Posts Tagged ‘fear’

I stumbled across this excerpt from a commencement speech that actor Jim Carrey gave at Maharishi University of Management. You can find the speech in its entirety here, but what Carrey says in this excerpt is so profound. He talks about why you should go after your dreams, and how his father inspired him to do so.

Carrey’s father, instead of embracing his talent as a comedian, decided to take a safer course and become an accountant. Later on, his father ended up losing his accounting job, leaving his family to do whatever they could to survive. So Jim Carrey brings up a good point; you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. He claims that we come to believe that our dreams are too big and too far out of reach, that we can’t ask the universe to make them come true. Instead, we choose our paths “out of fear disguised as practicality.”


I’m sure I’m not alone in that I have struggled in choosing between the safe route and what I truly love. As long as I can remember, writing has been my passion. I knew I wanted to write stories and make movies. And yet, everything I did was to ensure my path to medical school. Then I realized that, while I did find it interesting, and it would probably be a satisfying job, I didn’t think I could ever be satisfied with not following my dreams.

It started with me changing my major at Appalachian State from Natural Science (a psychology major that includes all the classes necessary for applying to medical school) to Creative Writing. At first I was worried that I was throwing away a sure thing based on a chance that my dreams might come true. Already fearing that I may had made a poor decision, naturally I decided to take it a step further.

I made the decision to not return to ASU this fall. Instead, I will spend the year working, and compiling a portfolio to apply at the North Carolina School of the Arts. I’m hoping to get into their school of filmmaking, concentrating in either directing or screenwriting.

I always think of the quote: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” 
My mind always fills with ideas. The sky is the limit. Then I step back and realize how much fear of failure truly holds us back.

Have any of you ever deviated from the “safe route” in order to pursue your dreams? What was it, and what made you decide to take a chance?

Thanks for reading!

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So this will be my first post after my unannounced (and unintentional) hiatus. Fortunately for you all, my hiatus was filled with tons of movies to review, after binge watching for the better part of a week.

Directed by Frank Darabont, based off the novella by Stephen King, The Mist was my favorite of the horror films I gorged on this week. You can read the NY Times review here.

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To be completely honest, the premise of this film may sound kind of stupid. A small town is plagued by a mysterious mist that holds a horrible, tentacled monster that preys on townsfolk. The majority of the film is set in the supermarket, where many people are scurrying to stock up on groceries before a storm arrives. Not surprisingly, the mist arrives, leaving them trapped in the store. The movie examines the interactions between the people in the supermarket as their situation grows exponentially bleak. The group is divided and turned against one another as the story progresses.

There is quite an interesting cast chosen in this movie. The hero of the story is David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane. David is accompanied by Amanda (Laurie Holden), his son Billy (Nathan Gamble), Dan (Jeffrey DeMunn), Irene (Frances Sternhagen), Private Jessup (Sam Witwer), Ollie (Toby Jones), and a few other less notable followers.

The loathsome Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) goes head to head against David and his “team.” Mrs. Carmody believes that the mist is God’s wrath against the less wholesome people in the store, claiming that they deserve it. (“Those of you who aren’t local should know that Mrs. Carmody is known in town for being unstable.” “No shit. What was your first clue?”) Mrs. Carmody drones on and on about the second coming and tries to stage a coup d’état against David, and the more likable characters. Due to the obnoxious nature of Harden’s character, a shining moment of the film was when Irene, a badass grandma, throws a can of peas at Mrs. Carmody (“Shut up you miserable buzzard! Stoning people who piss you off is perfectly okay. They do it in the bible, don’t they? And I’ve got lots of peas!”)

For those of you who didn’t notice above, this film features Laurie Holden and Jeffrey DeMunn, both of which starred in AMC’s The Walking Dead, as Andrea and Dale, respectively. Though she doesn’t have a large role in this film, Melissa McBride, known to TWD fans as Carol, also appears in The Mist.

