Striving for abstinence...a moment of weakness

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Brianruns10
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10 Oct 2011, 10:40 pm

As you may know from a previous post, I've vowed to swear off women, dating, to repress all desires for sex, love and companionship, to focus that much more on my work as a filmmaker, and to make my MASTERPIECE.

But I've had a moment of weakness I'm working to fight. First, I just got back from my schools' homecoming, and there was a flood of memories as I saw so many cute, interesting college girls there, an this old, old, 27 year old couldn't help thinking of all those girls he liked in college, but lacked the courage to speak to them, or when he did, they would have nothing to do with him.

So I was already in a vulnerable position you might say, when I saw on FB a picture which brought a ton of memories back. I girl I once pursued shared a mutual friend with me, and they were in a photo together, on a big group trip (they're marathoners and runners, as am I).

This girl and I were alumni of the same school, though we only met at a race years after. We started meeting for runs nearly every day, and she was the first girl I felt truly relaxed and open around. Then I asked her to dinner and a movie. FYI: NEVER take a date to a movie you might actually like...I still can't watch it because it reminds me of what was not to be. We kissed that night, my very, very first, and we saw each other once more at a run. Then I had to go back to school, but I had only a few months left to finish, and was determined to make the long distance thing work for the brief period we'd be apart.

She stopped answering my calls after that, and it was over. I wasn't worth the effort for her, and she figured she could do better.

I wish I could erase all these memories of her, and of every woman who rejected me. It's all such a goddamn distraction thinking about girls when I've got to get to the real matter of doing my work, my art! I'm faced with a multi-year animated film which, if I can get it from my head onto the screen, must surely make my name. It just must. I've got a masterpiece in me, and I MUST get it out, to prove to EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY PERSON who thought ill of me, who thought they could do better, who thought I wasn't worth it, because all they saw what a guy with no money, just getting started out in the world. I've GOT to prove my worth and show them all what I am capable of achieving, so they know they were wrong about not giving me a chance.

I MUST stop thinking about women. I WILL stop thinking about them. Push those awful memories deep down and redouble my efforts to make my masterwork. To hell with love, to hell with companionship, to hell with this opiate that is distracting me. Must get back to work. WILL get back to work. Time to prove I AM GOOD ENOUGH.



AsteroidNap
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11 Oct 2011, 1:04 am

I don't mean to belittle your statement, but it kinda sounded like one of those mad-scientist rants from pulp science fiction. "They called me mad! Mad! I'll show 'em. I'll show the world!"
;)

As someone who writes, and works in Hollywood, let me just offer this advice. Your motivation shouldn't be to prove something to the world. I don't know of any successful filmmaker (or artist for that matter) who's goal is to prove to the world how valuable they are. Think of the Cohen Bros, or Spielberg...there surely were not out to prove to the world how valuable they are.

Frankly, the world doesn't care. And the more you try to prove it, the less people will care.

But here's what you can do. Make movies (and art for that matter) because it keeps you up at night when you should be sleeping. Make movies because when you're not, you feel depressed. Do it because it is a calling, because you have burning stories to tell (not just one, mind you). Are you working on film at least 8 hours a day, six days a week? Are you watching 1-2 movies a day?

Read Stephen King's book: "On Writing". If you don't fit the profile he outlines for artists, then you should look to another calling.

And whatever you do, don't make films because you think it will get you the girl. It won't. I'll just leave this here...if you watch it (it's on Netflix), look to the dedication at the end.

All The Days Before Tomorrow



Wolfheart
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11 Oct 2011, 1:11 am

Brianruns10 wrote:
I wish I could erase all these memories of her, and of every woman who rejected me. It's all such a goddamn distraction thinking about girls when I've got to get to the real matter of doing my work, my art! I'm faced with a multi-year animated film which, if I can get it from my head onto the screen, must surely make my name. It just must. I've got a masterpiece in me, and I MUST get it out, to prove to EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY PERSON who thought ill of me, who thought they could do better, who thought I wasn't worth it, because all they saw what a guy with no money, just getting started out in the world. I've GOT to prove my worth and show them all what I am capable of achieving, so they know they were wrong about not giving me a chance.

I MUST stop thinking about women. I WILL stop thinking about them. Push those awful memories deep down and redouble my efforts to make my masterwork. To hell with love, to hell with companionship, to hell with this opiate that is distracting me. Must get back to work. WILL get back to work. Time to prove I AM GOOD ENOUGH.


