By Sven James Kennedy
The adventure of our individual journeys and the overcoming of challenges– physical, mental, spiritual– in our short span here is what makes life so exciting. I hope you are having a blast wherever you are and being the best you can be at whatever you are doing in your life.
That being said, sometimes things in life can get a little "out of hand," as they say. I was raised, though not born, on a Tennessee mountain top in an Amish/Mennonite community from my childhood into late teens. Growing up on a mountain, where my imagination could run wild, was pretty much the bee’s knees. I had decided, at eight years of age, that I was going to be just like Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, and Conan the Barbarian in the movies. So growing up in a mystical and magical landscape that encouraged me to become those characters that I looked up to, and even some that I created, is where my dream of acting and filmmaking was born.
For years I roamed the hills, fields, and forests, acting out my stories, sometimes just by myself, sometimes with the help of my brother and any other kids I could rope into my adventures. I made my own costumes, weapons, and props to help bring these worlds to life. It was paradise.
Then my dad decided to pursue Judaism and moved my family to a new state, where the conversion process began. After talking to the rabbi about what I wanted to do with my life, he encouraged me to follow my dreams. I left to pursue the military and film, well, my adventure really. Adventures aren't supposed to be easy; if they were, we would never learn the important lessons that they hold for us. Hardships and adversity are all excellent building blocks of courage and perseverance.
A lot of people in your life will say to you,"Chase your dreams, do whatever you have to do to get where you want to be.” Okay, sure, and when you begin to hunt down opportunities or start to live life according to the pursuit of your goals and dreams, you see how quickly some of those saying these things become bitter or hateful towards you. Maybe it’s just haters doing what they do best. Perhaps it’s because fear of failure in their own life has taken root. A lot of them gave up early on dreams of changing the world, healing people, working in politics, or being the next grand artist, or maybe they got stuck in some safe and sensible lifestyle that they hope will eventually get them where they want to be. That might be it, or maybe they are just a**holes.
But I get it, that dream-chasing stuff sucks. It's hard and lonely at times, it's sleepless nights and hungry bellies. Sometimes it feels like everyone is just rolling their eyes and laughing at your struggle behind your back. Maybe they are. Who cares? It’s your adventure. It’s the moments of pure joy from the accomplishments of small goals achieved and victories won that make the down times worth trudging through or enduring the words and actions of haters/non-believers. I applaud you for your resilience in staying on the path, life has this interesting way of unfolding in the best of ways to those who pursue their dreams and the hunt for the next big adventure. Think about life in all it's glory and misery, it would be so unbearably boring if we could never pursue, chase, or run down our wild and wonderful dreams, letting that little voice in the back of our mind scream with glee every time we run barefoot through a meadow, earn a cool film role, or finish our homework.
The thought of running around all willy-nilly, testing out new and exciting ways to live your life is fun, but ultimately time-consuming with little progression towards goals. A plan on how to get where you want to be, then, isn't a bad idea, although plans don’t always work out. So it's good to have a spirit of tenacity when reaching for new heights or attempting new goals or following new paths, otherwise known as having pepper in your grinder or moxie.
Adventures in the pursuit of your dreams are tough, grimy, lonely and exciting. They offer us the chance to step outside of ourselves and the "normal world" and experience something new and wonderful, in doing so revealing our truest selves and the nature of our souls.
I pursue the film life, from acting to stunts or even writing or pitching new and exciting ideas,because it makes me feel happy inside. Has it been easy? Hell no. It has been a truly revealing experience for myself, full of danger, excitement, and good/bad times that are helping me understand my place and who I am in this wacky world in which we exist.
I've had people threaten and try to kill me. Once, while I was living in Hollywood, I was falsely accused and turned in to the FBI by an older female writer as a serial killer/assassin/terrorist because I refused to marry her and help her hunt down and kill Jewish people, not knowing that my family are Orthodox Jewish. I’ve encountered horrible landlords that tried running scams on me, and I’ve come across haters/saboteurs always trying to cut me off at the knees. That’s just part of it, you know? Just deal with it and keep moving, keep chasing that dream. I love being on a film set , the hustle-and-bustle, the smells, the food, the conversations, but most of all, the creation and use of imagination. That just gets me so darn excited and makes me want to add a bit of myself or my talent to it. I love it and will never stop.
Yeah sure, things are seemingly down for me right now. I’m trying to find my place back in the industry after covid-19 wrecked us, or maybe it’s a chance for me to learn new tools and life lessons that will keep pushing me forward and help set me up for success when it's my time to shine.
Don’t worry, your time is coming too. I believe in you even if no one else does. The point of this being, please, never stop. Please keep forging ahead, keep pursuing, keep living adventures, keep looking at the blue sky with awe, keep running through fields, keep living life on your terms. This world needs you and your beautiful dreams. But most of all it needs you to help your fellow humans on their path. After all, we're in this together, right?
Linkedin: Sven Kennedy
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