UNITED STATES—In a short few weeks I am going to accomplish something that I never thought possible in my life: I’m about to graduate with a Master’s Degree. Yeah, the past 3 years have been some of the roughest, busiest and exhausting of my life. At times I didn’t think it was possible to juggle two jobs, be a full-time graduate student and deal with a ton of personal stress at the same time. However, I guess that saying, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is very true.

With that said, this has completely changed my perspective on life. Some of you might be asking how? Well, when I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree it was game changing, but it wasn’t like I was being thrown to the sharks. I worked; I experienced struggles and knew what it meant to be an adult. With this next milestone, my focus has shifted greatly to pursuing my passion fully without hesitation. We’ve had this discussion before about working menial jobs, where you enjoy what you do, but it’s not the same as fully doing what you feel with every fiber in your bone you were placed on this planet to do.

There is NO DOUBT in my body I was put on this Earth to tell my stories to tell other people stories through the medium known as cinema. If you were to ask me as a kid what I wanted to do growing up there was no hesitation that I thought I would be a surgeon that shifted around middle school. I always had an infinity for film, but my creative ideas became more prevalent; it was something that was always on my mind. The ideas were constant, explosive and just gave me a burst of energy that nothing else in life did. That would parlay to my focus in undergraduate school.

After graduation it became a quick realization that the film industry is a beast, it is not easy to break into, but that never stopped me from writing. I will be the first to admit; I haven’t probably looked or written a script in like 3 years. There truly isn’t an excuse for it; if you’re passionate about something you have to make it a commitment day in and day out. I allowed family drama, work drama and school to intervene and cause me to push the brakes on my dreams.

However, I will no longer allow that. At some point in life you have to take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what are you doing with your life? Are you just doing something for a paycheck? Are you happy with what you’re doing? Why are you doing what you’re doing? I know I’m not the only person with that question bursting inside my brain, we all have such thoughts and it’s never a bad thing to have such things transpire. Thinking is a good thing, but don’t allow the thinking to go to your brain. The more you marinate on something instead of taking action hurts you in the long run. I’ve come to the realization that not taking action is worse than saying that you will take action. If anything you’re procrastinating. That was the one thing that I was told time and time again in high school.

I actually thought I improved on it, and to some degree I have, but I do allow it to get the best of me at times. It’s like you KNOW you have to do something, think work, but the idea of doing it causes so much stress, you just choose to ignore it. When it comes to your career and happiness you cannot ignore those things. I rather be broke and full of joy, than rich and miserable. I always say when it comes to work, you have to do something that draws a paycheck that you can live off, but at the same time you have to be fulfilled. If you’re always waiting for the week to end that is a sign that you’re not happy and you need to consider alternatives. Perhaps cut your hours back at work, take a vacation, and pose questions about what things you enjoy doing?

Remember America, you only get one life to live, why sit around and waste it doing things that bring you misery instead of joy? That is the one thing I’ve come to realize throughout my graduate studies: you control your fate, what you choose to do with it is completely up to you.