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Wasting Away My Free Time

Wasting Away My Free Time
By Austin Baker • Issue #5 • View online
I want to come out right and say it; I love making this newsletter. It’s like the perfect weekly dump of my brain and catch up for the things going on in my life. However, I do want to make sure it has equal give and take! Have suggestions or feedback on the content in the newsletter? Leave it in the comment section at the bottom! I appreciate each of you taking the time to read through these to stay in the loop with my life but I also want to hear what you think. 

Free Time
When I was in college, I felt like there was too many hours in a day. I was working 3 different jobs, in many different clubs, and staying on top of all my school work; now, I barely am able to mow the grass after work before I’m ready for bed. What happened?
The short answer; I technically had more free time then. My jobs took up about 20-30 hours of my week where now I work 9 hours everyday (45 hours a week). The long answer is actually much more interesting.
The various jobs and activities I had during college.
The various jobs and activities I had during college.
I believe any time you start something new, there is a 4 year cycle; imagine it as the 4 years of high school. 
  • Part 1: Freshman (new and figuring it out)
  • Part 2: Sophomore (awkward teenage phase)
  • Year 3: Junior (grinding to make everything happen)
  • Year 4: Senior (reap the benefits and enjoy)
This is more of a rough expectation rather than a set timeline. Everything in life moves through these phases at some point in the journey. College followed this to a tee for me; I went through each phase during each year of school and had an amazing senior year celebrating my accomplishments. It wasn’t till about 6 months after graduation that I looked myself in the mirror and said, “Is this it?
One of the fun days working at WKRC Local 12
One of the fun days working at WKRC Local 12
When you graduate and go off to your first “big” job, you expect everything to change; this was the payoff you worked all those years at school for. What they don’t tell you is that you are restarting the 4 phases all over again. As a new grad (freshman in life) you are now required to go through the same confusion and struggles you went through in college. The big difference, and the thing that I struggle with, is that the timeline has now changed. Instead of getting out of the “figuring it out” stage in just a year, it might take several
One of my first days at my current job (Touchstone)
One of my first days at my current job (Touchstone)
The part that is interesting is how sometimes this process can speed up. Sometimes you fly through Freshman and Sophomore right into your Junior year grinding away. The main reason I wanted to bring this up is that every big decision has a process it needs to go through. There will be growing pains, but the more effort you put into a job, a relationship, or a side project, the more you will get out of it during the Senior Year phase.
Weddings!!!!!
When it comes to side projects, weddings are the pretty constant ones.
Brittany & Kyle Highlight Video
Brittany & Kyle Highlight Video
I don’t advertise or promote weddings, but if someone asks me to do one, I usually say yes. Summer has been a very busy time with weddings nearly every weekend (usually helping Katie but sometimes mine). Starting off the summer period, I got to capture two of my friends from college! They have been together since my early years of college so watching them grow as a couple has been amazing! It was so awesome to capture their day and turn it into a cinematic story
My favorite part was definitely their first dance. They had a cloud machine that encapsulated the entire floor and made it very dream like. I spent many hours just figuring out the structure of the story and I’m really happy with how it turned out!
My Favorite Movie of All Time
I figured I would get this one out of the way…I’m a huge cinema fan; I love movies and telling stories through a camera. So why then is my favorite movie animated?
A painting made about the movie (Atey Ghailan)
A painting made about the movie (Atey Ghailan)
There is so much to unpack as to why this film is so impactful to me. I am very much in love with the feeling a movie gives me. Most of my favorite movies are coming of age films that make me feel like a kid again. This film does that, but in a very different way. Over the course of my life, I have watched this movie only 10~ times; which isn’t a ton. This isn’t an adventure I can constantly return to; it’s an adventure that reframes my mindset on life each time I watch it.
Sometimes I laugh throughout the movie; sometimes I cry. There has been times I have simply looked at the screen with a blank stare and wondered why I am watching this again. Every single time I have watch it, I walk away with a different view on life. This changes over time as I grow up and experience more of life. The key to this movie is how the story makes you feel like a kid with endless opportunities, then rips it all away in the blink of an eye.
One of the joyous moments from Spirited Away
One of the joyous moments from Spirited Away
I have been intentionally hiding the name because most people might recognize it, but might’ve not given it a chance. Spirited Away is story a 10 year old girl and her parents stumbling upon a seemingly abandoned amusement park. What follows is her parents being turned into giant pigs, and the young girl (Chihiro) having to come to terms with life and growing up. This amusement park is actually a resort for supernatural beings who need a break from their time spent in the earthly realm. Chihiro is forced to work here for free in the chance that can free herself and her parents.
The premise is honestly pretty bonkers, but the actually story telling is much darker. We watch as Chihiro loses her parents and is forced into a life of working day to night. This resinates so close to home because I can relate to the crazy challenges she has to overcome. My life is nowhere as wildly unpredictable as Chihiro’s, but somehow I can correlate her actions with decisions I have made in the past.
The movie is also just beautiful
The movie is also just beautiful
This feeling of relatability is why I think Spirited Away feels different every time I watch it. No matter what I am currently going through in life, I can find a moment in this film to connect to. This film is not for everyone; it isn’t truly happy at all throughout the entire journey. I recommend this film to anyone who loves older adventure movies; movies that had several chapters of experiences. I implore anyone who wants to feel something different to give it a watch, and to truly think about your biggest life decisions. You can find it on HBO Max here.
Chihiro has to develop new "motherly" figures throughout the film
Chihiro has to develop new "motherly" figures throughout the film
Thanks for taking the time to read all the way through to the end (I know, this one is suppppper long, sorry)! I am playing with the idea of creating videos around different parts of the newsletter, but don’t know how set in stone that would be. I love dumping my head into text, but now I’m feeling the itch to turn these into videos. If I decide to do that, you’ll be the first to know if I do!
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Austin Baker

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