Rejection can be inspiring

I received a rejection letter today. I’m not going to get into what it was for - it doesn’t matter for this post - and there are aspects of my life that I simply don’t want to share on this platform. What does matter is how it made me feel. Honestly? How do you feel when you receive a rejection letter? Not that great, huh? I mean, I wasn’t planning my life around receiving the opposite of a rejection letter, but I did have some hopes tied into it. I almost wrote that I had dreams tied up in that letter too, but I’m not sure that I actually did. In fact, for a few weeks before receiving the letter, I had come to the realization that I probably wouldn’t receive the outcome that I was looking for. There was just something about it. And I realized that what I had originally been seeking when I applied for the thing that this letter was in reference to, had changed. I no longer wanted what I had asked for. My life had already moved on and I had prepared myself for rejection. Yet, in holding that letter in my hands after a rather difficult few months, it felt like the nail on the coffin. I’d finally hit the bottom.

But wait.

After texting a couple of friends about how this rejection made me feel; about how I should just quit making films altogether; find a new career; find a new passion; find a new life; my thoughts surrounding the rejection started to change. Especially when the response from one friend in particular was basically: Fuck you, you don’t get to quit. She didn’t say those exact words, but that’s the abridged version.

Fuck you, you don’t get to quit.

What felt like a difficult and heartbreaking blow, not devastation (remember, I’d already prepared myself for this), changed within minutes after texting with her and another friend. They’re filmmakers too. They get it. They fully get what it means to have the mind and heart of an artist who wants to create and be loved. And when you get told, NO, not today, your mind goes into a tailspin and you then have to convince yourself that you can still create and you are still loved and you are good at what you do. And fuck that.

So, I have a new film to create. This letter kicked me hard in the gut, the ass, the tit, my neck hole, my entire body. It kicked me when I was already down, because I am going through some personal shit and it does not feel good down here. It was that one last thing that I needed to throat-punch me, then immediately force my head back into the game, pick myself up, and keep moving forward without this letter of approval that I thought I wanted. I don’t need what I thought I needed. Life shifted between my application and this rejection letter. Life shifted so much that I was even rethinking and regretting what I had applied for. Hell, my life at this very moment has already shifted from the moment I woke up this morning! And I have a damn pimple on my face to prove it now!

I have a film that I want to create. The idea came a few weeks ago while talking to a couple of my brunch buddies at my weekly Sunday brunch. I have a film and within minutes of opening and reading that inspiring letter tonight, this film flashed again into my mind and heart with such ferocity that I know that this film is what comes next. I still have my film festival to build, I still have my day-job, and I have a good number of films I’m creating for local nonprofits that my heart and soul are fully vested in, but this new film… this one is special. I’m creating this one for me. And I’m going to do it without approval.

Leadership

I spent my Friday night attempting to project manage my life. I started last night and finally came up with a way to manage my life via excel spreadsheet. It’s colorful and will work while I develop my plan and my life for the next several months. Throughout the week, on multiple occasions, I got hit by the reality bus. It was traveling full-bore and instead of stopping to pick me up, it just ran me over. I did things that I’m not proud of. I sunk lower than I’ve ever sunk before in my adult life and because of that, there has been a dark cloud hanging over my heart all week long.

I used to be an avid reader, but with my time restrictions, I rarely have the opportunity to pick up a book. Instead, I listen to books on Audible during my 20-30 minute drive to and from work every morning and evening. I’ve fully stepped away from fiction and have immersed myself in self-betterment books. Anything from lady-power, to running your own business, to unfucking yourself, to books on leadership and spirituality. I listen, I consume, and I attempt to live my life as a better person. I also listen to, and read (because these books are in physical form over audio form) books about genocide and what we can do to prevent these atrocities from occurring again. I identify with a lot of what I listen to and always take away key learnings that help make me a better person, leader, lover, and friend.

