I've always loved movies, especially as a teen. I dropped out of them as I sought poverty and work with the poorest of the poor. But as I kept up that work in Portland, I found that I was increasingly exhausted and emotionally constipated. One of my favorite pasttimes has been to read movie reviews and the Filmspotting podcast as well as other movie podcasts allowed me many more reviews than newspapers ever gave me. But more than that, they introduced me to older films, greats that I had never heard of. And when I joined the forum, that wealth became a huge treasure-trove.
This community became so important because I felt so alone in my life. I was in charge of an increasingly important work, but I had no one to talk "normally" with. This forum was a place where I could connect through a medium I loved. And there was more than a hundred years of back log to catch up with. As long as there was a club or opportunity to discuss film, I was there because I needed to connect to human beings, even if I never met them.
Over the last year or so, two things happened. First, I became even more exhausted and I realized that I had to quit. Which I did in December. Second, a group formed through Facebook in which we realized that there were dozens of us doing the same work, feeling the same exhaustion and helping the same kinds of people in the county. We started to meet together and I realized that they, not the church, not the forum, were my real community.
Now that I've quit my task, I find that I need movies less. I don't need them to feel. I don't need them to cover my thoughts so I am not filled with anxiety and depression. There are still movies I pursue and love, and I want to see those movies. But I am less interested in watching a movie a day. I work a regular job, and I still help folks on the street and want to pursue writing nonfiction, if my mind allows me to focus that much. This means that despite working less, I have less time.
I love this community and owe it a lot. But I will be watching fewer films because I need to spend time with other pursuits as well.