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It’s All For You.

Posted on May 28, 2011 by in Blog | 17 comments

It’s All For You.

I think I’m done trying.

Really, I am.

What has started as a journey through the world of self-discovery has lead me here, to this moment, where as I type this I can accept that I am indeed an anxious person. If these were the stages of being wrought with the news of a terminal illness, I think I’m getting over the brink of rejection and falling into the peace of acceptance. The truth is, I really want my dreams to come true and in wanting this you struggle with the notion of value and the value that you believe you’re worth. I want to be a filmmaker. I want to be the next Steven Spieldberg, James Cameron, or even Quentin Tarantino. I know saying something like can bring about lots of flack from others and there’ll always be those who are ready to bring down your dreams, there’ll always be those who tell you to “be realistic.” And, you know what? Be grateful for these people because they test your resolve. They test you in how strong and committed you are to being that person you want to be. The more time you spend BEING who you want to be, the more you become who you want to be. Lady Gaga walked around telling people she was a “superstar” before she was anything but. PROCLAIM who you are and EMBODY it.

[audio:http://thezimp.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Portal2-10-There_She_Is.mp3|titles=There She Is - Portal 2]

I became a self-help junkie a while back. Reading books upon books on just about everything, from spiritual to scientific, books about sex, body language, meditation, neuro linguistic programming. I’ve listened to hundreds of audio books, watched documentaries, movies, videos, posted on forums, subscribed to news letters, and so much more. Finally, I ran into one video where the speaker was talking about self-help as an industry and mentioned that, “if self-help REALLY worked, then you’d probably only own one self-help book.” That’s when it hit me: what am I looking for? Why am I scouring book upon book. What’s the answer? Where’s my goal? What’s the ONE THING that’ll change me, that’ll make me be me, with no worries? That’s when I had ANOTHER epiphany. I had turned my search and journey of self-discovery into an excuse to keep me away from myself. I made feeling good a destination rather than something I needed to tune into. I made it a goal, a point in time. In truth, there is no time or point in space, there’s no goal, there’s nothing to attain, there’s just simply being. When I had this thought, I looked out my window and saw a blade of grass swaying back and forth in the window. There was no one else there, no one else to watch this blade of grass flowing back and forth. It existed just for me, it exists only because I am there to experience it, in it’s majesty, being driven by the wind. Now, I might go into new-agey sounding stuff here but I understood it all. I understood what it meant to be alive. WHY we had to be alive. In truth, we’re all truly alone. There’s no one there to share OUR experience, to feel our feelings, our anxieties, worries, and fears. That everything is just meaningless. However, it’s meaningless that it’s meaningless. WE are the ones who give life meaning. Watching that simple blade of glass, I realized how everything just existed for me. A conversation I would have with my girlfriend, parents, or friends would be only for my ears. Their voice an orchestra, a song, for I am lucky enough to be the only one to experience it the way I do. This is what life is about. Life isn’t about trying to experience it the way you think someone else would, it’s about enjoying how you experience it. Loving every moment of it despite what that moment might be. Being calm, peaceful, and present in all moments of your journey. Feeling anxious is part of that, feeling fear is part of that, just as much as happiness is all a part of that. Remember, dear reader, these words you’re reading (if you made it this far) exist only for you because you are there to read them. They’ll travel through the optical nerves in your eyes, through all your childhood memories, through all the decisions you’ve made, through all the people you’ve met and how they’ve affected your life, through all the music you’ve heard, movies you’ve watched, books you’ve read, through that moment where someone forgot your birthday, and through that moment where you went out of your way to help someone. They’ll be filtered by these and then what’s left may be that little inkling of something. That little piece that puts you in touch with who you really are. That piece that sends shivers up your spine and connects you with the infinite. It may not even be in anything I’ve written, it may arise because you’ve looked off somewhere and noticed something you hadn’t before and that brought you to that moment, that place, of a deep-inner peace. In the end, this is worth all the anxieties and the fears, to find this place where you can just be. Find this place and cultivate it, it’s the way to true presence, peace, and acceptance that we’re human and being human is beautiful.

Yesterday, I took out a notepad, I wrote down what I wanted out of life and I put it in a pill bottle. I walked out into my yard and buried it by a young tree. I’m done. I’m done chasing the books for answers, I’m done believing that I’m not worth my dreams, I’m done trying to pretend to be who I really am, this time, I’ll just be it. And when I’m not, that’s okay too. And, it’s okay for you too.b

My plan on becoming the next Spieldberg: I want to make a short film every month. In doing so, I want to refine my skill. Sometimes, as young artists, we set out to do something and it doesn’t turn out like we had in mind and we give up. We NEED to give ourselves the chance to let our skills catch up with our tastes. Don’t give up, to ANY of you out there who might be working in the arts or toward something they’ve wanted. Don’t give up. YOUR gift to the world is to stay on your path.