My current listen is Brené Brown’s book, “Dare to Lead.” In it she talks about being a better leader, communication, listening, empathy, and shame. I’m about half-way through the book and I am learning so much and understanding what I need to do in my own life to be a better leader, someone who can lead not just the launch of a nonprofit and film festival, but someone who can lead her own life. Which is why the low that I reached this week and the devastation I feel in my heart is more than my soul can bare. But I will bare it and I will grow from it and I will become a better person because of it - that’s what leaders do. At this time, I cannot write about what happened, because it could be detrimental to my career and my life. Some things you just have to keep close to your heart until you’ve cleared the pain and rubbish and can talk/write about it without repercussions.

Enough of that.

Brown’s book on leadership is what I need in my life. I had an epiphany at work today. Epiphany might be a bit strong of a word, but I noticed something. I received an “urgent” email from someone who has equally been struggling at work - too much work, not enough time, no time to recharge in order to tackle our tasks-at-hand; mistakes are made and we’re left scrambling to hit deadlines no matter how we get there. In reading her “urgent” email and providing her with a couple of solutions, I realized that I’m not the only one who struggles. I know this. I’m not so egotistical to think that I’m the only one, but sometimes you get so wrapped up in your own bullshit that you can’t see past your struggles, you can’t see past all the muck to realize that there are people out there who are your allies and your compatriots in struggle. And once you both make it out on the other side, you can take your day off (if you’re lucky), breathe, and recharge.

Recognizing that everyone faces the same, yet different, struggles is what a friend and leader practices. We’re in this together. We’re in life, work, living, loving, growing. We’re in all of that together. Attempting to take control of my own life by project managing my life outside of work is the start that I need to be a better person. To make sure that I hit my goals. To make sure that I come out on the other side stronger and a better leader. And to make sure that I complete all my projects on time and with grace and dignity.

I haven’t touched on grace and dignity yet, so I will briefly before I close this blog post out. (If you haven’t noticed, this is a string of consciousness post - my favorite way to write.) My personal trainer is an incredible man with a lot of insight not only into the human body, but also into the human mind. While he’s making me squat so-many-pounds, or lift so-many-pounds, we’re also diving deeply into the philosophical mind and how that relates to our mind, body, and spirit. In working through a really difficult breakup that’s been going on for way too long, he reminds me to approach it with grace and dignity. Two things I feel like I practice in my life, but to be honest, ever since my divorce (or maybe even my entire life) I don’t do grace or dignity very well. On the surface, sure, but inside and in my private communications with myself and a few close friends, I do not follow through with either of those. I slip. I’m a mess. I acknowledge that and I’m working to change that. Along with working toward being a good leader in whatever capacity that might mean. Even if it is only leading my own life, I will lead it with grace, dignity, and love.

Stream of consciousness over. Mic drop, but not really. Time for bed. Those should all be hashtags. ###

It's a Start

This morning, I saw an empty can of Budweiser laying in my front lawn. I didn’t take the time to pick it up this morning as I rushed to work. It lay there all day, under my tree, collecting pollen and bugs until I got home and had the chance to pick it up and throw it into my recycling. First it was meth, now it’s cans of cheap alcohol (last week was wine-spritzers). The neighborhood is upgrading to more legal forms of self-medication. I write this as I sip on half a bottle of cheap-red-wine, pulled from the bottom shelf of the local grocery store. I write this, because my other option is to continue to feel sorry for myself, crawl into bed before 9pm, and sleep. Admittedly, I need sleep, my average of 4-5 hours a night is really taking its toll. But the part of me that can’t fully experience “down-time,” has convinced me to do something with my life tonight. So, I write.

For years, I wrote in a (different) blog, every single night. About life. About love. And about the business that I carefully built and nurtured for five years. But life moves on and I wouldn’t be where I am today without that business and without closing that business to create a different life for myself. A life that is so vastly different from the one I started when I moved to Boise in May of 2005. Back then I was married, I owned my own business, I rented a shitty half of a duplex, I cooked three well-rounded meals a day, and I was unhappy. There were definitely moments of happiness and my goodness nothing can match working for yourself - it was rewarding and difficult all at the same time, but being my own boss was extraordinary. And still, I craved more. I always have. It’s a thing with me.

