It is a new year.
Rocky and I decided to spend the first day of the year just relaxing at home and enjoying the calm geeky presence we both generate for each other. As part of our habit, we opted to have something playing on the telly while we both surfed/burned/read stuff on our respective computers. It may sound weird or even antisocial for others, but for us, such is far from being distant. Unbelievable as it may sound, we really do have this literal telepathic link that allows us to still have conversations that don't require full words. And we have our quiet little exchanges that clearly reflect how much in tune we are to each other every single moment.
We decided to explore the second disc of our Wall and ended up watching the beautiful documentary called The Pixar Story which explored the roots of the production studio and its rise to where it is now. The documentary showed how visionary the founders were in seeing the potential of computers in film making and the relationships they formed with Steve Jobs, George Lucas and EDisney. In short, we saw the story of a man who had the dream of creating a fully computer animated film and making that film come to life.
Around twenty years ago, I was dreaming of the exact same thing. Tron was fresh in my mind and I was playing around with this computer program called Autodesk Animator which allowed me to try and create a short animated film of my own. The program allowed me to draw things frame by frame and eventually animate them into a nifty little movie. It was crude, I will admit. But I was proud of it. I even recall the first short I made, which was that of Chun-Li from Street Fighter doing her kicks on a dodging duck.
The Pixar Story was depressing me as it progressed.
With each success, with each new dream moving from concept to production, I found myself feeling more and more depressed about how much that could have been "my" story, so to speak. Or how I could have at least been part of that dream. I recall those times I was fully supported in my dreams of studying film abroad. Of my regretful decision of giving up on that directorial offer for a documentary in India back in 1998. Of the time I was working in ABS-CBN International and a director in a project I was working on suggested I head for Los Angeles (a suggestion I turned down). Of the many other chances I could have moved forward and done what I wanted, but held myself back because of many other family related reasons.
A few years ago, I would have probably been a sobbing mess. I probably would have halted the documentary and cried myself to sleep.
Today, however, I didn't.
Strangely, while I did feel some pangs of regret for the many opportunities in the past that I had, I didn't feel like I wasted my chances. Instead, I felt like everything that happened was intended to prepare me for the right time. For the proper moment when everything will finally fall into place. My life with Rocky has been a constant reminder of how much things really fall into place at the right way and on the right time they were intended to happened. I don't feel anymore that I've lost my chance to work on animated films. I don't feel like I've given up on my dream. I just know that there will come a time when I will create my movie. And I know Rocky will be there at my side to support me.
There are three things that I know I am good at with absolute certainty.
The first is the ability to tell great stories.
Role-playing games has been a huge part of my life because in many ways it allows me to tell stories and craft narratives which entertain, inspire, amuse and even make people think. Short films, commercials, comics, plays, and stories... I've written them, I've made them, and I've heard from people who enjoyed them.
The second is the sensitivity to empathize with others.
Rocky kind of summed it up last night when he remarked, "People really call you, no?" I don't meant to sound arrogant, but people come to me for advice or at least to hear my opinion on matters. Some times it can be something as simple as basic decisions to be made. Other times, it is for more serious matters. I've stopped a few suicides, helped repair a few damaged relationships, and to the very least, helped remind others that everyone deserves to be happy. And everyone deserves to be with someone who deserves them too. To a large degree, this sensitivity is rooted on a simple fact: I care. And since I care, when people talk to me, I actually listen. I don't make it a chance to make myself sound more impressive. I don't turn it into an opportunity to forward my own agendas. I simply listen, and consider things from as many viewpoints as I can.
The last is the capacity to be creative.
Admittedly, I surprise myself at times when I realize just how quickly I really can come up with things: funny things, sensual things, adventurous things, logical things... throw me a joke and I can weave a new one around it quickly. Challenge me with a concept and I can gestate a few new ones that work the concept into various themes. Back in advertising, I would cook up at least three concepts in a single meeting, and always at least one of them would be approved. When I worked on game design, my co-workers would be simply amazed at how quickly I could come up with designs or challenges that nicely met the necessary objectives. My brain is like a super computer accessing 12 dimensions worth of internet archives all at the same time. I might have problems with names. Or actual factoids. But if pushed to creatively come up with something, you can bet I can something good, if not great, really quick.
And I know someday, when the time is right... when everything is meant to fall into place... I will be able to use all three of these things I know to be true about myself and create something that people will enjoy, that my friends will appreciate and that my loved ones will be proud of.
So I better keep moving forward.
Finish Diliman and get started on my next comic project. Write the scripts for possible short films I can probably have friends help me create. Or even perhaps start considering making myself more available for projects than I have been the last few years. Last year, Rocky helped me with the needed push to actually do my short film, Sweetie, which although lost in the Victoria Court challenge, was very well-received by friends and even by people I had never met.
But yes, 2011 is definitely going to be a year that can only get better than 2010.
And I am the luckiest man alive to have Rocky at my side to make it happen.