A Letter to My Future Self

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This time last year I was in such a different place that I can barely even picture myself. I had a normal, college schedule. I was working for Frequency TV and starting to plan out the semester’s worth of web series episodes. I was filling out applications for study abroad. I was spending long nights in with television and long Sundays with friends from church. I suppose some things don’t change.

Since my life right now would be hardly recognizable by my former self, I want to preserve where I’m at for my future self to remember better. I suppose this is a letter to myself in a way. A letter to my future self so that I can remember where I was and look back to see how far I’ve come a year from now. Perhaps more.

Dear Future Self,

This week in the first week of school. School is a loose interpretation of what’s started this week after labor day, the week after Terra Nova (was it as good the second time?). This week you started two internships in Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

The Hollywood office feels official and real. The Beverly Hills office feels glamorous and exotic simply because of it’s location. This is your life. You are really working, really living, and really existing in part in this industry. And I hope that’s still true. Plans for these two internships include working hard and finishing my final semester strong.

Meanwhile, you’ve also been starting to meet with your old class – Drama writing, SiLA – weekly. Not that you’ve got anything to show for yourself yet, but it’s a work in process. Writing hasn’t been coming easily lately, but you’re hoping that a more solid schedule with school will help that along. Or it will hinder it, it’s hard to know right yet.

You’ve been blogging fairly consistently for the past year. It’s been a great system without really putting much of a system in place at all. July and August were harder months, but you seem to be back for September…. for the most part.

Every day is a choice to either write or not write. Unfortunately, lately the choice has been not. It’s not that you don’t want to, it’s just a choice that you seem to be making unconsciously. Focus. I believe that it can happen and that means that you much believe too. Pray about it. Never stop praying.

Speaking of prayer, this month you are set to join the church you’ve been going to in LA. You’ve been going to MOSAIC since Easter, and from then to now you’ve joined two community groups (one neighborhood, one college), gone on two retreats (SHE retreat and Terra Nova), and have been attending the early evening service and the mid-week service. They’ve just begun a weekly Wednesday gathering.

The community there is fantastic. Lean on them when you’re uncertain. Grow into those relationships. I hope you have already, but always lean in. Lean into your MOSAIC community and the old Columbia friends in whatever way possible. Go play Ultimate Frisbee. Because you haven’t been to a yoga class since you left San Francisco and it’s starting to show. Because what you really need is a good session at the climbing gym, but no one seems interested. Because living alone can be great, but also isolating.

In fact, I don’t even know that you live alone still. You do now. With a tiny studio apartment and no air conditioning. It’s a love/hate thing. Perhaps you are settled now into a house with four roommates. An apartment with one. Or still the same, ever the same. Whatever it is, right now you are living alone and for the most part that is a good thing. All the mess is yours and there’s no one to tell you to clean it.

You have been using a scooter to get around. It’s a wonderful thing. The time that’s lost in speed (not much) is gained back by squeezing between cars while they wait at a stop light. Your scooter seems a bit rickety sometimes, but it gets the job done. Once or twice a week you park it at the pump closest to the convenience store, pay two dollars in cash, and fill the entire tank. You don’t think that will ever get old.

I hope you are still living, working, and thriving in Los Angeles.  It wasn’t quite what you had been imagining, but it seems that God’s imagination is better than yours.  Go where he leads you, always say in reply, “Here I am Lord, send me.”

Here is what you were, and here’s to whatever you’ve become.

Much love, and God Bless,
Your Former Self

This Will Be: September 2013

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September is my favorite month. Probably because it’s my birthday month. And TV premiere month. And Emmy month. And the beginning of school month. And the beginning of jacket weather (well, in normal climates). Gah, I just love September so much.

Things that will happen this month include a few things that were teed up in August that will come full circle in September. In September I will become a member of the church I’ve been going to. I will be starting my final semester in college, despite being hundreds of miles away from the college I’ll be attending. And of course, this month, I’ll be going on a camping trip that I am in the process of planning.