 

17 Comments

  1. Well, I know who you are. Through a little old lady called Nonna Maria… trust me you have already started making an impression.
    From the outside looking in, I see a star in your work. Develop it, believe in it and block out all the noise and be true to what you want to do regardless of who it offends, disagrees, think it´s nuts or politically incorrect.

    Just go for it… sans fear!

    From what I see… you´re f@#king brilliant!

  2. :.) Thank you Paulo. It’s a funny thing admitting that you’re an anxious person. It’s almost like I had a denial of it the whole time and that was what stopped me. Like I couldn’t go on unless it was cured, but in reality I needed to use the anxiety to drive my art.

    Thank you for the heart-felt comment! All the best to you too.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I struggled with anxiety for a better part of my life. It would be shallowing to whittle everything I learned down to two statements, but from everything I have read, watched, learned, participated in, they are what marked me the most.

    “You’ve had it within you all along.” Which is true. Intention is the launching pad, but knowing that it’s fact and it’s attainable opens up the potential and motivation within you. When you no longer project into the future what you want but rather live with the knowing that it’s already within you to DO it and BE it, then surpassing yourself becomes natural. Desire creates anxiety, knowledge creates potential.

    “This, too, shall pass.” It’s appropriate for understanding that anxiety is short lived and merely a physical reaction to the desire of not losing control, which shortens and dissipates once you surrender – think “what can I do right now to change the course of this situation.” If you have an answer, then do it, and the feeling leaves, the sense of control takes over. If you don’t have an answer, then surrender your anxiety to it and transfer your thoughts to something else, or stop thinking all together.

    Anyways, thank you again for sharing that. I recognized myself within your words, a me that existed a few years ago. Since I’ve learned those lessons, I can count on my hands the times I’ve suffered from anxiety (which back then, was almost every day).

    xx Rach

  4. Thank you for writing this. It’s funny how just being who you want to be is such a simple concept, but so easy to get wrong. I think you’re going in the right direction, and I admire you for it. I am going to try to heed this advice of yours myself, because you know what? Excuses are irrelevant, and that’s partly how I summarize what you’re saying.

    I think you’ve made a bigger imprint than you think. You will absolutely see the day where I see your name on the silver screen and go HEY! I KNOW THAT NAME!

  5. Jebus Anthony you are going to make me cry. I know how you feel. It’s as if you stole the words right out of my mouth. We all go through anxiety periods for different reasons but ultimately the struggle is the same. My anxiety is very different from yours but I could definately relate to the stress.
    I went through a period where I thought that I was not a good enough mother. Being a parent is really the most challenging thing in my life and I never knew this until she came into the world. It takes alot out of you. How can some people make parenting seem so easy? No self-help book can make you understand that you have to really physically and mentally ACCEPT the fact that you are doing the best that you can do. Once you are at peace with the inevitable fact that you are doing your best, that’s when you see the rewards. Turning the negative into positive is a very important tool. I can’t give up on doing my best, that’s not fair to myself. Thanks Anthony for the lovely piece.

    Sammy

  6. I feel ya bro! From what I’ve seen you’ve done amazing so far, in my eyes. Keep your head up & keep working hard!!!

  7. Beautiful. I love reading the truth.

  8. I’ll start off by saying that the Anthony I know, not only has the ability to do all the things your heart desires but you’re one of the most genuine people I know. I don’t know too many people like you, and I’m glad that I do. Even though I’m a little older than you, I’ve looked up to you in a lot of ways. Your artistic abilities and passion have pushed me to do more of the things I enjoy, like when we took that improv class together. As short as it was, I had a great time. You’re young, talented, and surrounded by love. In my books, you’re invincible. The world is literally at your feet.

    I understand that we all have our own demons, and we all struggle with different types of problems, but we only live once, and you seem to be making the most of it. As you know, I’ve been battling with my own problem, and let me tell you I’ve seen some dark days. For some reason, lately my anxiety has gotten worse. I really don’t know whats wrong, but what I’ve learned is that people all around me take EVERYTHING for granted. Little things, that to the “normal person” might not think anything of it, but when you’re outside looking in, it hurts. But when I see the things you do, I see a good person. A good person who makes the people around him very happy.

