Thanks Rich Grula

A few years back I had probably the best meal I ever had. It was a fillet mignon steak, mashed potatoes and a Caesar salad. The total meal cost me $60 bucks but it was amazing. Perfectly cooked.

I ate this meal while one of my short films, The Domestication of the LMNO Robot, played the 2005 Sarasota Film Festival. I was on a high. This dinner was also with Rich Grula, who was one of our operations mangers for the film school and really a great mentor. Or at least one I believed in after the fact. At the time, I was so excited about filmmaking and I let him in on my deepest fears.

"I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't be a filmmaker."

His answer was simple. "That'll change." I completely and utterly disagreed with him. I mean, I was 23 years old. I was still very closeted about my sexuality, I had never been in love and I really knew nothing else but this intense desire to be a filmmaker.

I always remembered that meal for those two reasons. One because I felt Grula was dead wrong and I was set in proving that and secondly because that meal was so Goddamn delicious.

Now, in 2009 finding myself out of a serious relationship, one where I fell madly in love - I have come to very different ideas. And I realized that, just in this past week, that there were moments in my relationship that were far greater than playing Sundance. Or winning at SXSW. And they were moments I'd never imagine could be that wonderful.

Some were incredibly intimate and others were as simple as a gesture. A look. A way my heart skipped a beat. Goosebumps on my arm. Some are fights. Or making up. Waking up and having an early morning Taco Bell. Eating silently and knowing that even though there is danger and pain and anger - there is more to life and more to - "us".

Very dramatic. I find the feelings I am experiencing now, maybe nostalgically, are corny and melodramatic - but in some strange way - real.

All you need is love. The Beatles sang a really dumb, but incredibly true song.

It makes breaking up, harder to do. Harder to bear with because if I could just make this work - if I could just experience that, my success as a filmmaker won't be because it's what I have to do. What I need to do, but it'll come from a true sense of self.

I won't force myself to be a filmmaker to prove Rich Grula wrong, but become one because that's who I am. And if it didn't happen, it would be ok.

I think then, I could become a true filmmaker.