Last week, I had an interesting conversation with a fellow student. It was a surprisingly inspiring conversation, which I was not expecting to come from him. We have rarely ever talked in our time knowing each other, and usually when we do talk, he speaks to me in a pretentious way. That’s probably why I feel this conversation was particular interesting.
The point of this conversation was establishing what I wanted to do as a career path. He had been asking several other people before me, and when he asked me as well, I gave him the answer that I have trained myself to say for quite some time.
“I’m specializing in media arts. I want to go into video production, most likely working in video departments at colleges. I would love to do films, but I’m a realist, so I’m setting my sites on a goal that’s more attainable.”
He looked at me from across the table for a moment. I could tell from his eyes that he had something to say. From our history together, I thought it was going to be something pretentious that I would spend the rest of the day trying to pretend I didn’t hear.
Inhaling deeply, he put both of his hands together and rested his face on his finger tips. He blinked slowly and looked at me. I thought I knew what was coming.
“Before I say this, I want you to know that this is something different coming from me,” he began. “In my family, I’m considered the cynic, so they would be surprised to hear me saying this.”
He continued on to tell me a story about his mother who majored in philosophy and through life’s hardships ended up working as a lawyer. He told me about his brother who wanted to be a rock star, but through life he ended up pursuing a doctorate in jazz. Then, he said something to me which really struck a chord.
“Don’t for one second think that your dreams and reality are mutually exclusive.”
This one sentence was inspiring enough, but he continued to encourage me to work with the obstacles that faced me and to not let them stop me. It may take a while, and it might not be the only thing I do for a living, but if I want to make films, that’s something I should do.
I told him that what he’d said really stuck with me, and I continued to ask him about what his dream was. He told me that his eventual dream was to open a studio that produced “indie” (he loathes the term, but admits it is accurate in this case) video games and animation films, comprised of a crew of people who enjoyed making art for the sake of art. His is a dream that I could stand behind.
We continued to have a nice chat about video games, film, television, media and the like for the next hour or so until our class started. It was incredibly pleasant, and I feel that after this conversation we know have more of a bond based on mutual respect than we ever had before.
I’ve used his words once or twice already in the short week since we spoke. I really do find that they can be inspiring to those who love what they do, but find themselves struck by hard times. This can often be the case in the field that I’m in since jobs aren’t always the easiest to come by.
I’m glad that I had this conversation, and I will remember it.
Your dreams and reality are not mutually exclusive.