That craving has become unbearable over the last seven months. It started in October after a two-week business trip binge. In two weeks I traveled from Boise to Palo Alto, to San Diego, to Atlanta, then back to Boise. Less than a month later I was in Seattle, followed by Hawaii. A month later I was in New York. Then came Vegas. California and South Carolina were next. Then Cambodia (along with quick stops in China and South Korea), and again Vegas. And now I’m looking at canceling my next trips to California and New York in June, because life changes, things happen, and our focus readjusts (also, work requires me to stay in Boise). That craving for more is still there, and travel fills in pieces of that craving, but there are still pockets of want and desire. Pockets that when left unfilled, torture my soul. That sounds a bit dramatic. There are more important things in life than needing to fill my soul, and I recognize that, but if I don’t attempt to fill those voids, I lose the parts of myself that are inherent to my person, my growth, and my life.

This past weekend, I told my ex-boyfriend to move out. We have been living together for almost two years. The last seven months, we’ve been living together as roommates, not romantic partners, and I have to say that these have been some of the more difficult months of my life. Imagine living with someone whom you love so very deeply, but you just can’t be with them romantically. I won’t get into it, that’s too much and too personal for this public forum, but I tried to change my outlook on what a “normal” relationship should look like. I did my best to adjust my views on relationships. This is 2019, NOTHING is like it was when we were growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. The world has changed, but my values haven’t. And I value myself too much to live with someone who didn’t want me as a romantic partner. So yes, I’m taking time for myself tonight to self-medicate on cheap-ass wine even though my therapist told me not to. I’m not getting wasted, I’m just enjoying letting my brain get a little mushy, and my fingers get a little loose, so that I can write this blog post tonight, and regret it when I wake up.

I write tonight and I write all of this, because I want to document my journey into a new life for me. Last night (Thursday), I hosted my first meeting for a film festival that I’m building, creating, and plan to host in Boise in the spring of 2020, and beyond. I gathered friends and filmmakers to join me for a conversation and a sharing of ideas. We all walked away ready for the future of bringing films to Boise. Films that make a difference to an audience that doesn’t realize yet what we’re missing in this little town. Make a Difference Film Festival launched last night as an idea that is coming to fruition through passionate and like-minded individuals who support and appreciate film, nonprofits, and supporting our community. This film festival will be the start to a lot of change in many lives.

I’m not doing this because I’m bored. I’m not doing this because I need to keep my mind off of my past relationships. I’m not doing this to heal myself. I’m doing this because I see a need, I see an avenue to share film, and I want to promote Boise’s film and nonprofit communities and I think I have the right idea to make that happen. Also, I’m ready to be my own boss again.

I could write more. I could write about my recent relationship, or the relationships I’ve had with various people over the last seven months who have shaped me in ways I could have never imagined. I could write more about my successful film festival meeting last night. Or I could write about how I’m in the process of selling my current house and buying a new one because I’m ready for that change in my life too. I still live in the house I bought with my ex-husband and the dark negativity in this place is enough to make anyone want to leave. The house is fine (I say to any future investors), but the energy that has been built up in here for the last 6-years has really made this a difficult place for me to call “home.” Plus, I hate split levels, I always have. You walk in and you’re immediately forced to make a decision. Do I go upstairs? Or do I go downstairs? And how do I shut this door because there’s no room for my body and this door to close! I could write about the energy that alone creates - to be forced to make a decision as soon as you step one foot into this house. But I won’t, because I think that’s pretty obvious. Plus, I’m now out of wine.

In death

I am in a constant state of up-and-down. My emotions run over me in ways that I have most certainly experienced, yet it feels so foreign, because there’s something new that’s affecting them this time. I have lost many friends and family over the years, as have we all. Some of these deaths have been natural and as time saw fit (my grandfathers for example). Some have been completely unfair such as my “Other Mother’s” passing a few years ago - she was hit by a drunk driver in the early morning in Seattle - and this past weekend’s tragedy of my friend who was killed while helping someone on the side of the road. He and I haven’t even really spoken since I left Colorado back in the early spring of 2001. We commented on each other’s facebook posts from time-to-time, but there were no conversations of note. The thing is though, there didn’t need to be. We knew we loved each other. We LOVED each other. Just as he loved every single other person who crossed his path. That man loved and you knew it. He was such an incredible light in an otherwise dark world. He was beautiful. And I know that I am most definitely not the only person who is affected by this. But my goodness, this one hurts.