I'm sure you're just taking the rejection personally, perhaps she just decided she wasn't compatible with you or it didn't match her circumstances or convenience. If someone rejects you or thinks you're not good enough, you need to have the confidence to feel it's their loss and mistake for not seeing your true value. The more you focus on rejection, the more it will become apparent to you and affect your social skills with the opposite sex.

Many successful people don't have families, Relationships can definitely get in the way and although they can be a learning experience and rewarding in themselves, ultimately they don't have to define you as a person.



Brianruns10
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11 Oct 2011, 8:38 am

What it all boils down to is this:

God or whatever as*hole endowed me with what he did, saw fit to give me practically nothing...denied me the ability to make many friends, to find love, to fit in at all. Gave me a crappy body that broke down with injury when I tried to remake myself into an athlete worthy of what my father was. I only was given two things: an aptitude for history, and an aptitude for film, and so my life is devoted to both, and making one of the greatest history films EVER.

It's all I have, and i've learned to embrace what little I was given, because if I don't I'll be throwing it all away on hopes that don't exist. I'm 27 and have never had a girlfriend.

IT WON'T HAPPEN? Why waste time trying to change that, waste time spent on the gifts I DO have?

And if I DO make that masterpiece, everything WILL change. Everyone who though I was a joke, thought I wasn't good enough, will see they were wrong, that I HAVE WORTH, that I deserve to LIVE.

I have been a failure in everything. But in film have begun to find success. Made or worked on a feature film every year since I was 21. I have five under my belt, and a sixth I wrote. Each one must bring me closer. I've found gainful employ in my field, and so yes, I work on film each and every day. Film is my life, and it is all I've got, so I must make the absolute most of it.

Steve Jobs did so much by my age, and he hadn't even started. Really, I've done very little, and I must make up time. Which is why I am so focused now to make a masterpiece, and why I've sworn off women as a useless, stupid, waste of my precious time and money. This film will be the masterpiece that makes my name. It must be, and I'll have it done by the time I'm 30 (it's an animated film, which takes a while). I've got a few other films which hopefully I can get off the ground too. The next few years I hope to be my annus mirablus, and if they're not, if I'm not a success by 30, I've already promised myself that I will end my life, because if I'm not a success by 30, I clearly never will be, and maybe the odds will be better if I am dead, and I leave behind a body of work for someone else to discover and give me credit.

Until then, the abstinence will continue. I literally have not the time to waste.



AsteroidNap
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11 Oct 2011, 10:16 am

That's what I was afraid of....the value of your life if you don't make it. You should know that regardless of that status, your life is precious.

You mention Steve Jobs. Do you think he had these same thoughts that you do? That he was designing computers and gadgets to prove he had value? To get a girl? Any casual reading of his life would be a resounding 'No.'

Look at the Cohen Brothers for another example. They didn't start making films until their 40s. Setting an artificial timeline at 30 seems pointless, ESPECIALLY if you truly love what you're doing. If you truly love it, then you'd want to live as long as possible to continue doing it, wouldn't you?

I admire your focus, but you should know it's not the only way. Plenty of successful people, both in film and not, have had wives, families, or significant others along the way. It's not impossible to have both a career and relationships.

Also tying your success to a specific reward is a dangerous mental trap because what if you start to garner a bit of success, and yet the desired reward (namely female attention in this case) doesn't happen? Speaking from experience, I'll tell you what happens. You start to hate the art that you used to love. No...it is far better to simply do what you love (and I believe you do love filmmaking), and try not to place any expectations on what that should deliver to you. Yes, making a living at it is probably a reasonable expectation.

Anyway, good luck.



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11 Oct 2011, 2:59 pm

I agree with Asteroid Nap. Making the people who ignored you in the past finally notice and appreciate you or else... is a dangerous goal for a film. A better goal would be to make what you think is an excellent film. It is likely there are others who will agree that it is an excellent film. However, it is also likely that the people most likely to appreciate it are also the people least likely to be part of your past. Excellent films often are appreciated by only a few thousand people and it isn't staistically likely that the 5,000 (guess) future appreciators of your future excellent film will be people you currently know. And that shouldn't matter.