    As far as your film career is concerned, I wish you nothing but the best of luck my friend. I have no doubt that you will achieve anything you set your mind to. If ever you want a school mate for film class, I’m in. If you ever need a hand or wanna shoot ideas around for your short film project, I’m in. We share the same passion for film, and nothing would make me happier than to attack it with such a great guy. I’m happy we’re friends Anthony. Don’t look back, and if you have haters in your life, it’s because you’re doing something right.

  9. As Glinda the Good Witch said to Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the answer lies within you, you have had the power all along!

    Anthony, you are wise beyond your years. I am impressed and inspired by your talent and your insight.

    No need to justify for fear of offending or guilt that you might be
    reaching too high. No need to feel ashamed for fear of sounding arrogant, or god forbid … the embarrassment should you fail. These are all inbred cultural messages we carry deep down. “Just be the good little boy, don’t embarrass your family and know your place in society.” – We know better, yet
    these messages are so rooted. Our head understands but our beings carry them.

    Yet, you, Anthony seems to already know…know to live with passion and gratitude … know to be in the now.

    Steven Spieldberg, James Cameron … Anthony Imperioli … YOU ARE! … know it … feel it … live it!

    Surround yourself only with those that share your vision and inspire you.

    Thank you for sharing such profound and brilliant thoughts. I am grateful that I came upon your words which have touched me and inspired me.

    I love your work. I believe in you. I am very proud of you. I love you!

    Connie

  10. Hey guys. Firstly, I’ve never received such a response to any of my blog posts. It’s mind bogglingly amazing. Thank you all for stopping by and commenting and letting me know a little more about you. You guys are amazing. Secondly, it’s taken me a while to reply and here’s why: I kinda felt guilty. In feeling guilty, however, I got some more insight as to why we gotta do what we feel we need to in life. I had the hardest time ever just declaring I wanted to be a filmmaker. Then, when I began to read your comments with such amazing compliments, my first instinct was to feel guilty. I asked myself why I was feeling that way and the answer I got was that I made myself out to be a person with “1st world problems.” That was my perception of myself. With all the war, terror, famine, pollution, and shit going on in the world I’m writing about my anxiety issues and, basically, doing what I actually wrote about in this blog post: devaluing myself. The voice in my head saying, “wow, you’re complaining about not being able to be who you are while the world is plagued with hunger, war, crocs, and Sarah Palins.” The reason I think about THOSE things is that, deep down, I have a desire to change the world. However, change in the world doesn’t come from stopping yourself cause you feel it useless, it comes from doing the thing you love. In fact, being able to live in a free country such as ours, having all the freedom of choices we have, and the opportunities upon opportunities at our doorstep, it’s more detrimental to NOT take the right course of action and accomplish that which it is you want to accomplish. If you want to change the world you need to first become that person of value, that person you want to become. That’s how it starts, when you realize the gift you have, you realize the gift in others. Thank you all, deeply, for this insight.

    @Rachelle – thank you for sharing that, Rachelle. It’s nice to know someone else is out there with the same thoughts and notions. In watching your music videos and listening to your songs, I’m ecstatic you’re able to sidestep the anxiety and give the world some much needed art.

    @Melly – thank you Melly. Excuses are irrelevant. They only delay that which does not want to be delayed. Go forth and DO!! thank you for your comment! I sincerely hope I can provide you with that “I know him!” moment. I also hope the reverse is true… except… instead of a “him” it’d be a her, cause… you’re female.. :D

    @Sammy – Thanks for sharing your experience as a mother Sammy. It’s something I know little about (both because I’m a man and cannot bear a child nor breast feed and also, that I don’t have kids… yet). However, I love your attitude and I think it’s the purest of attitudes. Really. It’s said that children who grow up being told they’re “smart” end up doing a lot less for themselves. Why? Because expectations are focused on WHO they are rather than WHAT they can do. When calling a kid smart, you lay down an expectation for them that they’ll always try to attain. In reality, the best thing you can do for your child is emphasize effort. Effort is measurable and “smartness” is not. A child can be recognized more for the effort s/he puts into something over doing something “smart.” Smart is an abstract terms that differs from person to person… my “smart” is not your “smart.” So, to commend you again, taking on the attitude of effort in your parenting “I’ll try to be the best mother possible” removes that notion of what a “good mother” is. Who decides what a
    “good mother” is or does? Movies? TV? Me? You? It’s an abstract concept. Trying your best is not. YOU know what your best is and in the end, that’s all you can do. So, in taking on that attitude, your child will see and pick up on that and implement that into how she does things. Another thing; please watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o – let me know what you think. Thanks for your comment Sammy! :D

