I’ve managed to complete two whole screenplays and enter both of them and a partially completed third into screenplay writing contests. (You can click the ‘Screenplays’ tab above to see what they’re about.)
I’ve managed to complete an original novel on a subject matter I’d never even considered tackling in the first five months of 2011. And not only did I complete the thing, I actually got it published! Go figure. (You can click on the “TAKERS” book cover in the right sidebar to check my novel out on Amazon.com.)
I have this author blog, where I can try to make a difference or, at the very least, encourage people to think about things they might not otherwise consider. I get to throw my opinions around on everything from movies to writing to the entertainment industry to life in general. That’s definitely new. (I’m still not sure anyone cares, but hey, it’s fun!)
I was accepted into a wonderful ohana by Danielle Martin with the website Hawaii Five-0 Online, and given the opportunity to enjoy interacting with fans of Hawaii Five-0 and do some really fun work with Danielle and the whole gang there.
I’ve expanded my family to include people I wasn’t born related to – like the above-mentioned ohana as well as some others - but have grown to love much more than the ones I was born related to. Funny how that happens.
I’ve also started chipping away at whatever it is inside me that’s been holding me back for the first thirty-nine years of my life. In 2012, I’ll turn forty…and wow. I’m not entirely sure I’m totally aware of the fact that this means I will have been alive for four decades. I know I certainly don’t feel like I have. And in terms of what I really want to do with my life – and have since I was a child – I’m only just barely getting started after nearly forty years on this Earth.
And so for anyone who actually reads these things that I post (GRIN), if there was one thing I’d want to convey to you as we prepare to embark on this journey into a new calendar year, it’s this: don’t waste time doing what you think you should, or what the people around you tell you that you should, or what society dictates you should, or what everyone tells you that you ‘must do.’
Don’t listen to the naysayers, who tell you that you’re too-fat-too-short-too-tall-too-skinny-not-smart-enough-the-wrong-sex-not-talented-enough-it-won’t-pay-you-enough-it’s-not-a-real-job-you-can’t-make-a-living-at-that-etc-etc-etc.
It’s not that I was ever personally told any of that as a way of steering me off-course from becoming a professional writer. I never actually expressed the desire to do so, however, because in the time and place I grew up in, I was taught that you had to “get a job” and you had to “get married” and you had to “have babies and a white picket fence, to boot” and all of those things small-town America tries to force down your throat.
No, I’m not dissing small-town America, those of you who love it. I do miss some things about the dinky place I grew up in, sure. But the wrong turn I took, was listening to the people around, and listening to what society, my school, my church and my family told me instead of following my heart. I do regret that, because I’m getting started way late in life on this road to becoming what I truly am meant to be.
However, the reality is that I can actually, finally say that I have started. Officially. And I don’t care if you’re a ten-year old kid or an eighty-year old woman…or anything in between, above or below…if you have something that you’ve always wanted to do, something that you’ve always loved, please don’t let the people in your life – or what society or your church or any other “entity” that influences you says – tell you that you can’t, you shouldn’t, or say, ‘what the hell’s the matter with you?’
Like Nike says: Just do it.
It’s brought me a lot of positive results so far, this “to hell with it, here I go” attitude I managed to develop this year. I don’t regret for one second the difficult decisions and massive life-changes and alterations I had to make to myself and my circumstances in 2011 to get to the beginning of this new journey for me. Sometimes doing the thing that’s best for you, isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s quite painful. But if it’s the right thing to do – which you won’t know until you try – then it will all work out the way it’s meant to.
So from someone who’s been there, done that, and burned the tee shirt at the stake, I offer you nothing but my own personal experiences from 2011 and all the years that came before it, and what I’ve learned from it all so far: Life is what YOU make of it. Nobody else can live it for you.
Just try whatever it is buried deep down inside that you want. That’s all. Just try.
Happy New Year to everyone! May 2012 see your dreams become reality…