I constantly seem to be forgetting my word for the year, fearless. I realize that what I need to do is set an even more specific goal each month within the larger goal for the year. September will be to set fearlessness. That sounds a little bit odd, but looking at what I want for this month my goals seem to mostly be to set more goals. Is that silly? Maybe.

But it’s also really timely for me. The beginning of the school year always seemed like a more logical time for me to set goals then at the beginning of the calendar year. Coupled with my birthday, setting goals is the perfect goal for me this month. A month of goal setting and routine making.

Some routine setting goals include washing the dishes, making my bed, and doing quiet time every day. I’d like to go to the library once a week. Coincidentally, DVDs can be checked out for only a week, so if I get one DVD every time I’ll be all set to come in every week. I will also have a lot of scheduling to do once I get my syllabus’ for my classes (syllabi?).

I am also going to spend some time out of the next two weeks coming up with goals for being 22. It seems that the new year is the time to set specific goals for the year, and my birthday is a time to set intentions for the year. I’ll use this time as a way to check in with myself on my calendar year goals as well as ponder what I’ll be doing with myself a year from now.

What are your plans for September?  Any big goals you’re got in mind for the month?

Good-bye Summer!

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I’m excited for summer to be over. Fall has pretty much always been my favorite season. It comes with pretty colors, cooler temperatures, and the ability to wear lots of layers.

Now that I’m in the land of perpetual summer, I’ll just have to settle for slightly cooler temperatures. It’s no secret that I’ve been hating the heat here in Los Angeles. I don’t have air conditioning, so I’m dealing with open windows and a few fans. I’m dealing with it by eating lots of homemade popsicles, hiding in air conditioned places, and trying my best not to move.

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Heat isn’t the only reason I’m excited for summer to be over though. This summer in particular has had more than it’s fair share of craziness, and I’m excited that all that crazy seems to be winding down. I started the season in Los Angeles, went back to San Francisco, and then returned to LA again. I’m done moving for a while, and I’m so glad to be staying in one place for a whole year.

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This summer has included some pretty awesome things. I got to reconnect with old friends. I got to spend time climbing, yogaing, and photographing. I got a chance to learn from some truly fantastic people, and get to know some people who I’m certain will become some of my dearest friends.

This summer gave me a taste of what the future could be. Conversations with smart, creative people and growing into my own work and experience. And while I’m excited for all of those things, right now I’m just glad that fall is on the horizon. My last semester or remote learning will give some structure to my life, and (hopefully) the change in season will give me a bit of a break from this heat.

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The best thing I did to help, was actually coincidental. I cut my hair to go along with the #hairforhazel and #itgrows back campaign, and wound up with a cute (slightly uneven) bob. Not only is this fantastic for wearing in general, but this style also fits neatly under my helmet so now I don’t have to worry about my hair getting caught in my helmet or jacket. I donated 12 inches of hair, sent it off last week. I hadn’t been expecting to go short again, but it seems to have worked out to be perfect timing.

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What was the best thing that happened to you this summer? Are you sad summer is ending, or excited about fall?

Good-Bye My San Francisco

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I have a “Book of Lists” dating from probably the beginning of high school in which the first list is places I want to go. When I wrote it I was living in New Jersey, watching too much TV, and not really enjoying school. The list is full of domestic and international cities on every continent, and the first place on the list is my San Francisco.

When writing this list I had no way of knowing that that far-away place would become my home. I am so glad and grateful for my family’s cross-country move, for all the people I have met though church, school, and happenstance. And as I move to LA (again), I am saddened to think that an era may be coming to an end. Soon I will be not only moving myself and some of my belongings to a new city, but within the year I will also be changing my official address with the state to say that I live in Los Angeles. This is a bitter-sweet moment.

