I’ve just come home from seeing ‘Midnight In Paris’ – a Woody Allen movie (without him actually being in it!) about an aspiring writer who is mad about writers from the 1920s – Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Elliot, etc, and after midnight in Paris, he finds himself teleported to a time when these people existed together. He was surrounded by artists including Picasso, Matisse and Dali and musicians such as Cole Porter and he was absolutely in awe about being in their company. Everyday, he came back to the reality of his own life, one where he had a fiancee who squashed his dreams while she ogled over an academic friend and his accomplishments, rather than praise the talent he possessed.
So, is there ever a time that you’d love to surround yourself in, a time when life was simpler, a time when we weren’t exposed to media or a time where our gender based roles were accepted and not confused?
For me, I am inspired by my predecessors in my field – I am in awe of women like Beatrix Potter who not only believed in her talent and how she wanted her books published, but was happy to be involved with every process of the publishing of her books (something that was never done 100 years ago by the privileged) to then have enough wealth to buy farm after farm after farm in the Lakes District of Northern England to stop development of the beautiful land and then donated the land in her Will to the National Trust, of which most of the land she purchased is now the Lakes District National Park. I am in awe of Katharine Hepburn for her strong willed ways in the movie industry and her private love affair with Spencer Tracy. But I don’t think that I could live in their lifetime. I can certainly learn from them, be inspired by them and look at their models in life and expand on them to build a better future. It would be amazing to meet them to pick their brains, be connected with their contacts and take the same trails as they did, but I want to build my own lasting legacy that someone, hopefully, thirty or forty years from now will be inspired by me.
We all have choices – we can continue to pay the extraordinary bills that we pay, live on a shoe string and wish that life wasn’t expensive… or we can choose to live a simpler life, concentrate on making ourselves better and start making smarter decisions. It all depends on where your priorities lie and how badly you want it. If you want materialism and to be seen, spend your money on luxuries and non-necessities. If you want to ‘be someone’ of notoriety in your field, put your energy into making the dream real, and don’t care a hoot what anyone thinks. It’s your life, do what makes you feel real…