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More Than Enough

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

The first night of graduate school was almost my last night. I entered my first film production class and we were asked why we wanted to pursue a career in the creative arts. My friend, Myah, talked about how she was already in the middle of writing, producing and acting in her own TV show and was hoping to have it picked up by a streaming service, another new friend, Mack, talked about the films that had inspired him with a catalog of film history that could put the smartest Hollywood critic to shame and almost everyone had their sights set on Hollywood.

I had just left Southern California, for Nashville, an environment I knew would suit me. I was a stark contrast to my other cohort members. I made up my mind, right then and there, 10 minutes into my first class, graduate school wasn’t for me. Nashville could be for me, but I was not enough for this story of artistry, passion and skill this program and these people would expect of and call me towards.

I got out of class at 9:30 p.m. and texted my parents who were still in town helping me unpack final boxes, short and simple, “I’m quitting grad school”. My mom replied, “There’s an Applebees half way between us, meet us there in 5 minutes.” So now, at 10 p.m,. on a Monday Nashville night I pulled into a dimly lit Applebees parking lot. I sat down and presented my case to them.

My parents started laughing. Turns out my dad had done the same exact thing. While he and my mom were dating they had left the midwest for California for their own graduate programs. My dad called my mom up after his first class and said I’m quitting and moving home.

They were able to talk me off the ledge, just as my mom had done for my dad so many years earlier. They encouraged me to give it a chance, to be okay with trying even if it meant “failing” and quitting after a semester if I still felt the same, but their message was clear: don't take yourself out of the race before it’s even begun, don’t count yourself as not enough before you even give it a shot.

It’s been five years since I sat in that Applebees and my parents encouraged me I could be more than enough for the story I was in. I finished my graduate program. I placed in the top 10% of my class and my thesis film took first place in our film festival and was screened at the Oscar-nominated Nashville film festival. My graduate degree has opened incredible doors in my career, I’ve been utilizing my skills at my job since graduating and I love the creativity and specialized skill I’ve worked so hard to grow in. I’m by no means the next Hitchcock or Spielberg, but it turns out I have some sort of knack for this passion of mine. I was and am more than enough for my story. YOU, are more than enough for the story you're in.

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