I found out on Sunday night. I couldn’t stop shaking and crying. I texted friends, I texted my youngest brother; I was not alone. I went to work on Monday and had moments where I cried in my cubical, or in the hallway walking to the damn bathroom, but work helped because it gave me something to focus on. It wasn’t enough though. Today was easier. I was a volunteer filmmaker at a local event to introduce high school girls to STEM. The morning was tough, I couldn’t stop thinking about him as I pulled my camera out of my bag, set my white balance, and went on to chase high schoolers around with a camera. As the morning wore on and I focused more on what I was there to do, my brain and emotions stopped working so hard and I really connected with the event, the program, and the excitement of the young ladies who were learning about new opportunities. I actually forgot about MYSELF until it was time to pack up and head home at 2pm. I worked from home for about an hour-and-a-half, before attending a panel on AR/VR and where it is heading world-wide and more importantly, here in Boise. I networked, I promoted myself as a filmmaker, I learned about AR/VR something I know very little about.

…and then I got home. And it hit again. I forced myself to eat, because tomorrow I see my personal trainer again and I need to consume the right amount of carbs, protein, and fat. I am an incredible cook and tonight’s dinner was a bland plate of shit. I got into an argument with my roommate. I am in no way angry at him, but he said something that made my mind explode with anger toward the person he was talking about and my own situation. I felt defeated, disrespected, and disheartened. I was done. I am done. At least that was how I felt after OUR - scratch that - MY - yelling outburst.

Then I started writing content for a project that I am incredibly blessed to have been asked to participate in. An incredible friend whom I met for the first time in New York last month invited me to collaborate with her and other women+ on a project of great proportions. She knew him too. She feels it too. We text each other. I’m pretty sure that we’re crying together. Writing for a project that I believe in helped tonight. As soon as I completed that content, I received a message from the director of a local nonprofit that I’m working with on a project in March. My energy immediately changed and I felt life returning to my aching heart.

I think it’s going to be like this for a while. This one hurts. Landen was light. He gave so much of himself to everyone and to this world. I want to be like him. Last night I danced for him. Tonight, I will do the same. And tomorrow night, and for many nights in my future. I will dance here in Boise, on my various travels around the world, I will dance, and I will help carry his light, because I believe that is now the duty of every single person who has ever met him. Carry his light. Let’s make this world a beautiful place, because that’s what Landen did every single day.

What the hell, America?

I have to talk about this.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsy604JHz_E/

(Below is a screenshot, not an actual video)

disrespect.PNG

I’ve stared into that face. Throughout my childhood and my adulthood. Absolute contempt for our fellow persons. That look hurts and I have spent a good portion of my day crying about it between video edits of a PSA for the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights about how Idaho is too great for hate. I.AM.WORKING.FOR.FREE.TO.MAKE.THIS.SHIT.STOP.

(This event did not take place in Idaho.)

I can’t look at that kid’s face. It hurts deep in the depths of my soul. My own family members have looked at me with that contempt.

I grew up a white Hawaiian in Hawaii. When I moved to the Mainland, I was a brown girl with an accent. One of my teachers, in elementary school, told me that I needed to “get rid” of my accent because it made me sound STUPID. A teacher. Someone I was supposed to trust. That accent only comes out now when I’m excited, or angry. It’s fun when I recognize what I’m doing - depending on the situation I can laugh about it, or remind myself to tone down my anger.

I have faced racism on so many levels. I have faced hatred. There are people in my life who absolutely would rather I not exist. That’s the look I see on this kid’s face. That’s why this hurts so much. What the hell happened in our country? Nathan Phillips, the Elder that this kid is staring at is a respected member of our society and this nation. What happened, America? We are better than this.

That damn hat says it all.

