Dear 18-Yr-Old Me, Gear Up! You’re Going to Enter the Filmy Chaos

Dear 18-year-old Salona,

Before we get into this, stand up, breathe in and pat yourself on the back. Congratulations on being an adult – you can now vote, drive, enjoy alcohol (albeit, only wine) and even get married. You will also find out that as you grow older, you get more and more confused about what you really ought to be doing vs. what you feel like doing.

There will be times when everyone else around seems to have everything sorted. This is usually untrue. A lot of them have just settled into a routine and there will always be curious ones like you who never really “settle”. These are the people who usually keep trying different things in their quest to find what they love and don’t bother too much about what they ought to be doing. These are also the same people who keep reinventing themselves and building character with each new experience. So don’t be afraid to be that person – I promise you it is the best way you can live your life. There will be hits and misses along the way, but that is the only way you’ll become fearless.

(L) Salona at 18; (R) Salona at her current age. (Photo Courtesy: Salona Bains Joshi)

I know that right now the world seems like a tornado of choices being hurled at you from every direction. I know life is throwing you curve balls when you aren’t even ready to come to the pitch. I know it’s hard. But that’s the thing. Life IS hard sometimes. It’s unfair. It’s frightening and unpredictable. But it’s also so much more than that! And when you realise (because you WILL) that under its onion-like layers of failure and difficulty, life is beautiful, you will know you’ve lived it the right way. Your heart and your mind will always be at loggerheads, but you’ll find a way to make the right choices.

“How?” There lies a courage within you that will vanquish these demons. Every. Single. Time.

Even when this courage fails you – because sometimes it does – life has a way of making things work out. Remember when you thought you wanted to have nothing to do with the film industry? You did everything else – from studying Economics, to doing your GMAT to working for an investment bank for a year, to slowly warming up to the film industry and saying: “Maybe I’ll just do the business side of things” – to finally landing up right in the middle of the chaos – as a creative producer, making movies!

Everything worked out and all those experiences made you a better person and better at your job. I know there’s nothing else that you (and I) would rather be doing today. So don’t worry so much about being right and just focus on doing what feels right in that moment. You may make a few mistakes along the way, but I promise you, in the end you will come out stronger, smarter and happier.

So just sit back and enjoy this ride – It’s going to be a good one!

Warm regards,
Salona Bains Joshi