Friday, May 22, 2015

The Catbus-Stop

A haiku I wrote after the meeting.
Last Tuesday I went to an International Game Developers Association (IGDA) meeting. In the meeting, Shane Shmit, talked about happiness in the industry. Part of that conversation was a historical review of the industry and game development. I was engaged. I took a lot of notes. I contributed. I got to meet local professionals. It was awesome.

My classmates and I showed off our junior project. It was a little last minute but we presented as well as we could. Want to know something? They were impressed! Shane said it was one of the best student projects he's seen. I was complemented for my visual effects work. I had a great time. I got a bit of the same feeling I felt when I went to GDC. I felt like myself. I felt whole and connected to who I am at a deep level.

When I left the meeting, (It happened to be held on UVU campus this time around.) I walked in the rain towards my car. My spirits were high. I felt great and my imagination started to go wild. Hearing the rain pitter and patter on the leaves took me back to my childhood.

I thought of Satsuki and Mei at the bus stop in My Neighbor Totoro. It's night. It's raining. They are illuminated by a lamppost by the bus stop. The guardian spirit of the forest, Totoro, joins them with a giant leaf on his head to keep the rain off. They both carry umbrellas above their heads. Rain drops collect on the evergreen leaves above Totoro. A drop falls on his head and a smile emerges. Totoro jumps and stomps the ground and all the rain drops fall from the trees in a deluge. The Catbus comes and Totoro bids the girls farewell as he boards.

I'm pretty sure if I waited a few minutes more, the Catbus would have stopped at the lamppost. I imagined the giant creature squeezing and crawling through the tunnel and stopping at the lamppost. He'd look at me with his giant chesire smile and invite me on a trip to some magical place--free of charge. That's where my mind was.

I realized a sign for when I'm being who I want to be. My imagination is active. I'm creative. It's when I know I'm in the right place and I can trust myself. When I'm imaginative and creative, I'm at the Catbus-Stop and I know I'm where I need to be.

How about you folks? What are the signs, or Catbus-Stops, that you're at your best?


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