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Day 11: Sometimes I Dream in Farsi

Now, there's no shooting until May 26th. But I've got everything else to organize with becoming a non-profit and then applying for grants before May 15th. It'll be a marathon race.

On top of that, music for the film is already coming through. Thomas Bellier is already composing tracks for the film. He's trying to get everything mostly done before he leaves back for Paris on June 15th. That means I've got to come up with money for him to do the recordings, getting studio time, paying musicians, and mastering the tracks.

In the past, we've done Indiegogo fundraisers for all the films. Usually, we'd do this right before shooting or in the middle of post-production. The rate at which this film is coming means we'll have to do that soon, or find another way to keep us afloat.

I'm thinking I'll start listing my Patreon page at the end of every blog post for anyone who wants to make a donation there. Then, maybe, next month, I'll be able to do an Indiegogo. I'm guessing we need about 50K to make this film possible.

Aaron made me a preliminary budget. I'll have to include this in the documentation when applying for non-profit status and grants. He already had us at about 52K even before the music budget.

I hope I can pull it together in time. I suppose I have no choice. I just have to do it.

I figure if we can get about $500 monthly from Patreon, followed by about 30K from Indiegogo, and 20K in grants, we'll get to the Promised Land.

Aside from that, I'm feeling a bit different since all this emotional upheaval the film has brought. I didn't even know this would come up when we said we'd do a documentary on me. I'm glad I started getting therapy last September to work through all this. I also realize that meditation is not enough, especially for people who have these types of traumatic episodes in their lives.

I remember Brad Warner told me that in a hundred years the human race will look back on us and find it amazing that we survived without meditating every day.

"They'd think we were crazy not to meditate," he told me.

I'd add therapy to that as well.

I realize now that meditation keeps you centered and grounded for dealing with certain things. And, sure, if you do it for 30 years like Brad, I'm sure it'll bring even more clarity. But, for people like me, who have only been doing it for 15 years or so, and only seriously for the last 7 years, it'll take some therapy along with it.

I've gone to therapists off and on since I was 21. I never got as deep as I am doing now. It'd always be like 20-30 sessions and then back to nothing. Now, I realize I'll have to do this weekly my entire life.

It's pretty amazing really. People take such good care of everything else besides emotional and mental well being. I'm amazed relationships even exist at all.

I'm not going to burden anyone anymore though. This was something Aaron said to me the other day.

"I go to therapy," he said. "So I don't have to burden others."

Nemanja came to a similar conclusion recently.

That got me thinking about how many people have been using me like a therapist at times. Students, friends, and family are constantly dumping their issues on me. They expect me to fix them -- and I can offer really clear advice -- but I'm no therapist. I also realize that this type of dumping isn't healthy for relationships in general.

People need to come to the relationships in their life -- and, I mean, all relationships, whether its marital, familial, friends, colleagues, etc. -- with having done some self-care on their own. If people don't take care of their insecurities and traumas, then they'll be bringing that stuff into relationships, when they could be just enjoying this time with their loved ones.

Of course, I know that therapy is not culturally acceptable in Iran, Korea, or America. I'm not sure if it doesn't still have a stigma throughout the planet. So, I know that even though I take care of myself, there will still be so many around me who don't. Still, I understand that this film, and maybe the broader issue of racism throughout the world needs to be addressed on this level.

What we all deal with as human beings on a daily basis is tough enough without all the various fears and insecurities that come through as well. If we add racism, prejudice, and discrimination, it makes it very tough to overcome these things alone. It requires a lot of healing. And this doesn't mean it's your friend's job to figure these things out for you. It's not your mother's or father's problem. It's not your partner's.

If we're going to come together as a people, then we really need to take care of ourselves individually. That might mean meditation, walks, or yoga for some. It could even mean sitting in a park reflecting or doing a marathon. It could even mean sharing a meal with friends or crying on someone's shoulder. It could mean belonging to a community or church. I'm sure all of these help us get through difficult times when we need it. But, it's really not enough.

If we're going to deal with big issues like the environment and racism and poverty, then we need to take care of ourselves.

We are not the perfect avatars we see on social media. We all have different issues. And, no one, I mean, no one, is perfect in this. And that's okay.

I don't expect my friends and family to have it all together and never talk to me about their problems. I understand if someone's having a bad day and yells at me for no reason. I've been there plenty of times, and I'm sure you have as well. But, these things build up if we don't discuss them. Our minds only see these issues after a while, and then when we interact with the world, we bring this way of being with us. Then, it's no wonder the very pollution inside us becomes reflected in the way we do commerce, take care of the environment, raise our children, and interact with each other.

My father said in our interview yesterday that he tried to create a World Unity Day after September 11th. He got the Mayor of Rochester to sign a proclamation, and he held a yearly event and tried to talk to people about the issues. Then, he realized it was too hard to bring people together.

"So," he explained. "I try to bring my brother and sisters together. Then, I see, even this is too hard. Finally, I just focus on my three sons."

I'm sure my father now realizes that the outside world cannot be effected if we do not take care of our internal ones. Like me, I'm sure he sees this isn't something that people can be forced to do. This is why we're in constant conflict at times. It's probably why the meditation has helped me as well. Although I wasn't doing therapy, I could still see that the best way with dealing with people was not to make anything. If someone was mad at me -- or themselves -- and had an outburst, I wouldn't engage that behavior. I'd just stay with myself. That would have one of two effects: either the person would recognize the outburst as unnecessary and apologize, or they'd not have anyone hit the ball back, so they'd stop engaging this thinking, and it'd subside over time.

This is a really healthy way to deal with the world as people start learning to take of their internal lives. But individual therapy and couple's, family, and group counseling, may be an even better route forward to take alongside other self-care methods. Maybe this is one way to deal with racism, because if we're able to see how we hurt ourselves, then we are less likely to do the same to others, regardless of the forms this may take.

Here's a link to my Patreon page. I've never advertised it, and I only have two supporters: Sohee and Nemanja. If you'd like to see Sometimes I Dream in Farsi, or any of the other films we'll do come to light, donating a dollar or two is the first step I can see in making this a reality. Please share it or this page. I hope this film and all the other work we create offer some comfort and a direction towards self-healing and a better internal and external world for all of us.

Also, Meina, just shared this with me. It's a fantastic video from Childish Gambino AKA Donald Glover. I also noticed one of my students Nic Hodges singing in the chorus. Shine, Nic! I see you!!

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