1: Lombok – The Art of Resilience

“Let us not be surprised when we must face difficulties. When the wind blows hard on a tree, the roots stretch and grow stronger. Let it be so with us. Let us not be weaklings, yielding to every wind that blows, but strong in spirit to resist.” – Amy Carmichael

We are staying at the Holiday Resort in Lombok. It’s midnight on a Thursday night. It’s been a spectacular week. Possibly on par with the most challenging of the year, but truly spectacular. Relieved that the entire day spent video editing to meet the deadline paid off. Torn between sleep and an urgent need to get the words out onto the page, knowing that I will need to be in the hotel lobby by 3am for my flight to Solo. I am in beautiful Lombok, all fiery red sunsets and pastel sunrises, blue giving way to a soft pink. I remember the night we got here: Sunday. I was elated, we had dinner by the beach, a string quartet singing into the night. As the cast and crew sat around the table, I felt incredibly blessed to be here on this amazing adventure.

Photo 13-09-2015 6 07 47 pm

Photo 13-09-2015 6 10 34 pm

Photo 13-09-2015 6 12 12 pm

Photo 13-09-2015 6 13 20 pm

Photo 13-09-2015 6 13 48 pm

On practicing gratitude.

“I don’t want to be perfect. I only aim to be fearless and resilient and myself.”

The hotel is lovely, I have a king bed I don’t need, that I can sleep horizontally across, yet I only ever stick to one side. Habit is hard to break. We had time after yesterday’s shoot to jump in the pool and talk about this and that. Shame about not having the chance to utilize the $3 happy hour at the pool bar. Dinner every night with my papaya smoothie, and the sound of waves rushing into shore. Buffet breakfast in the morning. I think to myself how incredibly lucky I am to be here. I’ve been told by a couple of friends that this is their dream job – I want to do it justice. To be deserving. To remember the perks no matter what goes wrong, to remember that I am blessed to be here at all.

Champagne Twilight - Lombok Flower

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

Champagne Twilight - Lombok Sunset

On finding my stability.

What this week has taught me very quickly, is resilience. What do you do when you realize that your bank card expired due to the bank’s error on their end (a perfect coda to an enthralling four month saga), yet the only way to make international calls is through Skype on the world’s most temperamental internet? How do you live in the moment trusting things will work out, knowing you are likely to have a crucial interview in December you absolutely must be in Sydney for, knowing the shoot goes to mid-December? Sure, New York and LA were no walks in the park, but being on the road for 3 months is a whole different beast.

What do you turn to when you lose the stability of having a familiar place to come home to, a warm bed, tea before bed, the routine that keeps you grounded and sane? Who can you lean on when you stagger into your room emotionally drained, drenched in sweat, shaky and tired to the bone after a long day’s shoot knowing the next day you’re going to get up and show up again? Who’s going to be there when it counts – understanding that while this is a dream job, it is still a job, and there are rivers of blood, sweat and tears involved? Photos always show the best parts, they hardly ever reveal the hard work behind it all.

“Spiritual resilience is our ability to be a candle in the window. Sometimes we are that candle. Sometimes we seek that candle.” – Christina Baldwin

Champagne Twilight - Lombok Dinner

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

How do you come to terms with not knowing your schedule or whether you will be getting on a plane until the night before? This is the life I chose for myself as I committed to the entertainment industry; not knowing what i’ll be doing on any given day, living a life of spontaneity. I love the freedom and the excitement, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Yet balance is key – and I find myself longing for that home base. For LA and my old apartment on Larrabee. For Netflix before bed. On shoot, the experience is intensified. Early morning runs on my off-days, morning pages and sitting by the beach for a bit before breakfast are my escape. Routine is key. Creating it for myself so I have something to hold onto.

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

In this day an age, we are so interconnected with our friends and family online that I find myself having anxiety when I can’t have access to the internet. It’s not that I need to be talking to them constantly, it’s knowing that the option is there and that help isn’t beyond reach if it’s needed. After all, we are in a strange country with very different customs, where we don’t speak the language. Once we find the humor in it all, it’s actually pretty funny how much effort we go to to get that elusive internet connection – from standing in the bathroom (the only place it works for some) to other inane tactics. I’m actually one of the lucky ones with decent connectivity from my bed if I battle it out every 30 mins to stay connected.

Champagne Twilight - Lombok Sunrise

Champagne Twilight - Lombok Sunrise

On resilience.

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Gustav Jung

Have you ever thought, seriously thought about all the things that could possibly go wrong on a shoot? Now I know. Think visa issues, flights being cancelled or turning back, crews stranded at the airport, schedules being completely redone as the result of one mistake. How do you keep your cool when the dominoes begin to cascade? What does it take to be a professional. No matter what is going on in your life outside the shoot, bringing a smile and enthusiasm.

Champagne Twilight - Lombok

Champagne Twilight - Lombok
Champagne Twilight - Lombok

“No one ever got to the top of a mountain in one giant leap. Challenges can be overcome, and goals can be reached, but it can only happen one step at a time.” – Doe Zantamata

It can only get easier as we all fall into a routine and momentum begins to build. Once again, taking it one day at a time. Trying not to get stuck on the big picture – it is overwhelming – yet also knowing where you’re headed on the other side. In the meantime, practicing gratitude, and knowing that those who keep you grounded are there when you need a shoulder. Every day is a new beginning.

Thank you to Holiday Resort Lombok for such a gorgeous week.
http://www.holidayresort-lombok.com/

 

 

 

 

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