Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Priorities Change

So, as you probably know from this blog, we’re moving to Nebraska.  It’s been our goal and dream for quite a while to move back to the Midwest and the Seward/Lincoln area is a place Emily and I both love.
But I know what some of you are thinking.  Why is Aaron, who recently received his film degree from FSU, moving back to Nebraska of all places? Is he giving up on his dreams of being a filmmaker?  I know that’s what some people are thinking because it’s something that I think about every day.  The answer to these questions is not so simple.
I was always different from most of my Film School classmates.  I planned a wedding and got married during my first semester of Film School.  Talk about crazy. What followed was a difficult time adjusting to being newlyweds, living in a new city, and being away from Emily for 14-18 hours a day/night 6 days a week. We weren’t sure how things were going to work. I hated how film school affected our relationship. But somehow, someway, we adjusted and made things work. So much so that I most definitely could not have made my thesis film without my loving wife’s support and selflessness. We did it.  But did we want to keep doing it? I know if I truly believed that I wanted to be on set, with no guarantee of income, in a city I didn’t really enjoy, that Emily would have my back. She always has. That’s just one reason why I love her so much.
Something changed after I shot my thesis film, WMD. I began to realize how selfish that lifestyle truly was. I wanted to rededicate myself to being a better husband, a better friend. And that meant sacrifices.
Early last summer I started looking for jobs. Anything, everything. I wanted to have an income that would allow Emily to pursue her dreams and to be happy. Everything changed that June 19th morning. That’s when we found out Shepherd was coming to be a part of our lives.
We were both overjoyed and scared to death. We had always dreamed of being parents someday, but not necessarily this soon. We had a lot of life changes on the horizon, but none as big as this. This changed everything.
I can’t explain how the realization that you’re about to be a father truly changes the way you think about everything. The rest of the summer as I was finishing post-production on my thesis film, all I could think about was the kind of life I wanted our son to have. We wanted to live somewhere closer to family. We wanted to live in the Midwest where there’s seasons, friends, and a cultural fit. I wanted to be able to provide for our family the best way that I could. So I started applying for jobs that had that fit and where I thought I could do some meaningful work in a way that allowed my family to live comfortably in a place that would bring happiness.
So after living a year in Tallahassee, with me working at Onyx Group, and adding one member to the family, we are finally moving. I may be one of the last classmates to move away from Tallahassee, but I’m so glad I was patient. Although Emily and I are open about not being Tallahassee’s biggest fans, we have had so many amazing things happen to us this past year. Without Tallahassee, there may be no Shepherd.  I wouldn’t have made some great friendships. Emily and I would have grown differently.  I’m glad we got the opportunity to stay in Tallahassee for this past year.  But it’s time to move on.
By moving to Nebraska I’m not giving up on my dreams of becoming a filmmaker. I will always have a mind and passion for film. No city, or person can take that away from me.  At my new job I will be able to create passionate video production in a new and fresh way for an entire university. I have always loved working in an academic environment. It’s a job that I think I can be really successful in.
But there’s something about Nebraska that I think will change me.  My home town, the state, and the people have always inspired me creatively. When I wanted a place to sit and contemplate, or think of ideas, there were always places for me to just get away from civilization and think.  I miss that.  I truly don’t feel like I’ve been very creative since living in Tallahassee.  I know that may seem silly, but I think it’s true. Tallahassee is a very suffocating and dense city. I need space to think, to see. Since graduation I had the intention of starting to write. Features, shorts, whatever. But that really hasn’t happened. Film School mentally drained me and I’ve been in recovery mode.  Also, our lives were flipped upside down with Shepherd.
I want to rededicate myself to writing original content with hopes of possibly getting my own projects off the ground. I don’t need to live in L.A. to make a movie. I want to do it even if it takes 15 years to get off the ground. It will happen.
Moving to Nebraska is the most responsible thing I can do for our family, but yet I feel like it will allow me to get in a comfortable, creative environment that will inspire me. Anyone who knows me knows I love my home state. It still seems like a dream that we’ll be moving in a week.
So, no, moving to Nebraska doesn’t mean I’ve lost my dream to be a filmmaker. My dreams of becoming a father and better husband have simply moved up to the forefront of my mind. I will always have my passions and hopefully someday soon I’ll continue making films. 

1 comment:

Jake Meador said...

Aaron - As I read this post I just kept saying "yes, yes, yes..." Lots of good stuff here.

Let's talk when you guys get back. Joie and I are talking with a few people about the possibility of starting a Lincoln Arts and Culture Center in the near south in Lincoln. One of the elements of that work would be offering free arts workshops for students in the community. I think you and Emily could both be spectacular fits with what we're talking about.