    @Davide & @Dana – Thank you guys! So much! :)

    @Joey – Joey, I got a thing for you. I mean that in a very heterosexual way. You’re one of the awesomest, funniest, most authentic dudes I know. You bring people together easily, and you have qualities that people just LOVE. Seriously. LOVE. We all have our things to deal with, in fact, that’s what life is about… that’s what every movie is about… that’s what EVERYTHING is about… overcoming that ONE thing. I understand what it means to be self-conscious. I feel it daily but, more so, less and less and I am grateful for that. I began to rid myself of my anxiety by putting in the forefront the very thing I didn’t want people to know about me. I make a joke of it. I ease the tension within myself in that moment where I can just put it in the forefront and let it go. For example, if my something is making me feel self-conscious I’ll make a joke of it, “my hair’s messed cause I didn’t shower this morning and didn’t brush my teeth. All part of my “Homeless” diet.” Fuck that. You know? It’s like when guys who start balding do the whole comb-over thing or get wigs. Seriously, dude, shave that fucker BALD and be the BALD man that you are! Apply the thing that makes you self-conscious as your BADGE OF FUCKING HONOR and go forth and tell the world that’s WHO you are. It’s in the acceptance of that where you can change that! That’s my experience. Thanks for your amazing words brother Joey! Can’t wait ’till our next Improv class and our movie-review show that’ll become more famous than Siskel and Ebert! :D :D :D

    @Connie – Hi Connie. Your words have floored me. Thank you so much, I can’t begin to express how I feel. After reading all these comments I feel so blessed to know that people support me this much. Please know that it is not unrequited and I support any of you guys back with all my heart. I just want to ask you, do we know each other IRL? Which Connie might this be? Thank you again!

  11. Dude, I have literally just gone through the same set of epiphanies myself. I feel all the more stronger for it and I hope you do too.

  12. Hello Anthony, we do not know each other IRL, but I would be delighted if some day our paths may cross.
    Came across your work on twitter and facebook and started following you. Love your work and your insight. My journey through the world of self discovery has a few more miles on it then yours, that is why I am amazed at the discoveries you speak of at such a young age. I know many people that talk the talk but don’t have a clue. (I think you know exactly what I am mean.) From my experience, I can tell that you on the other hand really get it! I encourage you to continue and remember that it is in fact a “journey”.
    Please also continue to share your personal discoveries along with the works and resources that you come across. I find them all so interesting and inspirational.
    with much love and respect,
    Connie

  13. I deal with anxieties too, i’ve had an anxiety disorder for as long as i can remember and it has held me back from doing so much in life, and im 31 now and think about all that i missed out on, but realize how much i am catching up on now that i am working to not let that fear hold me back. i quit my job and went back to university full time in visual arts and plan on teaching art, so believe me, i get it. i too understand when you talk about guilt, because whenever i think about something for myself or complain about something or feel wronged in anyway, i instantly think about the people who arent eating, who arent healthy, who have no homes, who have no freedom, and the list goes on and on. This guilt was and is (because i still feel it deeply) is so unhealthy because as much as we want to change the world, these are things that we cannot take on all at once because at the end of the day we, i , you, are just one person. being concerned about what you want for yourself in life or realizing what your aspirations are do not make you selfish in anyway. how can you help other people and change the world if you cant help yourself or figure out where you are? my therapist told me that it was wrong of me to take on all this guilt for so much in the world that i cannot control and it was just making my anxieties worse. and this next part is where i should practice what i preech, is that when ever you feel guilt about something you have in your life that others dont, then try doing something, no matter how big or small, just something you can manage, for someone or something else. i know this is an old post, and for all i know you could be doing all these things and none of this is an issue anymore…i was just amazed to read something from someone else when i felt like such a headcase for feeling the exact same way…and sorry if this doesnt make any sense, im not going to bother to go back and re-read and edit anything, im just typing as it comes along…coming from someone in the arts, i support what you are doing and think your work is amazing, and have only been introduced to it in the past couple of days and have been telling everyone i know about nonna maria (which is the only work i know about so far), but i know it makes so many people happy, and that in itself is a huge huge gift! it is already a huge step in making the world a better place!!

  14. So well written :) Very Inspiring

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