Happy Anniversary to me! A year ago yesterday I published my first article about why I loved film. Crazy right! A year ago yesterday I was a junior in high school who didn’t feel like doing her homework and wrote an article instead. A year ago I started writing my first post, thinking no one was really going to read it besides my family. I hadn’t made my first short film or written a script. I was just another teenager who had big dreams to work in Hollywood but had no idea to get there. Just a year ago yesterday, I created Through Sydney’s Eyes and I’m going to tell you why.
As a junior last year, I took an English class that changed my life. One of the most important activities that we did was class seminar on what ever work we were reading at the time. With a total of 12 students, it was a bit weird for everyone as we were used to class sizes that were almost double. Before taking this class, I wasn’t the biggest fan of seminar; however, in the smaller class setting, I actually enjoyed it! Being such a small class, we were able to dive deeper into planned and unplanned topics. We were able to speak without feeling boxed into the standard structure of seminar. Now I raised my hand to speak because I really wanted to contribute to the discussion and not merely for participation points. (I think everyone knows what I’m talking about.) I was pushed to voice my views and use those tools in my writing by my classmates and my teacher. For the first time in any class I had taken, I felt I could really think outside of the box and felt enriched by many of the discussions that we had.
One of my favorite memories of the class is when we had seminar on Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance essay (if you haven’t read it, YOU MUST. Right now! Well, wait until you finish reading my post and then you MUST read the essay.) As young women, we discussed the societal conformity that Emerson criticizes and how we, ourselves, have felt the pressures of conforming to what society says we are supposed to do and believe. To be honest, we all got a little heated talking about it. As students getting ready for college soon and looking to the future, we passionately talked about how we each didn’t want what family, friends or society in general to dictate what path we take in life and find it for ourselves. Suddenly there’s a pause in the conversation as we all look over to our teacher Mrs. K. She was crying. She was actually moved to tears as she listened to her students talk about becoming the women they want to be and achieve the goals they have set for themselves. 176 years later, Emerson’s iconic essay is still able to start thoughtful conversations that leave an impact on people. And that, my friends, is why I started this blog.
I wanted to write something or make something that would one day lead to conversations that opened people’s minds. That leaves a mark. That leave people in tears, good or bad. Conversations that change people. Because films never really end, do they? Think about it. After watching a truly great film, you don’t just leave the theater and never think or talk about it again. Just like a novel, you want to talk to people about it and discover what they thought. You can have arguments about the deeper meaning of a single scene or have hour-long conversations about one theme a film portrays. The story doesn’t just stop once you leave the theater or turn the TV off. It plays on as you think about it days later. It plays on in the thought-provoking discussions you have with your family afterwards. It plays on in the 160-character tweet you write recommending a new movie to your peers. Once the credits roll, the story is no longer in the hands of the filmmaker but now belongs to the audience.
So, to everyone who reads my posts, thank you! To everyone who helped me start this blog a year ago and encouraged me to follow my dreams, thank you! Because now, one year later, I am a high school senior who’s ready to graduate. One year later, I’m off to school in New York in the fall. Just a year later, I’ve written two scripts and have sixteen articles under my belt. One year later, I am still surprised and filled with joy each time one of my peers tells me that they love my blog. A year later, I still get goosebumps every time someone asks for a movie recommendation or wants to talk to be about a movie they just saw. A year later that memorable seminar still moves me. One year and a day later, I publish my seventeenth article. A year later, I am one step closer to achieving my goals. One year later, I am more sure of what I want.
Through my eyes,