I will keep working to make this country a place that we can all feel peace. A place that we can all feel love. If it is only the few of us that open our arms to those who are persecuted, so be it. There are so many of us who care, who love, and who want to heal. Keep fighting, my friends. This shit makes me want to stop and give up, but we can’t. We have to keep fighting for peace. We have to keep fighting for our respected Elders. We have to keep fighting for our futures. We have to keep fighting to wipe that smug look off all the damn bigots in this country.

I love you all.

It's been a while

Let's see... since my last post in January about going to Sundance to show parts of my short film, The Unlost, a lot has happened.

In February, I travelled to Rome for work and spent two extra days exploring the city before heading back to Boise.

In March, I travelled to Cambodia for a week for a volunteer service project.

In early April, like this past week, I travelled to Las Vegas for NAB.

As of now, I have no solid plans for future travel, but I'm leaving it open for possible festival showings of The Unlost, more travel for work, and possibly more volunteer travel. For now, I'm content sitting at home with my dog at my feet and my three cats ignoring me, while I edit together a few documentaries about my trip to Cambodia and what 17 volunteers from Boise were doing there.

We only returned from Cambodia on April 1st, so I'm still trying to process my trip and what we all accomplished there. I was back at work that Monday, spent a week working and dealing with post-3rd-world-country-body-issues, then on Sunday, April 8th, I was in Vegas experiencing the world on a completely different level than that of Cambodia. Let's just say, my brain, heart, and soul are still processing everything. The world is a magnificent, yet heartbreaking place.

Without delving too deeply into the service project (I'm saving that for my documentaries) I will say that spending a week carrying around my own toilet paper and urinating in a hole in the ground, was a stark difference from walking through crowds of people wearing suits spending loads money on film equipment. I'm not saying that either of those lifestyles are wrong, or right, they're just different. And to walk into a bathroom in Vegas while attending NAB, was it's own experience after waiting in line to use a bowl of water to flush the "toilet" in Cambodia. Both of these aspects of the world are a part of my life, and both for similar reasons - FILM. I went to Cambodia to volunteer for a human rights project, but to also shoot a documentary for the non-profit organization that organizes this project. I went to NAB to look at all the cool new equipment, software, and hardware that is available to us filmmakers so that we can create these documentaries. It's a beautiful juxtaposition. And it's my life in this unexpected year of 2018.

While I have been quiet on this blog and in my personal life, it's not to say that nothing is happening. More than I expected is happening and I'm doing my ultimate best to keep up with all of it. I'm transitioning from full-time student/full-time employee for a large company, to full-time employee of a large company/full-time freelance filmmaker. My days, nights, and weekends are filled with film, while I also do my best at having a personal life. Those leaves from last fall aren't going to rake themselves.

Going to Sundance

Well, my ability to post nightly didn't last long, but hey, when you've got nothing to say, seriously, don't say anything at all. Life is moving at a speed that I'm having a very difficult time keeping up with. Between working more than 12-hours a day last week due to three big video projects, and starting pre-production on three music videos that are due sooner-than-later, I haven't even had time to clean my bathroom. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating that I'm balls-to-the-wall busy. I guess every time I wished upon that star and said, "I want to be a filmmaker," I didn't take into account how and when that would all happen. Because it's happening right now.

Tomorrow morning, I leave for Park City, Utah, to join the Idaho Reception at Park City on opening night of Sundance 2018. Clips from my film The Unlost will be showing along with other films that were shot and created in Idaho. The event is put-on to promote Idaho and all that it has to offer for filmmaking opportunities - location, talent, location, talent, (cheap locations)... you get the idea. My film has it all: incredible talent and a location to die for. I am thrilled beyond belief and honored to have been chosen for this event, which is in it's second year.

I'm going to Sundance.

Clips from my film will be shown.

I will be there promoting Idaho, my film, and myself as a filmmaker.

Shit can happen. Fun will be had.

Although it's always been a dream, I had never imagined that I would even get this close.

