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  • David Hal Chester

SAYING GOODBYE TO EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE


I am a lucky person. I have many, many things: clothes on my back, food in my stomach, a roof over my head, sunlight streaming through my home office window, someone who cares about me… and TALENT.

I questioned that talent, doubted it and denigrated myself, for many, many years. It took me a long time to realize that anyone could call themselves a “producer” or “director” or “screenwriter” or “actor.” Even if they didn’t really have the ability to do so, they could call themselves that, and sometimes, they could parlay that confidence or naïveté into reality.

But for me, while I sensed that I had talent as a screenwriter, and possibly as a director and a producer, I kept stopping short, questioning whether I could ever be “enough.”

I don’t know what switched in my head, but finally I feel like I am “enough.” Whether others “get” what I have to say — I can’t control that. But I can control how I view myself and what I put out into the universe. If I put out doubt and lack of confidence and worry, then, that’s what others will see. If I put out exuberance, passion and commitment, that’s what others will see.

It seems simple, doesn’t it? Perhaps even obvious. But… somehow it wasn’t. I had a lot of emotional baggage, and I carried it with me, not knowing I could let it go at the next station and keep going.

Well, I have passed many, many stations in my life. And letting go of that baggage never crossed my mind. I just assumed it would come with me until my dying day. But… maybe I saw one too many films or read one too many stories or heard one too many songs, and I said to myself… I can do that, and I can do it just as well. And maybe I can do it better. Stronger. Bolder.

So, as I passed through some stations, I offloaded the baggage that kept me sitting in the last compartment, letting life race by, not really knowing or understanding what I was missing. Finally, I did the simplest, and yet most difficult thing to do. I stood up. And I walked to the front compartment. And it was crowded, but I made a place for myself, so that I, too, could see the future and embrace it.

I cannot say what will happen, but I can say that I have moved to the front, I have accepted myself and I will endeavor with each word I write, each idea that springs forth from my creative mind — I will endeavor to do all I can to ensure that my voice is heard, loudly, clearly -- and with an unshakeable belief that it deserves to be heard.

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DAVID HAL CHESTER