Monday, January 31, 2011

I Hope 2011 Gets a Little Better

January has been underwhelming.
This last day leaves me bleeding to U2 videos and drinking tea.

Saturday was a revolutionary day in my brain that ended with less revolutionary behavior. After a month straight of panicking and self-loathing and taking it all out on the wrong people, I hit a low point this weekend.
Saturday morning, I was told I'm the luckiest one. I laughed it off, mostly. Then I thought about it - I'm not lucky, I've got a job to do, and God has been very insistent, despite my best efforts, to keep me on track. My mind wanders...
At church that night, the whole sermon was about God having a plan for every life. It's not enough that there is an ideal life that we've been given perfect tools for - we have to accept it as our assignment. I say I've done that, but I realized I've been rather lazy. And I say that in nearly every one of these blog entries, but it's true. I should be doing so much more. And I just don't. (For a number of reasons which all probably deserve separate bloody entries all their own this week.)
I suppose 2011 is mine to make better, and I suppose I will.
Right now, I feel a little embarrassed at my laziness and at how this must look to everyone else. I'm "lucky" and I whine and whine and whine.

It's not something I'm going to be able to change over night. But I need to toughen up and do it. I am finally accepting this mission.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Holidays, Stress, and Writing Through It All

I finished the marching show. It was too long. They're "bastardizing" it. Such is life.

Sunday, at around 4:15 am, I will leave my apartment for a 6:00 am flight from LAX back to Illinois. It's been about a year since I've been home, and I'm excited. And oddly nervous. It's been one hell of a year. And it's gone by so quickly.

On the upside, being home means I won't have a car or too many plans - I'm a total homebody when it's that cold - so I should be able to get a lot of writing done. I'm hoping to work on the treatment for Paul and get it into shape so we can start on the script in the new year.

While I'm excited to see my family, being home always freaks me out. There aren't many pleasant memories from high school, and I haven't kept in touch with too many people from ol' Rock Island. :-P Chicago is the main event, even if it is for only two days. I love that city, and I love the people I know there. It will be great to see some of my closest friends - people I talk to nearly every day without actually seeing. To catch up in person will be wonderful.

And through it all, I hope to get a lot of work done. I want 2011 to be more productive in terms of my writing than 2010.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Year of Wishes

Because 22 is 11+11, Paul declared it was a year of wishes. According to The Rules, he says, I get a wish every day. I think he made it up, but I've decided to keep a journal of my wishes - to pray about them - and to see which come true.

Tonight, I'm going to focus on the marching show. I have some of the music and a breakdown of the movements, so I'm really looking forward to writing it.

A second draft of the treatment is due by Christmas.

I'm hoping to find some time to lay down an outline for my Job story by New Years.


I survived my birthday, and I'm really looking forward to the Six Flags trip on Saturday. Hopefully, everyone will start getting back to me about the driving situation!

Now, to work off the massive amounts of food from the past week.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

(Adjective) Thanksgiving and the Obligatory "I'm Thankful For..." List

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. While I'm stoked that I have 4.5 days off work and live in California where the weather is perfect for hiking, I cannot help but look toward tomorrow with immense trepidation, fear, and all-out loathing. Celebrating with a vegetarian-friendly bunch of hipsters in Koreatown, only half of which I know and a quarter of which I can tolerate, two-thousand miles from my family is not the way I would have chosen this day to go. But people close to me in my life have this nasty habit of ignoring me in November. It's been a recurring theme throughout my life, always ending in extended-family dinners where I am invisible and birthdays (mine is in November) that I'd rather not remember. Thinking back, as I've been inclined to do lately, I realize that November Incidents are about 20% of the reason I spent so much time in therapy. Haha.

HOWEVER... and this is a huge and wonderful HOWEVER...
In the sentimental and true spirit of this holiday, I, in my snobbish, bratty reluctance to enjoy tomorrow at all, believe that I have more for which to be Thankful than anyone else I will be celebrating with tomorrow. Yes, I said it. I have lived a life that has been primarily free of struggle. At lunch with a friend today, he brought up the idea of "rich people problems." He was referencing how people in third-world countries have almost no food allergies despite being hungry most their lives. Though I am not wealthy, the obstacles I have faced in my life have been products of blessing and privilege. While this in itself is a reason to celebrate, I'd like to flaunt my blessing, if only to make myself feel a little better about being lonely in a crowd on a holiday... again.

1. I have an amazing job, in my line of work, with amazing coworkers. Yes, it can be stressful, and yes, I'm "just" an assistant, but I'm an assistant to a President of a prolific and successful company. The other assistants in my office are good people who have shown nothing but kindness and patience as I have struggled through my first year not only at this company, but my first year working full-time at any job. I've also got a boss who has integrity - such a rarity in this industry. She is also incredibly kind, and has given me an opportunity that few other people would have. And she bought me a Kindle for my birthday, which is pretty great. :-P

2. I live alone in a comfortable apartment in a great neighborhood. When I am home, I answer to no one, and it is a dream come true. My neighbors leave me and each other well-enough alone, but also have the courtesy to keep the building clean and say hi when passing on the stairs. The rooftop view is perfect, and I have a parking space... in West LA. And like I said before, this is Southern California, and I can hike any time of year.