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I remember very clearly my first time coming to San Francisco. It was November 2008. Our six hour flight got in very late, and we took a taxi from the airport to our hotel. I remember looking out the window as we flew down an empty Market Street and thinking to myself, “Soon this will be home.” The next day I went to a Waldorf Open House where I met Allason, still one of my best friends.

In January I packed two suitcases, got on a plane, and came home. San Francisco was home almost immediately. My sister and I shared a bedroom in a temporary apartment we called the IKEA showroom. The place had no decent knives and everything was either white or black. It was an awkward layout and we never invited anyone over. But all the same I was home in this new city like I had never quite felt at home in suburban New Jersey.

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I took a bus and a rail-line to get to school, quickly deciding that my MUNI pass was my ticket to freedom. I could go anywhere in the city. The electric buzz of the bus lines took me to my first In and Out. The bell of the California cable car took me to the Farmers Market. I could ride the bus for hours at a time, I didn’t even care where it took me.

The heat wave that April happened to coincide with our performance of Once Upon A Mattress. Of course, the week that we spend in tights and long dresses under hot lights rehearsing and performing for hours, is the hottest week of the year.

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At the end of the school year my dad and I schlepped stuff from the IKEA showroom to a new rental apartment on Fillmore. My parents were very specific about what they wanted in a house, and we didn’t want to rely on the temporary apartment anymore. When I first saw the room sister!Emma and I would share I cried. The apartment was the same size as the IKEA showroom, but with more of our own furniture. With our pots and pans and table and chairs we invited friends to our home in the hood… Yeah, we had accidentally moved into the Western Addition without quite realizing what that meant.

For a year we spotted drug deals while waiting for the bus, and don’t forget my mom’s interesting interaction with a pimp while on the way home from the grocery store. I fell even more in love with the city and the fog, layering sweaters, jackets, and scarves. My senior year in high school included two plays and cast parties on the bus, Teatro Zinzanni, a trip to Joshua Tree which ended with me sitting next to my backpack on the 31 bus, and a re-introduction to rock climbing.

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On my last week as a senior we bought a house that is walking distance from my school. Yes, really. And so I spent a summer in my beautiful San Francisco and then left for Chicago. I love Chicago too, but it’s a completely different kind of love. In the past three years I have had the privilege of calling my San Francisco home. San Francisco is the smallest of the large cities, a place where you can run into your high school drama teacher at the Farmers Market. It’s a city of hills and fog, of bonfires so windy it forces us to retreat. Of free knit cap night at the ballpark in mid-June.

San Francisco is a city that will forever stay in my bones. A city that I never want to move away from, but can’t help but leave. Because as wonderful as it is, it isn’t the city that holds my dreams. Somehow, inexplicably, my dreams seem to be held in Los Angeles. Despite the traffic and the sun, I am drawn to the studios and sprawl. My place is in a writers room I have never been to, next to writers, producers, camera people, and talent, most of whom I have yet to meet. And so I say a sad good-bye to my San Francisco to cautiously enter a new world. Good-bye San Francisco, we will meet again, this much I know, I can only hope and pray that it is on good terms.

From My Lens: Seattle in Pictures

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I wanted to share a few pictures from my weekend in Seattle… you know, about a week late.  I went to visit my friend Allason and we got a chance to hang out with another friend from our high school and see some of the city.  Al has also been an intern for the Seattle International Film Festival, so we got to go to one of the SIFF parties so I could meet some of her co-workers.

These pictures are mostly from the Ballard Locks, and from the Olympic Sculpture Garden.  Allason also took a bunch of portraits of me in the Sculpture Garden, one of which is my new profile picture.

I’ve noticed that I tend to be drawn to geometric shapes that appear in everyday life in my photography.  I like the order that they allude to, while at the same time, there is usually some amount of randomness in the frame as well.  I don’t know what that means for my photography (if anything), but I like the affect.

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The One With the Mid-Month Update

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I leave for Seattle in less than an hour and I’m not even dressed yet.  I suppose you could call this weekend a celebration of the end of the semester.  As of today I am officially a senior in college.

