A few days ago, I got boba with a friend who noted how much I had changed in the past three years. Not change as in, “Oh, you grew your mustache.” Change as in, I’ve matured a lot. Mainly in the way I handle relationships.
Filmmaking used to be my god. My master, or whatever analogy works. I used to suck at collaborating because I liked being a one man show. Yes, it was stupid. I remember pacing back and forth, alone in a room, after a fight with my editor. He thought I was being too controlling, practically editing the entire film for him. I didn’t trust him. I didn’t just want the film cut my way; I wanted to cut the film myself. Enter my internal monologue.
Look, you idiot. This isn’t the first time this has happened to you. You need to stop being so power-hungry and let others contribute to this project.
HE’S RUINING THE PROJECT, PRECIOUS! Your editing is so much better! This film could be our ticket to success, and you want to leave it at the hands of this dude we met a couple weeks ago???
You were once a bad editor as well. How do you expect people to learn if they aren’t given the chance? Besides, what’s more important? People or the project?
THE PROJECT, ME PRECIOUS PROJECT!
(sigh) You’re hopeless. You need to make a decision. Like, right now. Either trust your editor and let him do his work, or completely take over the film and ruin your friendship forever.
WE KNOW WHAT TO DOOOO!!!
Someone get this dude a breath mint.
Sadly, this wasn’t too far from the actual dialogue inside my head. It took a while, but I finally understood how unimportant projects were compared to deep friendships and great collaborations.
You know, come to think of it…I’m not sure if I ever officially apologized to the editor. I’m going to do that right now.
Okay, I’m back. Apparently I did apologize already, and that was kind of awkward and kind of funny. We’re still great friends.
I never want to hold back from apologizing, though. Never. Especially to Jenine. Wow, I’ve owed her a lot of apologies.
Being that she’s my first official relationship, I was bound to make mistakes and I knew it. The problem was that her previous boyfriends were pretty awful, making it easy for me to go, “Hey, at least I’m not doing what so-and-so did!”
It took a while for me to learn that being “not as bad” doesn’t make you “good.”
I thought I was self-sacrificial. Humble. Godly. But my definition of those words came from a twisted narrative that put me in the spotlight. This was MY story, and everyone else was a side character.
For example, my definition of humility was someone telling me, “Wow Josh, that was such an amazing film you made!” to which I would reply, “Oh, it was nothing. God gave me the gifts!”
Pause. That’s not actually humility. I’m still getting praise and glory. Yet I lived in this egotistic bubble for quite a while.
The big change in my life was moving to California. I always knew it would be a huge transition, but I never realized how much moving to the other side of the country would affect my emotional and spiritual maturity. In fact, I barely recognized it as it was happening.
See, it was easy to be surrounded by friends and family who knew and loved me since I was a child. And I knew them as well. I knew the right things to say that would make them go, “Josh, you’re a great guy.” I never had any major conflict that would push my limits of being a good person.
I’m not saying I was a total a**hole. I’m just admitting that I had a lot of growing to do. And still do.
It’s scary, isn’t it? To realize that you’re not going to be the same person in a few years that you are today?
Or maybe you will be. There’s a way that can happen. Stay in your comfort zones. Live within your limits. Surround yourself with people who are easy to love. You’ll feel like a fantastic person.
When I moved to the West Coast, I met a lot of people. More new people than I had ever met in my entire life. EVERYONE I met was a new person, except for Brian. Many of them were not like me. They weren’t all Christians. They weren’t all Asians. They weren’t all homeschooled or had an East Coast mentality. Yes, most of them were filmmakers, but that’s beside the point.
For the first time in my life, I had to deal with people who didn’t know me as Josh Jackson from CEMC, or Josh Jackson from Life Covenant Church, or Josh Jackson, friend of my relative, relative of my friend, and so on.
They just knew me as Josh Jackson, stranger. I had a lot of first impressions to make and relationships to build.
It was difficult. But it formed me. It made me realize that not everything, ha, is about me! And I’m so thankful that it did.
I still can be a selfish person, but I’m slowly becoming more aware. And like they say, knowing is half the battle. One that I intend to fight.
But none of this would’ve happened if I hadn’t moved out of my comfort zone, or taken a leap of faith. I am so grateful for everyone in my life, family and friends, old and new, who have stuck with me on this journey. Thanks to you, I think I’m finally learning what it means to love without limits. My friends on the East Coast gave me the foundation. My friends on the West Coast helped me put it into practice.
Anyhoo, enough about me. I hope you all have a fantastic day or night, depending where in the world you are. I want to make a joke or something to end this on a light note, but…nah.