ComplexRobot
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11 Oct 2011, 3:56 pm

Well, I don't see the purpose of abstinence, if you actually enjoy relationships.
A relationship can be inspiring and rewarding.
It's hard if you've been rejected, but abstinence seems like a silly result.
If you were in a relationship, hopefully it wouldn't be distracting you from your goals, but instead inspiring you to work harder.



wonderboy
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11 Oct 2011, 6:26 pm

I'm sorry for your pain OP but striving to be a great flimaker to get people to change their minds might not work. If someone I disliked became a success I know I wouldn't care about them or their success and wouldn't improve their value in my eyes. What is important is how much you value yourself. Life is too short to use so much energy and time trying to impress people who dislike you. Enjoy flimaking and strive to be the best for yourself.



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11 Oct 2011, 8:22 pm

OP, you are on a very dangerous path, and I hope you can find the strength to turn yourself around. Your posts in this thread detail the many ways you've chosen to invalidate your own worth by allowing other people to define it. You're okay if a girl wants to date you; you're okay if you're as good an athlete as your dad; you're okay if you make a film other people consider a masterpiece; you're not okay because you haven't achieved what Steve Jobs did by the same age (and let's not forget that while Steve Jobs had co-founded Apple by the time he was 21, he was also forced out of the same company by the time he was 30).

You can't let other people determine your worth - that approach is nothing but a self-defeating trap. Other people come and go; they live their own lives; they run their own races; they make their own art. If you live your life looking for someone else to validate your worth, you're going to continue to be frustrated by the lack of response you receive, and your anger and bitterness will flourish. That's no way to live.


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poeticwrongplanet
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11 Oct 2011, 11:18 pm

I understand where the other posters are coming from, but I can't help sympathizing with the OP here. It makes me ineffably sad how often I hear this refrain repeated among so many men.

Why does the "fairer sex" drives men to such lengths of despair? The most wonderful art is invariably created by males, but this is the ashes and filth of pain that the phoenix of artistic beauty rises from.



AsteroidNap
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12 Oct 2011, 1:06 am

poeticwrongplanet wrote:
Why does the "fairer sex" drives men to such lengths of despair? The most wonderful art is invariably created by males, but this is the ashes and filth of pain that the phoenix of artistic beauty rises from.


wft? I call b.s. on this bold and baseless statement. It's also pretty sexist. And yet stated with such ease as if it's a forgone conclusion.

And a better question is why do men let themselves be driven to such depths of despair. The OP is trying to resolve that issue by attempting to avoid temptation all together.



1000Knives
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12 Oct 2011, 1:17 am

I sympathize. For me, there was a girl I liked, and I basically (for a lot of logical reasons, at that time) thought I was not good enough for her. So I denied my feelings I had toward her, she got closer with her boyfriend, and then she got married. My closer friends said I'd feel better after she got married, as it'd be over and I wouldn't have to deal with the problem anymore. Well, they were wrong. For me, it's not rejection from women, but more my own internal feelings of self worth. I feel like with that situation, God gave me an ultimatum of sorts, between relationships and stuff, and I chose stuff.

Now, for me, it's not really being an artist, just I'm hoping if I stay on this path of suffering and misery, I'll end up being someone cool like Nikola Tesla. Right now, I find it much easier to play with cars, I get attached to my cars and make projects out of them. That, and I take up hobbies, right now I'm liking figure skating. I very much like it on it's own, but I think some part of me does it out of the hope I'll get an ice dancing or pairs partner and a girl will accept me for that.

I don't know, really. I certainly love girls, I swear spending a day out with that girl who got married was like the greatest day in my life, it was the best. But, I'm too scared, and I feel like I've screwed up too much, that and my feelings still linger on for her, so I don't know if another girl will just be a consolation prize or me "settling."

So because of all that right now, I'm pretty much shutting myself off, and just deciding to play by myself with my things, my cars, my motorcycle, whatever I can play with and create what I like out of. I don't know if it's healthy or good, but it's what I'm doing. I'm thinking if everything goes well, I'll be one of those 50 year old dudes with a beard on speed channel taking apart small block Chevys or something in no time at all. Woohoo.

It's just such trouble.

Quote:
8 There was a man all alone;
he had neither son nor brother.
There was no end to his toil,
yet his eyes were not content with his wealth.
“For whom am I toiling,” he asked,
“and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
This too is meaningless—
a miserable business!

9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAWnb1yxr5M[/youtube]
And for whatever, I feel this song is appropriate for some reason.