The Unlost doesn't stop here, I am in the process of submitting it to multiple film festivals around the world. It is a film that needs to be shared. Until then, and with only one night in Park City, I'll continue on my path of creating videos for a large corporation by day, and short films and music videos for friends by nights and weekends. Life is moving. Film is being created. I am blessed.

Before I left work today, I stopped by my studio to tear-down after today's shoot and prepare it for an upcoming shoot next week. Being in my studio is my quiet time. It is my peace. I meditate as I set-up for a shoot, without realizing that meditation is what's happening. The same thing happens when I tear-down a shoot. My happiness abounds in my studio, which I have nurtured and built for three years (anniversary date: January 12th).

In thinking about tomorrow and my trip to Sundance, tonight as I locked up I said goodbye to my HP studio as I know it today and hello to a future of possibilities.

Projects Galore!

Not much happened today, yet so much happened that I'm kind of shaking my head in wonderment at how I'm going to accomplish everything at work and with my independent film projects. I can do it, I mean hell, I just completed 32 months of full-time work/full-time school. It's not impossible, it's just a lot. I'll take my breaks when they're handed to me. Or, when I can create them myself. Speaking of, I'm going to bed. Late again tonight, for a 5am wake-up, but hey, I'm used to this. ;-) Plus, early morning wake-ups mean time for yoga. And that's my new thing now. And I'm loving it.

Day 3

I'm doing it tonight, because I said I would. I actually have a lot to write about, but I find myself at 10:30 at night needing to get ready for bed. Last night's five hours was not enough to survive. Well, I actually did alright on five hours of sleep, but it's not fair to get back into that habit so quickly. While I was in school, I was pulling 4-5 hours of sleep a night. I managed to make it through, but I was exhausted every day. There were a lot of afternoons where I would fall asleep at my desk. I don't think my eyes shut for more than a couple minutes, but it's never good to attempt to function in that manner. It's not fair to you and it's not fair to your job. So, I'll keep tonight's post short.

I talked to an ex-pro football player at the gym tonight for over a half hour. He had a lot of wisdom to pass on regarding fitness, nutrition, and life. A lot of what he talked about was in regards to football and training and training and training, which can be translated to what it takes to be a filmmaker. Practice, practice, practice. Every film we create, every opportunity we have to participate in a film project in some capacity is more practice for our art. Even if we don't feel strongly about the project, or just plain want a weekend free, if you committed to that film project, do it, with all your heart. At the same time, don't overcommit yourself. If you want a weekend to yourself, book that calendar for YOU! I need to remember to do this, my weekends are booking up fast.

Another thing he mentioned in regards to working out is quality over quantity. This is in reference to doing reps, like lifting weights. Don't speed through your weight lifting in order to do more reps, but lift with a slow and intentional purpose. The more intentional your lift, the more muscle you'll build. Again, this can be said for filmmaking. Don't rush through a film project just so you can say you shot something this month. Or because you feel left out because everyone else is making a movie and therefore I have to make mine!!! Make a quality film! Not more! Understand that pre-production takes more than just considering where in your living room you're going to shoot your scene. Production takes more than just showing up with a camera. Post-production takes more than just slapping a few clips together. Of course, there is a time and place for those productions and if done right, can be one hell of a film. There are 48-hour film contests that force a group of filmmakers to create a film in 48 hours, or less. These are valuable experiences, and I must say, some of the films that I've seen created for our local 48-hour film festival are crazy-good. These experiences, in fact, have helped me with productions at work. More often than not, I receive a request to create a video in less than a week, while also creating other videos, answering emails, attending meetings, and doing any other number of things that must be done in a 40-hour work-week. It's insane, but I do my best work. I give as much quality as I can, while delivering quantity. But in my personal films? Quality over quantity - always.

And that's more than I expected to write tonight. 11 minutes and this is what I wrote! Let's see if I can get in bed by 11pm tonight, so I can grab 6 hours of sleep!

Still Going Strong!

Made it to my second day of blogging! And that's about all I have to say about that.

