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An Unnecessarily Desperate Introduction


The story so far:  I recently set a goal for myself to watch 10,000 movies before I turn 50.  I set that goal on a whim because 10,000 is a nice round number, big and impressive sounding, but not really all that tough to achieve if I sat on my ass and just watched movies all the time.

I was thinking that I could blog about it (hey, look at that, I'm writing on the Internet!) and maybe use it as a way to get some more discipline in my life when it comes to my writing.

I’ve flaked out on a lot of goals I set for myself in my life.  The most important ones, I guess, have either been achieved or are well on their way – buying a house, establishing a career, renovating said house and improving at said career – but the fun ones have all been sidetracked in some way.

When I was in college, I was so certain that I would write the greatest screenplay known to man and sell it for ten million dollars before I was a senior that I didn’t even consider that I might have to work in the field in which I had registered to study.  The shock of having to actually apply my education was so depressing that I’d say it’s the main reason I no longer teach – though you can ask any teacher burnout why they left that field and they can give you the rest of the reasons.

Even after I got married (probably too young, but I’m still married, so whatever) and went through that harsh transition from adolescent to adult, I was still convinced that fame and fortune awaited me just around the corner.  Was I not talented enough for it?  Surely hard work was a secondary factor in achieving greatness – right?

Needless to say, I still have not become a world-famous writer, either for the screen or the shelf/handheld electronic device.  I’d like to say that I will turn that around some day, but I think I’ve finally gained the wisdom to tell the difference between a dream and a goal.  It was with that mindset that I set my silly little goal of watching 10,000 movies before I turn 50.

But then I realized something terrible.

Watching 10,000 movies isn't a goal.  It's an inevitability if I don't get my act together.

The worst thing that could happen to me in my life is for me to watch 10,000 movies by the time I turn 50.  That would be the clearest indication that I've given up on my dreams - all of my novels remaining half-finished, my movies just obscure ideas in the back of my head, and my children unborn or unadopted.  It's what will happen if I slide into the neatly-formed butt groove in my couch and give up.

But a blog is not a bad idea.  Blogs have the respectable power of public shame on whatever name is attached to them.  Which is why I am posting this with my real name, and linking it where real friends and real people will see what I'm doing.  I need to be held accountable.

Whether you are reading this as somebody who actually knows me, or just somebody who stumbled on this site while browsing the web, you can help me by getting on my ass when I fail to update.  Any time I'm not posting a good update, it means that I'm probably off watching a movie.  Fine - as long as I don't hit 10,000 of them by the time I'm 50.

So I present myself to the world, naked (fortunately metaphorically speaking) and vulnerable, with my aspirations make clear.  We all get some portion of life, measured out in tiny, discrete quantities that often add up to less than the sum of their parts. I can either lose my life to 10,000 movies, or I can spend my minutes wisely.  Help me make the right choice.