This could just be me reading too far into what is meant to only be 2 hours of mindless entertainment, but I think there’s more to this movie than the characters trying to defeat a giant tentacled monster. It is always interesting to me to see the way different movies portray characters when they are thrown into a dangerous fight for survival. Each instance spurs a different reaction from the characters. You get to see who is loyal to the group, who would betray the group for their own benefit, the relationships that form, and who will emerge as a leader. It seems like this movie does a pretty good job depicting a group of people put into a dangerous situation and seeing how they react. As their fear becomes more intense, their relationships are strained and they begin to make more questionable decisions.

I’m not sure how many of you have seen, or are even familiar with this movie, but I recommend it. If you are a Stephen King fan like me, you should definitely see it. Any of you who have already seen this film, leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Thanks for reading.

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So, I recently had a pretty bizarre experience with what I believed to be lucid dreaming. I’ve done some research on lucid dreaming, and I think it’s pretty sweet. I’ve tried it on quite a few occasions (to no avail). I have weird dreams very frequently, usually 3-5 times a week. I’m totally okay with having weird, freaky, even frightening dreams. Dreams can provide some of the best creative sparks. However, I’ve never experienced anything like this – that’s not to say that I am deeming this a negative experience.

My roommate was asleep, so all the lights in my room were off. I wasn’t really tired, so I listened to some music for a while and finally I decided I would try to sleep. I laid there for a while, and I’m not sure how much time elapsed. At this point I was sort of between sleep and wakefulness. I remember thinking that I wanted to reach for my phone or grab something off my desk (I really don’t remember what, this was over a month ago), but I was just too tired and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make my body move.

The next phase was something similar to what one experiences when they look at a bright light in a dark room. Once you look at the light and then close your eyes, you continue to see the flashes of light with your eyes closed. This was a very similar sensation, only it had no known origin. It looked like a kaleidoscope. It just kept moving. My eyes were closed but I remember seeing, in the midst of this black kaleidoscope, one area of light. It was almost as if my eyelids had a hole in them, and I could see my room, just through that small area. I tried to reach for that area (not literally, at this point I am “dreaming”) and when I did, the area of light relocated. This happened a couple of times, the light moving out of my grasp each time. Then the kaleidoscope faded out and I was thrust into a new scene all together.

I was running from some kind of creature in what appeared to be an area, sort of between a dockside town and a forest. The creature was gaining on me and I was trying as hard as I could to get away. The distance between the creature and myself was closing more and more, no matter how fast I ran. Finally, it got so close, I could feel it breathing on me. At that moment, the creature collapsed on top of me, seemingly lifeless. I tried to move out from under it, its weight was crushing me. I saw an arrow sticking out of its chest. I was confused as to where it had come from. How did it miss me? I continued to struggle, working to push the creature off of me. All of the sudden, the weight was lifted off, but by another set of hands than my own. I looked up to see another version of myself, carrying a cross bow, presumably the one that had directed the arrow to the creature. I looked up in shock as the crossbow wielding version of myself reached out a hand. “Get up,” she said. I sat unmoving, dumbfounded. “Come on,” she repeated and I took her hand and pulled myself off the ground.

I was aware that I was somewhat awake when the kaleidoscope was still happening, but once this sequence began, I was not. It, however, did feel somewhat different than dreaming normally does.

The scene above faded away and I fell back into the partially awake kaleidoscope phase and felt very relaxed, not asleep, and yet not awake either. You can’t really experience the relaxation you feel while you are asleep (because you’re asleep, duh), but this felt like the most extreme form of relaxation I had ever felt. And then I was ripped from my state of relaxation. I swear I heard someone say, in a harsh, strained whisper: “FIRE!” I could almost feel their breath as the word flooded my ears. My eyes immediately opened, and obviously there was nothing there. It felt so beyond real.

I am a huge fan of horror movies, and have seen plenty of them in my day. I am not easily scared. I had read about the parts of lucid dreaming where people are attacked by demons and everything else while they’re dreaming. I wouldn’t say I necessarily welcome a demonic attack, but I am not really scared of the possibility of this sensation. While I am not easily scared, I do believe in some supernatural forces. I do not think what I experienced was anything like that. It was just remarkable how real it all felt.

I’m just curious if any of you guys have had any experiences with lucid dreaming that you’d be wiling to share. I love hearing other people’s stories with dreaming, so comment if you feel so inclined. I’d love to read it!