Tonight is my first night without homework in nearly three years and guess what I've been doing since I got home? Sitting at my computer. I'm working through my director's cut of my thesis film, The Unlost, so have been sending messages to various people who still have a hand in post-production. I've also actually answered personal emails, which is something I completely neglected for the last 32 months. I'd answer anything important, but most of the time, I would mark my emails as unread and hope that I got to them in a decent amount of time. It's weird that I don't have any homework to do, yet I still find myself "working" on my various film projects after working all day at my day job on those film projects. Okay, continuing to work on films after I get home is not weird, that's just what I do, but still... I guess I have a difficult time sitting idle.

I bought a few books to keep me busy and help me realign with myself. I want to practice mindfulness and experience peace in all aspects of my life. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be. And while I was still ME while I was in school, I wasn't the best me. Life was rough. I would work, a lot, then come home and immediately sit at my computer to start my schoolwork. Weekends were riddled with homework and film projects and I got to a point where I was a big bucket of stress and nothing could stop the train that I was on. Perhaps that's why I'm having such a difficult time coming down from all of it. I'm not just a talker, I'm a doer. If I say I'm going to do something, I go out there and I do it to the best of my ability. So, I'm constantly doing. And I'm okay with that. We'll see how well I keep doing this blog - I still have my doubts. 

Speaking of practicing mindfulness and making me the best version of myself that I can be, I'm going to step away from this computer and start a yoga regimen from one of the books I bought last week. My goal is to be able to stretch again, feel good about myself, experience peace, AND lose those extra pounds I gained by the time I need to wear my nice pants again. So I don't have to buy new ones. I have about a month-and-a-half. OMG! I can do this.

New Year, New Blog

Well, here it is: The first day of 2018 and the first day that I *attempt* to blog *almost* every day for the entire year. Why? Because I feel like it. I think this will be good for me and I missed out on blogging about the last three incredibly difficult yet fulfilling years of my life. In 2014, I produced a feature film (still in post-production (more on that later, I'm sure)) and started creating videos for HP as a contractor. In 2015, I was offered a full-time position with HP (same as my contracting job, only now I'm official!), got a divorce, started attending Full Sail University, and dated a wonderful man. In 2016, I continued with school, broke up with that wonderful man, "dated," decided I didn't want to date AT.ALL, my grandfather passed away, and I found out that my neighbor was dealing meth out of his house. In 2017, my neighbor's house caught fire (the entire neighborhood is pretty sure that it was set intentionally), dealt with swat teams running through my yard, got back together with that wonderful man, traveled to Prague for business, the man moved in, I continued with school, shot my thesis film, and graduated from Full Sail University in December with a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Cinematography. GPA: 3.9. That entire time that I was in school? I worked my share of full-time job.

And here I am, now in 2018. School is over, I still work full-time for HP creating customer-facing and internal videos, my thesis film is in post-production with the director's cut, and I'm in pre-production on several short films for various friends. Today is my last day of an 11-day "vacation" from work (including weekends) and it was not nearly enough to wrap my head around the fact that I now have a bachelor's degree. Something I've been wanting since high school, but it was always out of my grasp due to life and that beautiful thing called "perfect timing," which doesn't exist, by the way. People keep asking me, "what are you going to do now?" Like, everyone I talk to. That's the question and honestly, I don't have the answers that anyone is expecting from me. No one in Hollywood offered me a job right out of college; I'm not moving to California, not this year as far as I can tell; and I'm still working full-time and have no plans of leaving a steady job with benefits. I own my own house, I have a sensitive dog that goes to day camp three times a week, and I have three really annoying cats that still need my complete support. There is an incredible independent film community in Boise, and right now, I owe a lot of people some short films for all the work they did for me on my thesis film. So what am I going to do now? Make movies for my friends, keep working, and attempt to sell this house despite the mess next door.

That's my life in a nutshell! I worked on my New Years resolutions, but I'm going to ruminate on those for the next few days to make sure that I've covered everything. I went to the gym today to start losing all the weight I gained from stress eating and drinking while going to school and I made my yearly-supply of veggie broth, something I haven't made since I started school. I'd say this year is off to a pleasant start, full of thoughts and silent moments in my head; wondering what's next?