I want to thank everyone that shared Tidal Wave Girls with their friends, colleagues, family and followers. It means a lot. It’s a terrifying thing to put your art into the universe. I don’t have the audience of filmmakers like Tiffany Shlain or Jessica Yu, but it means I’m grateful for literally every single pair of eyes and ears that take in my work.
Here’s some things that made me thankful for the universe this week:
I’m going to try this 7 minute workout for you. Since I already do many of these moves in my normal 40 minute workout, I’m not sure it will have the same results for me, but I’ll try.
The media wonders why young people don’t flock to their shitty subscriptions. Here’s a hint: you don’t get us. Thank God the tumblrverse pointed that out to Time Magazine. I hope the others are listening.
This house tour at my friend Merrick’s highlights two important things about Northeast Minneapolis residents: 1. we have great style and 2. we are very much all about casual comfort. I am lusting after my couch as I think about it.
Meet 20 young women who are changing the world. They’re pretty great.
MINNESOTA’S HOUSE PASSED GAY MARRIAGE. YAY. We’re looking at you now, Senate.
Some things I’ve written elsewhere recently:
P.S. to my tumblr readers ... if you want to ask me a question, please don’t do it anonymously! I can’t respond without publishing and that is bad for you and me.
Have you ever wished that Being Geek Chic readers could all sit down together, eat veggie burgers, and talk about our lives, goals, struggles, and loves? I have. Meet our Lady Geek of the Week, Sarah Lamb, who had a similar idea.
Back in 2005, Lamb was at a dinner of geeks when she realized just how isolated women in the industry could feel. (The dinner guests were mostly men.) The summer of that year, she hosted a dinner for lady geeks and called it Girl Geek Dinners. 35 geeks attended.
Years later, Girl Geek Dinners has gone global to 53 different cities in 24 different counties, with over 28,000 geeks participating. Lamb has extended Girl Geek Dinners to include aspects like a mentorship program and a video series of inspirational women. Pretty neat, huh?
But that’s just Lamb’s night gig. By day, she’s a Consultant at TechNet & MSDN Editor at Microsoft. She also founded GirlyGeekdom, a news and reviews site for all things geeky from cartoons and comics to science, engineering, and technology.
So check out this British bombshell’s interview with Being Geek Chic and then pop over to Twitter and follow her at @geekylamb. You’ll adore her, I promise.
My love of science fiction and fantasy is deeply rooted in its ability to teach me about life while distracting me from my own. I will never be an alien hunter, wizard or hobbit companion - but I still want to be happy. I still want to succeed. These are the things we share.
Here’s four lessons I love most:
What’s your favorite life lesson from a science fiction, fantasy or generally nerdy text?
I broke up with my first boyfriend on the Fourth of July.
It had been one of those nights that was so idyllic, so strangely perfect, that I now realize it was what teenagers did before smart phones.
On this patriotic eve, we had met a bunch of couples at the local movie theater and convinced an employee-friend to hand over the remaining popcorn for the night. He loaded it into an industrial sized garbage bag and opened a trap door to the roof of the theater. The group of us sat there wrapped in fleece blankets, watching the fireworks and chowing on popped corn. When they were done, we gawked at the stars and chatted about punk rock.
While the other couples were cuddly and sweet that night, my boyfriend was keeping his distance. He kept wandering off to the edge of the roof to talk on his Nokia and kept complaining about being too hot. Clearly, a ploy to stay as far away from me and my T-Rex blanket as possible. And while the scene might have seemed perfect, I knew in my gut he was going to break up with me that night.
As we drove back to my dad’s house, I started weighing the last 6 months of our relationship in my head. There were some sincerely sweet moments. We had taken to listening to a Roswell Radio station at 2 AM and constantly tried to one up the other with obscure conspiracy theory non-fiction. Whether or not I wanted it to be over, he wasn’t in it any more. Deep down, I didn’t want to be with someone who didn’t want to be with me.
By the time we finally sat down on the flannel couch in my dad’s living room, I blurted it out:
“You want to break up. Don’t worry. It’s fine.”
He stared at me completely dumbfounded. After all, I was 17 years old and he was 21. He had been forced only two months earlier to attend my high school prom. I was reversing the roles and breaking it up before he could break my heart. In my memory, he cried, but I honestly don’t remember.
It was easy for my friends to see that I had fallen hard for this guy who looked a lot like Kurt Cobain and had a band named after an antiquated optical device. It’s why I was so deeply embarrassed when he wanted to break up with me. Instead of facing that shame, I took it into my own hands and decided it needed to end another way.
Not even ten minutes later, our friends arrived at the house to play foosball and I couldn’t even pretend like nothing happened to save us all the weirdness. Instead, I announced the break up and told everyone that we were fine and we could still play table soccer. For some reason, he stayed. I can only now imagine how awkward it must have been for all of them, but no one said anything. They just took my lead.
My pride was important to me. My pride is still important to me.
I am still that girl. The girl who seeks the off-beat people at the party, finds joy in the obscure and who feels at home in any movie theater on earth. And I’m still embarrassed when things don’t go my way. The routine repeats itself regularly. Instead of admitting the party or the job or the relationship didn’t work out - I obsessively concoct a narrative that shows I’m not a quitter. I’ve got it under control.
