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Finding Himself

By Alain Deen

Volume 1 Issue 1

November 1, 2020

Finding Himself

Image provided by Buxr

The bell's clang shook him. An announcement traveled through the school: "We are on lockdown due to the rapid spread of Covid-19". He heard the news and stormed to his locker. As he rapidly packed, the sight of students running struck him. He realized this virus wasn't something to joke about, but rather a serious matter that wrecked the lives of so many. He began to grasp the baffling concept: he is living through a piece of history. Almost as if the survivors of other tragic occurrences were passing the torch. The other students were either filled with excitement or drowning in misery. As for him…he did not know how to feel. He simply put all his stress and worries behind him, which subsequently lead to even more. It wasn't about being admitted into the school's "Junior Honor Society" anymore, or receiving a 90 or higher on Friday's science exam. It was more about…old fashioned survival. 

The mysterious virus seemed to strike the most unsuspecting, innocent people. It didn't come with a warning label, as pleasant as that would have been. Its freshness sparked the most issues, since there were (and still are) no methods to combat the illness. He felt unsure and afraid of whatever came next. Hundreds of questions pounded his brain at the same time. Is this the end? Do we have to wear masks for the rest of our lives? What did we do to deserve this? The unnecessary guilt began to weigh on him. Why did it attack others? That question only fate could decide. His mother felt more worried than he did. She didn’t allow him out of the house for nearly two months. 

He expressed great understanding, but his patience slowly weakened. He started getting into his own head, a feeling most people hate with a burning passion. He began questioning his purpose. He pitied himself for not knowing his career path, whereas everyone else he knew seemed to have their entire lives planned out. The only idea he had crossed his mind every month or so. He enjoyed the process of cutting up and putting together footage, which resulted in a medley of contrasting sound and visual elements. An "editing sandwich". He seemed to have a knack at this…uncommon interest. His eyes moved across the screen as swift as lightning, cutting the clips together seamlessly. However, editing didn't fulfill that pit he felt. With quarantine and the feeling of being overshadowed by his peers, he felt stuck. His shame got the best of him, and he couldn’t help but scour the internet for new hobbies and interests. 

After days of searching, his eyebags weighed more than his mother's purse. His mind as jumbled as a tedious crossword. Despite days of hopelessness, an unusual but surprising occurrence took place. He came full circle. He stumbled upon filmmaking classes that taught the basics of editing, acting, and visual media. His eyes bulged. He began to notice this reoccurrence. Almost as if this was his destiny, accompanied with a few more mediums. Subsequently, he begged his mother to let him take these classes. The pit inside of him remained but took on a new form. The pit suffused with excitement. He literally could not wait and started writing a short film before any instruction. His preparation took days, and when the first day of class arrived, it was almost if he knew the exact direction she was headed. 

Over the three weeks, he hastily storyboarded and shot the film using whatever materials he could find. These items seemed to have fell of the face of the Earth. He vigorously checked every corner of his house and still could not recover anything. However, a vague memory bounced around in his mind. He received a tri-pod and microphone for his past birthday. A wave of relief soared through his body. After finding this equipment, there was no looking back. He sent the script to two of his closest friends to participate in the film, over Zoom, of course. Weeks of constant shooting, editing, and acting resulted in the same process he's always excelled in: creating a medley of contrasting sound and visual elements. His film served as a public service announcement for teens to stay home during the lockdown. Due to its theme, message, and visual elements, he received an A++. The highest grade in the class. 

His heart pumped faster than the speed of light. His eyes enlarged to the size of a hot air balloon. He felt not a wave, but a tsunami of excitement. After this experience, he started taking his skills in acting an editing to the popular social media platform "TikTok". There, he struck the eye of a bigger creator, and started writing scripts for her. He began mentorship under this popular creator and took multiple classes with her. The birth of an interesting yet exciting friendship took place. He continued perfecting this craft, and now stands at almost 10,000 TikTok followers. He rebuilt himself from a lost, meek boy to a confident, influential young man. He is me.

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