As I mentioned on Monday, this semester has been a bit wonky.  Between living at home, Semester in LA, apartment hunting, and moving back home, I’m glad to be officially and solidly DONE with this semester.  While I’ve been unofficially done with classes since early April, this week marks the end of the semester in Chicago and Saturday will be my school’s arts festival.  Not that I’m going to be there.

Along with that goes a huge congratulations to my friends who are graduating.  I know a handful of people really well in the class of 2013 and I adore them all.  Congrats to Sarah, Veronica, Ray, Lauren, Ryan, Liz, Jeff, Courtney, and many others who are gleefully done with classes for the foreseeable future.  It’s been wonderful to know you for years or even just months, and I can’t wait to join you.

On a semi-related note, my mom is leaving the country on my sister’s birthday.  My baby sister turns 19 this weekend!  Whut?  She’s taking summer classes in Boston, so I wont get to see her this year, and we just keep missing each other.  She comes home the day I start summer school in LA.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

Halfway Mark

I never really cared much about my half birthday until a few years ago when my friend and I decided that we were internally 7 and 5 respectively and we turned the next age on our half birthdays.  That said, I am “turning” 8 this year, specifically  last Wednesday was my half birthday.

That being said, halfway is a great place to check in with my goals for 21, the things I thought of when I turned 21 that I wanted to do during the year.  From this post, my goals were:

  • being intentional about my choices
  • establishing a habit of devotionals
  • scheduling time to get things done
  • routines for… health, beauty, photography, and blogging

How’s that for vague and ambiguous?  I’ll start with the things that I’ve done.  I’ve done very well with establishing a habit of devotions.  While I don’t know I would claim to have a routine for blogging, I have been keeping up with it quite well.  Meanwhile, photography has majorly stalled.  There has been no movement on beauty routines and any movement made on health over winter break has come to a screeching halt upon moving to Los Angeles.  I will claim to have been pretty good at scheduling over the fall semester, but that took a nose dive over the break.

As to “intentional choices”, the most ambiguous of them all, I’m really not sure how to respond to it.  I made the choice to come out to LA to do this program, something I didn’t foresee last September at all.  I spent a lot of time praying about it, and especially praying about where my life will go after moving.  Will I stay here or go back to Chicago?  As I’ve said multiple times through this transition, I have a lot of options and none of them suck (at least from my perspective).

But does praying over a decision make it “intentional”?  I’m not sure.  What about other choices I’ve made?  Since September I’ve gone to industry events in Chicago and LA.  I’ve made many knitted things and spent time with friends and family near and far.  I’ve gone home for Thanksgiving, and then spent two and a half months living at home.  I’ve started and finished many a television series.  I’ve planned and plotted a few of my own TV shows (both in reality and in the hypothetical).  What makes any of these things intentional?

The think that seems to be missing from this intention equation is what the intention should be leading toward.  It’s hard to have intent without a goal set in that intention.  So what was my goal in setting this intention last September?  Honestly, I’m not sure there was one, and I’m not sure what I would add to it now.  In intend to make the most out of the opportunities that have been given me, but that’s still not measurable.

Perhaps the best way to go about it is to say that instead of making my choices with “intention” whatever that means, I want to consult God when making be decisions.  That is measurable and solid.  With changing to that as a goal, I can say that I have done that so far this year, and I hope to continue doing it.

I don’t know what opportunities will be available to me in these next six months, but I know that whatever choices I make I want them to reflect God’s plan for me.  He has a perfect plan for my life and He will tell me what to do next.  I don’t know where it will lead, but I know He’s got this.

And who am I to mess with God’s plans?  Nobody, that’s who.

What Moves You der Film

 

I didn’t know I was waiting for this until it arrived.  They have just released the trailer for the documentary shot during What Moves You, the Eurythmy conference I participated in last July (read my thoughts).  I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a movie in my life.

