Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Goals for 2015

As January creeps to a close, I realize that we're already one month into 2015 and I still haven't figured out what goals I want to set for myself this year. Resolutions, goals, dreams, plans, whatever we may call them, I always try to start the year with an idea in place of where I want my year to head. I know that can lead to disappointment, but usually I'm quite happy with the results. Every December, I like to look back on my year and figure out what I could have done to make it better. Usually, I just recognize that I did everything I could and life happened and that's that. And as with every situation, I conclude the year by saying NO REGRETS.

2014 definitely had it's crazy ups and downs and 2015 is shaping up to be much the same. What good is life if there isn't a little crazy sprinkled in there for fun? As long as crazy is only a sprinkling, I'm okay. But, what is crazy? Is it an insane schedule? Is it not finding that balance between work and life and everything in between? Is it the annoying neighbor, who might actually, seriously be a little crazy? To kind of, but not really, quote Forrest Gump, "Crazy is as crazy does."

Like attracts like.

So, this year, I want to attract the things that I'm attracted to, and that I constantly attempt to embody in my daily life:

  • Peace
  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Fun
  • Spontaneity
  • Success
  • Prosperity
I want to accomplish things:
  • Complete our feature film and submit it to film festivals
  • Attend film festivals
  • Travel somewhere
  • Go to school to study cinematography
  • Continue writing my novel
  • Accomplish the unexpected in film (at work and in my personal life)
  • Figure out that work/life balance
  • Run a few 5ks
  • Really delve into the film world and learn, learn, learn
  • Write more in my other blog (holy shit, has it really been over a year?! BTW, I am still living a cruelty-free life)
  • Volunteer for something
  • Save more animals (although, that's a double edged sword because my house is already full)
And, I should probably stop. I could go on all night listing all the things I hope to accomplish this year. I will NOT set myself up for failure and unrealistic goals. So, my list is full... for now... although I'm sure I can always find more things to add and hope for and strive for and accomplish.

No regrets in 2015. Except maybe that damn bag of chips I just finished. Although, it was really tasty. Yeah, I don't regret it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Connecting

If you're lucky, which I hope you are, you will be blessed by the company of others. There are multitudes of people in this world and to be able to connect with even a handful of them, is a true gift. I have just spent a week connecting with people from around the globe, and I must say, I enjoyed every minute of it.

I work for an international company and with that comes international employees. This past week was spent in all-day meetings, discussing various aspects of our jobs, our team, and our connections with other teams throughout the company. In truth, I had a blast. I walked away from those meetings pumped about my job and full of fresh ideas that I will be able to explore and hopefully implement in the coming year. This week was fantastic, but what really made it great was the people. Our team consists of four people from Boise, one from Amsterdam, three from India, two from South Korea, and one from China. Our cultures and lives are different - we eat different foods, speak different languages, and follow different paths.

Growing up in Hawai'i, I was exposed to many different cultures. Seattle was much the same: different people, different lives, all trying to "make it" in the world. After leaving Seattle, however, and spending a couple years in various areas of the west, my world got a little smaller. There wasn't as much diversity as I had found when I was a child of the 80's. Moving to Boise in 2005, had condensed my world even more. Running an international internet shop did help close the gap between myself and the rest of the world, but those were online relationships and while they were as real as the relationship between myself and the person I share a cubical with today, we never got to see each other face-to-face; we were merely online personas.

This past week, I was given the opportunity to meet the people that I only converse with via email and an internal chat system. We got to HANG OUT. We ate meals together, shared pictures of our families, laughed hysterically when we didn't understand each other, and shared favorite recipes. We experienced life together for a brief week in our otherwise mundane lives.

After friending each other on Facebook and sharing long hugs, we went our separate ways. My new friends are still in Boise, either eating, sleeping, or shopping for gifts for their loved ones, while I sit at home drinking and writing, but I'm pretty sure we're all still floating off of the highs we gave each other this past week. When that little notification pops up that they liked a picture I posted of them last night, I know that we're thinking about each other and remembering the fun times we had in the snow (and office). We are colleagues and friends, people who were brought together based on the work we do. And someday, I hope to visit them in their hometown, to finally utilize my empty passport, and enjoy their food, their lives, and their cubicals.

We create our own lives. The relationships we build, the friendships we have, the lives we live are our own creations. My week could have turned out much differently - it could have been awful - but I chose to enjoy myself and really get to know the people that I share a portion of my life with every day. I am a better person for knowing them and I look forward to traveling the world with them. Until that time, however, we will enjoy our short weekend and I'm sure we'll all have emails waiting for us on Monday morning, when we return to our regularly scheduled program.