I am honestly starting to wonder why I don’t just allow myself to feel bad when disappointing things happen.
This week, I found out that the documentary short I threw so much of my heart into last year didn’t get into SXSW. A few months ago, that same short didn’t get accepted into Sundance. I will probably find out in the coming weeks and months that it didn’t get into several other festivals too. Maybe I’m not well known enough. Maybe it wasn’t the right fit for their programmers. But the real issue is much simpler: Maybe it’s not good enough. Maybe I’m not good enough.
It really doesn’t matter either way, because whether or not those statements are true, it doesn’t change the fact that I feel utterly gutted.
When it comes to dating, rejection means I go on being me. Sure, I’m no longer so and so’s significant other, but everyone I know still sees me. I am still Liz. But when it comes to creative pursuits, rejection feels like someone wiped down a carnival mirror and showed me the true reflection.
Suddenly, the eyes in my reflection are saying: You aren’t a filmmaker. You are a hack and a clown masquerading as a storyteller. Put the shoes away. You are embarrassing yourself.
I have told exactly three people that our film didn’t get into the festival, so if you are part of the team and this is the first time you are reading this, I am sorry. This is the digital equivalent of us meeting in my dad’s kitchen and acting like it’s no big deal. Except there’s no foosball after this.
In a way, the only thing left for me to do now is the do the thing I did on July 5th a decade ago. Write about it. Listen to Rocky Votolato. Cry a little when no one is watching.
Most importantly, I must remember now what a dear friend told me then: Sometimes the things that feel like the end are actually the start.
Every part of my body is sore this week. I’ve been exercising like a mad woman. And no, it’s not because of some wacky New Year’s Resolution. It’s something else entirely. Here’s to:
1. Trying things again.
I live in Minnesota and it would be entirely embarrassing if I wasn’t a good skier and skater. The problem is that the last time I went skiing (6 years ago) I broke my thumb. I built up in my mind that I couldn’t do it, because I might fall and this might happen all over again. To my wonderful surprise this week, I wasn’t nearly as bad at traversing those hills as I thought I’d be. In fact, I only fell once and had a blast.
2. Conversations that surprise you.
I love WTF with Marc Maron. I get him. I empathize. I rely on him for twice-weekly distractions from being a working girl. (You know what I mean.) Every once in a while a guest comes on and totally surprises me. I’m behind the times, because technically Michael Keaton’s episode was last week, but his discussion of Batman and books was truly enjoyable.
My phone isn’t busted after a nasty fall. And it looks hot. Double win.
4. Getting things done early.
I turned in a major grant application for a film EARLY. Do you know how insane that is. I feel like a real grown up who takes care of bizness. Now, fingers crossed this leads to being awarded the grand.
This week, I scribed these lovely posts for Apartment Therapy:
I have not been jazzed about 2013.
All the glitter and streamers and kazoos in the world couldn’t break me from my funk this week. In part, I blame the mild illness brewing in my body. But the other part… the pervasive, nagging pessimist in my head is the one really causing all this negativity to fester. I need a good kick in the ass.
I need a new way of thinking. A way of seeing my life and my dreams that makes them feel possible, tangible, real, attainable and worthy of my each and every breath. I hope this line of thinking can help you this year as well…
In 2013 and for the rest of your life, I hope you remember:
5. Always ask. So you really, really want to write for that super cool hipster magazine with the provocative name? Research the other writers. Find the right editor. Craft the perfect pitch. Send the email. Follow up. Hope it works out. But remember: the worst you can hear is No. And that’s OK, because you will eventually hear Yes.
4. Rejection is opportunity for refinement. I hate rejection. Who doesn’t? I have a hard time seeing the “silver lining” sometimes, but in the moment it happens I need to remember to ask: what could I have done better? Or different? Sometimes, there’s no good answer. See #5 and repeat.
3. Be your own cheerleader. No one will work harder for your success than you. Tweet. Share. Email. Print Biz Cards. Write press release. And if you don’t know how to do it - ask someone else for help. If you can’t cheer for yourself, then it’s time to take a step back and give yourself a pep talk.
2. If you dreamed it - it’s important. Never, never discount your dreams. Unless it’s a pair of expensive Prada shoes, then I hope they’re on sale. I’m kidding of course… not really.
Sometimes I feel my dreams are so big, so outrageous, so narcissistic that I shouldn’t even say them out loud for fear that others will find them so categorically insane that they’ll immediately bound me in the loony jacket and send me to egomaniac prison. A lot of things will make dreams seem impossible. See rejection. See fear. See finances. See lack of cheerleaders. But that doesn’t mean your dream shouldn’t take priority in life. If it’s important - treat it that way.
1. Be the youest “you” you can be. The Doctor really said it best with that whole 900 years of space and time bit… BUT! Quit saying, “I want to be the next JK Rowling or the next Matt Smith or the next Stan Lee.” They’ve got that shit down-pat. Be you. Be you with every ounce of meat and fiber on your skeleton. Get to know yourself and then really hone in on what only you can offer. That’s the youest you.