When this showed up on my Facebook feed last Saturday I watched it on a loop for a half an hour, doing the movements from the pieces they show, recognizing and remembering the things that went on during that month of preparing and performing; seeing people I knew, and even a clip of myself and getting so excited despite understanding only a small handful of what was said.  I shared it with every social networking platform I have an account with, liked it, subscribed to the channel, and now I am sharing it with you all.

It has been just over seven months since we took our bows on our final performance, but the relationships I gained and strengthened over the course of this program, the knowledge I came to, have made it an unforgettable experience.

Eurythmy is a strange language to speak, but I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the project that is bringing it to a slightly larger stage.

As I eagerly await the next announcement of this movie, I can’t help but wonder in where it will take me.  In many ways it is too soon to tell what taking part in this project has brought me, but I have seen in myself already a better awareness of the world, a pride in what I’ve been a part of, and connections all over the world.

To What Moves You: here’s to the hope that we will all be friends for many years to come.  Here’s to the connections we’ve made and are holding onto.  To where we’ve been and where we’re sure to go.  You are all in my heart every day and I cannot wait for the day when we meet again.  Because of course, WE WILL MEET AGAIN.

This Will Be: March Edition

In so many ways this month is still a giant question mark.  With only one full day in the semester so far, I’m not entirely sure what I will be doing this month as far as school goes.  And honestly, the only thing I’m planning on focusing on, is school.

If rumors are to be believed, my classmates and I will be writing a spec script each, listening to guest speakers and hopefully getting to ask them some questions.  We will be discussing things in class and among ourselves.  Along with classwork, I am hoping to get to know my classmates better.  I know most of them from school in Chicago, but we will be spending lots of time together. Good thing I like them already huh.

Despite not having a car, I am hoping to do some exploring of Los Angeles.  Because I’m in a new city and this is what I do.  Time to break out the Saturday morning plans of exploration and look up obscure destinations to find on Friday nights.  I’m excited, even if no one else is.

I have about half of the month planned out and scheduled blogging-wise.  Since most of my energy is going to be focused on school, I’m just focusing on maintenance this month, nothing fancy.

Meanwhile, my series of post about Angel (starting here) have been getting a little bit of attention (from The Sunnydale Herald on LiveJournal) and I’m happy to hear it.  If you came for Angel discussion and stuck around, thank you!  May I direct you here to learn more about me and here to start my series of post on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Also, feel free to check out my television tag to see the other TV stuff I’ve been thinking about.

Other things?  Easter is coming up (ish) at the end of the month (I gave up microwaves for lent), so I will be church shopping to hopefully have found a place I like by then.  But mostly, just school and trying to figure out how to get around the city since I don’t have a car at the moment.

This Has Been: December Edition

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December has been a month of endings, as it usually is.  The end of the year, but also the end of the semester, the end of my time in the Uptown apartment, and the end of my time in Chicago, at least for a little while.

The month started with Renegade, the moved through the last weeks of the semester and a full scale photo shoot.  Along with the end of school can saying goodbye to good friends, classmates, and co-workers.  Some of these people I’ll see in LA in a few months, but others were hugs to last for a long time away.  I will miss them all terribly.  Yes, the internet helps, but chance meetings are rather infrequent on facebook (we should all switch to Twitter and Google+).

Meanwhile, I packed up my apartment to the tune of Annie and cleaned the place like I don’t think it’s ever been cleaned before — with mom’s help of course.  A whilrwind of family and boxes has followed me to San Francisco where I am uncertain of where to settle in to.  My time here so far has been saturated with good friends, lots of tea lattes, and a healthy dose of rain.

Christmas was tons of fun and has left me now working on projects and watching lots of TV (and not all that I’m in control of either).  I’m now wrestling between trying to come up with a schedule for myself for the new year and wanting to leave my time more open.  So many decisions, so little time.