At the beginning of every year, I tend to configure my life, setting the course according the map of my choice, strategically planning out the things I want to accomplish, places I want to go, and milestones I want to reach, with the hope that at the end of the year, I reach the finish line with couple of those things under my belt.
At the end of every year, I am reminded that I am not in control - nor do I need to be in control. There are detours that turn into new destinations, pit stops that become exits, short cuts that turn into scenic routes.
The infrastructure of my life did not change this year. In the midst of the holiday season, I run into folks at parties that ask what’s new, and my favorite thing to say is “I live in the same house, go the same church, and work at the same company.” It can make small talk challenging at times, but lately I’ve been doing my best to embrace it. It is easy to feel an immense societal pressure in Nashville to be a part of the latest and greatest happenings. The funny thing is - when you feel a part of the latest and greatest thing, all you want is peace and security - and when you feel peaceful and secure - all you want is something exciting.
While the basic framework of my life stayed the same, I was surprised and delighted by the opportunities that came my way this year. I reentered the world of film production for the first time since high school, producing two projects on opposite ends of the spectrum - a black comedy short with Seth Worley, one of my new favorite people, and a Christian kids film with Phil Vischer, aka the creator of VeggieTales (and the voice of Bob the Tomato). Neither of these projects would’ve wound up on my plate without my company, Creative Trust - my talented colleague Paul Conrad introduced me (and hyped me up) to Seth, and Creative Trust’s working relationship with Phil enabled me to work on his latest project.
Jared Foldy gave me the resources and taught me the art of DJing, which meant I spent lots of late nights in my room blasting tunes from my ironing-board DJ booth (sorry roomie). We threw the most fun pool party ever and then he gave me a gig that he was asked to do on Halloween, which really forced me to challenge myself. I never would’ve expected to have found a new outlet through DJing. As my brother put it ever so eloquently - “You’ve come a long way since indie folk.”
Some things never change though - Sufjan was still my number one artist in the winter and spring of this year, and in the summer, there was a lot of pontooning - set to the soundtrack of my favorite new pop artist, Carly Rae Jepsen, whose album “Emotion” struck me like a 13-year-old girl. That said, this year was an emotional one - I believe I set a new record for the number of times I cried in my boss’ office - and the way I handled romance (or the lack thereof) ranged from that of a 7th grader to that of a mature woman. But for all the tears that abounded this year, there was infinitely more laughter. There’s no doubt that 2015 would’ve been what it was without the community of folks that surround me everyday - from new pals made at weddings or in the office, to old friends and family I reconnected with across the country from LA to NY, to buds who have stayed the course in Nashville.
So, while this year was nothing that I would’ve expected, I have arrived at the finish line with a full heart. I am excited and expectant for what will happen in 2016, looking forward to whatever path I am set on, and knowing that the finish line I cross will be the right one, whatever it is.