it showed to me. I wanted to solve crimes, fall in love, explore the world, go for a road trip, discover magic, I just wanted to do more. As this awareness of inspiration developed, I wanted more and more to make others feel the way I did, get my voice heard, show them a world worth fighting for, through the big (and small) screen. I wanted to inspire people, even just for a moment, because a moment of inspiration is enough to stick with a person for life, and it’s a momentous thing to do. Everyone has a favourite film, or a film that sticks with them. It shapes them. You watch this film for the first time and it strikes a chord, you identified with a character or a situation, and you feel compelled to watch it again and again.
People need inspiration in life, it’s essential. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Oscar Wilde. Inspiration allows us to live, not just exist. Seeing all these amazing possibilities in front of you on the screen, made real through great acting and special effects, it opens the mind to the possibilities in our own lives. We can live vicariously, learning more about the world and the types of people in it. It also allows us to connect, it allows people who seem to have little in common to discuss something that can be seen in a hundred different ways. With all this in mind, I decided I couldn’t not be a part of it. I wanted to create, inspire people, and give them something they could enjoy personally, and with friends. So when deciding what I wanted to study at university I applied for Chinese and Film Studies. (The Chinese part is a whole other story!) Then I plan to do a masters in film directing, and then (hopefully) become a director. Probably with a few steps in the middle somewhere. And that’s what I’ve told myself, and others, for years.
The thing is, my main goal hasn’t changed. I want to inspire people, I just question sometimes whether directing is the way to go about it. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t know. To say what I think my future will hold would be foolish, because it could lead anywhere. I want to be in the film industry, I want to be a part of this creative, exciting, hard-working world where anything could happen. I want to make something awe-inspiring, and see people watch it, and see their reactions and them hopefully connecting with it.So for now, yeah, I want to be a director. I know if I work hard I can do anything I put my mind to, and if I enjoy it and love it enough, the end result will be worth having to face all the challenges and struggles. Maybe my dream job might change in the future, who knows, but as long as I aim to work hard, be happy, and inspire as I have always wanted to do, I can’t say I’m going wrong, can I?