3. I have minimal student loan debt due in part to amazing parents, in part to some scholarships, and in part to obtaining my BA in two years.

4. I have an amazing immediate family, and, for the first time in my life, I have a solid relationship with my younger brother. My parents are together, they love each other, and they love my siblings and I. We may fight sometimes, and we may disagree, but at the end of the day, we have always had each others backs. My little sister is growing into a beautiful and interesting person, and my brother has finally found purpose and direction in his life. We also have two of the greatest beagles in the history of beagles - Snoopy ain't got nothin' on Jack and Lola.

5. I have three friends that I only see a few times a year since moving out here, and I still manage to talk to them at least every other day. Nathaniel, Christine, and Jim - if you're reading this, I love you all. These are three people who are immensely intelligent and talented, but who actually think I'm worthy to be privy to their thoughts. It blows my mind that I should be so blessed with people who have stuck by my side despite distance and difference.

6. I am in good shape, and in even better health. Although I HATE doing it, I work out several times a week, and I have been seeing results. I've also limited my cheeseburger, beer, and soda intake to a much healthier amount and am currently focused on not being a social-smoker. Tomorrow will test that, but I am glad for my health and fitness.

7. I've finished a draft treatment, I'm meeting with the writing partner to discuss it tonight, I'm making headway on a marching show, and I'm actually following through with this Job idea - even if it hurts sometimes. Finally, I'm becoming a writer.

8. I belong to a socially-conscious, growing, and living church that seems to truly pursue Christ-like goals. While I believe my home church is getting there, being in Los Angeles has electrified my faith. This church has provided me with a support system. And because we are all the church united by God's love, it's the one place where I feel like I'm right at home.

9. I have a small circle of people out here that I feel comfortable calling friends. This is more than I could have said a year ago. Whether it's Todd who has been kind enough to take me to Dreamworks events or Lizzie who just gets me out of the house for some "girl time," I'm finally finding a social life that doesn't make me squirm in LA. Tomorrow notwithstanding, of course. I'm also attempting a relationship - something very new and altogether terrifying for me. And he's a good guy who puts up with as much shit from me as he gives out himself. (That was a terrible sentence, and I apologize, but I'm not fixing it.)

10. Tuesday I will be twenty-two. Everyone else at this bullshit Thanksgiving will be older than I am, and most of 'em don't have half this list. HAH!

UPDATE: Today was rather spectacular, and I feel a bit bad about being such a brat all week. The food was good, the people charming, and there were bagels and salmon spread. In all, a very good day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One is the Loneliest Number, but It Gets More Done

I finished the treatment on Monday, sent it out on Tuesday, and wasn't read until this morning... after I left to go home. The argument has happened, I'm over it, but it's part of the process, so it's being published.
Working with another writer who is reluctant as I am to sit down and get to work is going to be a tricky business. I'm sure this is the first of many arguments, but hopefully it will all lead to a final product that works better than we do. Haha.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm Finished!

Okay, so it's far from over, but I love quoting Daniel Plainview any chance I get. Though, it is slightly ironic to be quoting him in regards to a treatment for a script that I'm working on with a partner.

It exists in some sort of workable form, this treatment. It's like a shoot of a tulip. They look so stupid trying to climb out of the ground, a little weak torpedo amongst the melting snow. Then, after a few months and some melting, tulips! Probably not a great analogy, but you'd never guess those stupid little shoots that always seemed too weak to survive the last throws of winter could ever become one of my favorite flowers. That's this treatment. Weak, thin, sort of pathetic, but with loads of potential to be beautiful.

Today also marks my year anniversary with my first job in the film industry. It's pretty amazing - one year, and I still learn more in some single days on the job than I did in all the time I spent in film school. One year. So much has changed, inside my head and my heart, and outside in the parts of the world where I exist. It has gone so fast, and yet so much has happened, I feel like it could easily have been two or three years.

Life is so strange. I try so hard to fit most my days into a routine. Looking back on this past year, though, I don't know how I can have ever been bored.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Singing in the Rain

Did about three hours of writing today on the treatment. It's finally taking shape. Vaguely, but I can see something there now. It should be finished by Wednesday at the very latest. It is still rough, but I understand the story, where it's going, and how it fits together thematically. It will be fun to go through it with Paul and start fashioning a script.

Honestly, though, this treatment shouldn't be as difficult as it has been. My confidence, for whatever reason, has been ridiculously low lately. I really need to learn to relax. I enjoy writing, especially writing like this, because I feel like there are no stakes attached. It's this incessant desire to impress everyone, this apprehension that I will make a mistake with some unknown dire consequences, has gotten to be too much. I'm exhausted, and it's not worth it.

The marching show has been coming together as well - I finished a very rough first draft, and I've been reading Poe to better capture the tone that the band director wants. It will be fun to start working on that in earnest later this week.

Hopefully, my disposition will return to sunny this week. I don't think I can handle this insecurity anymore. It's exhausting. And I don't like crying outside of movie theaters.