As TIFF draws to a close, I have a dirty little not-so-secret: I didn’t attend one party, one gifting lounge, or one film premiere or screening. I didn’t even see one. single. celebrity. I don’t hate movies, or festivals, or even parties. My priorities this year were just…different:
1. I was absent for the first big TIFF weekend due to a long standing family tradition that I’ve begun participating in. It’s an annual camping weekend with family and family-friends that I didn’t want to miss. In the past few years I have really put my family as a number one priority in my life because I’ve realized how lucky I am to have such awesome people in my life.
2. The green-eyed monster reared it’s ugly head, and I killed it before it could breed.
At first, some invites trickled in. And then I got mad that they were only trickling in, and not pouring in like everyone else made it seem like they were. I was having thoughts like
I SAW ON TWITTER THAT SO-AND-SO GOT INVITED TO SO-AND-SO LOUNGE AND I TOTALLY DIDN’T AND WHYYYYYYYYYYYY.
As soon as that thought fluttered through my big entitled head I took a step back and decided that if I was annoyed that I wasn’t getting invites then I definitely wasn’t in the right mind frame.
3. Since I quit my job one month ago to start my own business, I have built a roster of new clients. Some I started with a month ago, some I started with a week ago. What would they think if I was doing a less-than-stellar job but my Twitter stream was full of TIFF partying and my Instagram was full of party dresses and vodka? I want to impress my clients, and that means staying in some nights and hitting the keyboard or jotting down ideas in a notebook instead of going out.
4. The insignificance of TIFF really hit home for me when I was doing some writing as a part of my work with the Canadian Red Cross. I wrote a short Photo of the Day post on a special summer camp in Japan that is helping children affected by the earthquake and tsunami last year recover in a low-stress social environment with children who have been through the same traumatic experiences. The post is short, but I found a mini-documentary in my research on the current situation for those living in Fukushima hit home. How can I be upset that I’m not out on red carpets in fancy dresses with tons of celebre-babes surrounding me while I’m reading about people who can’t return to their homes and fear that all of the food they ingest will be full of radiation that could kill them? Sometimes it’s hard to go from writing about serious stuff happening around the world and then covering the “hottest parties in Toronto”.
TIFF coverage suddenly didn’t interest me and my new-found perspective made it much easier to sit down and hammer out a report and a few articles for the Red Cross that will hopefully be posted next week. You can see what I’ve written for them so far by clicking here.
I hope I’m not being hypocritical; I’m still attending and reviewing events, I’m just trying to maintain some perspective and not worry if I have to miss an exciting party or don’t get invited to one I wanted to go to.
Will I be back at TIFF next year? Maybe.
Do I regret missing this year? Not at all. (Really)
While it is easy to sit here and go green about all of the awesome things other bloggers in Toronto are doing, at the end of the day I can only do what I’m doing. And I couldn’t be happier with that.
I’m realizing the importance of me doing things to keep me grounded: Next week I’ve got some amazing content on the docket for Canadian Red Cross and I’ll be documenting my first attempt at a 3 day juice cleanse with Raw Juice Guru. I’m also hoping to get back into my yoga routine and I’ll be reviewing the gym at 99 Sudbury thanks to an amazing Buytopia deal ($29 for a 2 month unlimited membership).