My Reflection of "The Struggle"
My digital storytelling piece is entitled â€śThe Struggle.â€? It is about a bizarre dream that constantly reoccurs for me. Many psychologists believe that our dreams tell us much about ourselves and can help make sense of our lives. I never realized how true this might be.
In my voiceover throughout the piece I describe the dream, as best as I know how. My favorite reflective instrumental plays in the background. The hardest part was putting in the visual clips. I had originally started with different pictures and a different plan, but the story took a hold of me and seemed to tell itself. I soon realized that I would have to look elsewhere for meaningful pictures. Finally I settled with images from the main struggle in my life, my recent head injuries.
I had many problems with the images, trying to capture them with my camera. After many hours of effort I realized that I could scan the actual documents into my video. I went through the doctorsâ€™ notes and any other related papers and scanned them in. There are documents of the hospital visits and then documents of the repercussions from the head injuries. This may be a video that the viewer has to see more than once to get the full story. The viewer must be able to piece together the petition to drop classes, lost driverâ€™s license, and AWOL from work, to see that they are all direct effects of the injuries. Theses start from the initial date of the head injuries to just a couple weeks ago. My biggest fear in putting this piece out there is that the viewer wonâ€™t be able to see the correlations. I donâ€™t want my message to fall short.
This project caused me to stop and reflect on my life. When I finished I saw how hard I had worked. I felt how proud I was of my project. I also felt how afraid I was that my message would not be conveyed across to the depth that it was intended. I realized that I really cared about getting my message out there. This is quite shocking to me. When I finished and watched the final video I actually felt moved. And then I felt a huge epiphany. This head injury is not okay. Everyday I wake up and tell people that I am fine. I tell myself I am fine. I tell myself that 3-5 seizures a day is normal and it will go away. I tell myself any line that I can to make it through the day. But this is not okay! It is not normal, nor is it healthy. All of the struggles I have gone through are big deals. They are huge in retrospect. They are not okay.
And finally I am realizing that. I am not okay. These things are not okay. Finally I have come to peace with that. I am okay with the fact that I am actually not okay. I realized I cannot be everything perfect. The best effort that I can put in, even when it yields the best possible results, will never be good enough for me. I may not get better in this struggle. I may not win. But I will stand up and try again.
I am okay with the fact that it is a struggle I will never win. But I will keep trying because it is the only way I know. Until that day when I tie my ladder and manage to climb away from my problems this struggle will continue. My biggest fear is that I will only be able to let go of the strings temporarily. I wish I were strong enough to find a way out of the tunnel and leave all strings behind. I just canâ€™t see that happening.
Even though one can make no progress in a vacuum I feel that I have. I have never been very artistic, which I think may be because I keep my feelings boxed up. In the past month I have learned a lot about feminist art. Today I realized that maybe the art is not about the art, but about the artist instead. I often forget that people make art for themselves, not others. This often causes me to be overly critical of othersâ€™ pieces. Feminist media is a liberal topic, well named because for the media maker it is liberating.
In the Reflections reading, Chapter 2 my favorite line is, â€śâ€¦their pictures are made, not taken.â€? I found this to be true on many levels. Although my images are not the average images being used in these projects I made them just the same. I may not have typed out the patient prescription information, but I did copy, cut, and highlight it, making it into the image that I needed it to be. I made each image exactly they way I wanted it to be, in order to portray it the best way I knew how. I tried to get the most out of every picture and I feel I succeeded.
The images were not the only thing that required my effort. The script I had written was too long and wordy, as most of my peers let me know. I shortened it and revised constantly. I referred to Lambertâ€™s â€śDigital Storytelling,â€? Chapter 4 when editing. The mentioned index card activity had worked wonders, so I saw what else he had to say. Each section within the chapter had helped me when I originally wrote the paper, and it helped me again near the end. â€śGetting to the Sceneâ€? helped me move my piece along. â€śCharacter Studies and Personal Storyâ€? helped build the guidelines my piece needed. But the last section is what really gives my piece its true character. In bold, the third paragraph starts, â€śWhat works is truth.â€? This rule, which is often true in everyday live, is the foundation and underlying theme of my story. The truth is my struggles are not okay. It is the truth I was hiding from everybody else. The truth I was hiding from myself. It was the truth I desperately needed to see. The truth that I finally have.