Life is ever changing, people are always moving, and love is always flowing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Video Request

Movies, movies, movies. I LOVE movies. I love watching movies and I love making movies. 

It has been my dream, for as long as I can remember, to create movies. In the past I only wanted to be in front of the camera. I was good at it. I'm sure that I'm still fairly good at it. I loved being the star. Everyone looking at me and complimenting me, it felt good! That's not exactly WHY I wanted to be an actor, but it did play a big part in my desire. After moving to Boise and realizing that the dream of being in film could be a long-shot indeed, I focused my energy on efforts behind the camera. Writing, directing, producing, and everything else that most people don't consider - costuming, gathering of props, set-design, editing, and more. In the process of learning all of that behind-the-scenes stuff, I realized that I absolutely love creating the entire film. There is so much more to working on all aspects of a film than just showing up on set and reciting some lines. Yes, I know that being an actor is more than that - I was an actor for years - but there is something to knowing that you did it all. There is also definitely something to doing it all that makes you want to pull your hair out and causes you to question every decision you've ever made in your life because this one.day.on.set.is.the.worst.day.ever. And, although that last statement is not an exaggeration, I wouldn't trade being on set for anything in the world. Film is my life.

Why then, is it so difficult to create a two-minute video about myself? Not only do I create films in my personal life, I also create videos for the company I work for. So, film 24/7 is my life. DREAM JOB!

We have a team meeting coming up this month and one of our tasks is to create a video about ourselves. I kind of helped spearhead the whole idea, so there's no one to blame but myself, but still. This is a tall order! I make videos for other people! I tell their story. They give me the basics of what they want to share with their audience and I make it happen. No problem, because I'm not making a video about me.

And, before I get further along on this blog post, the irony of writing about myself is not lost on me. I get it.

I'm all for this project. I am honestly looking forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with. They have to give me their videos and then I have a week to put them together to create another video that highlights everyone on the team. It'll be fun! I love when other people make videos.

But, I still don't know what to say about myself in my own video. I really don't. My life is pretty exciting. I make films (sometimes spending 10 days off the grid in a cabin filled with friends) that get accepted into film festivals, then I attend those festivals and sometimes get really drunk and thoroughly enjoy myself. I belly dance, I officiate weddings, I've organized a few film festivals, I've broken a couple bones, I've lived. But to turn a camera on myself is a bit daunting. That side of me, the actress side, is hiding and she doesn't want to come out.

I guess this is a tough task. Now I know why the rest of my team has been complaining and may secretly want to hurt me. Whoopsie! I just challenged everyone to do something that forces them to walk on the creative side of life. To talk about their lives and share bits and pieces of themselves with their coworkers! Oh the humanity! It is a request that should not be looked upon lightly. 

I guess I had better figure out what I want to say and how I want to say it. I can't back down from a challenge.

Friday, January 2, 2015

As We Enter 2015

2013 was a year of travel and although I didn't leave the country, I did hit Hawai'i, Seattle a few times, California, Vegas, and Hawai'i again. My adventures in travel ended that December when my foot popped off my leg, but it did begin an adventure in healing and understanding my own strengths and weaknesses. When 2014 hit, I went through massive depression, so deep that I am unable to write about it at this time, but also an urgency that I had to do something with my life. I threw myself into film - my own personal projects and BFUG, our film festival that we had been developing since mid-2013. Film has always been my life, but after realizing that I am not invincible, I set my shoulders straight and got to work. Our production company, Two Cats Fighting, made our first feature film. I completed a couple of rewrites on my original script in the early months of 2014, and by May we were having pre-production meetings with our cast and crew. We shot our feature over the course of a couple of weekends in June, ten full days back-to-back in July, and a couple of weekends in August. That has to be one of the most incredible summers of my life. Once shooting was over, we completed editing on a three-part music video that we had been working on since July of 2013, and finished a documentary that we had shot in April 2014. Last year was filled to the brim with film and that was just in my personal life.

In June, I was offered the position of Rich Media creator for a large tech company in Boise. To say that my dream job had just become a reality, was an understatement. I mean, sure, it's not Universal Pictures or Miramax, but it is working behind a camera and creating video content every.single.day. Within my first two months I was tasked with creating a documentary (of sorts) for a 30-year partnership that this company has had with another tech company. My video was shown to over 1000 people as I sat quietly in the middle of the room watching their reaction. It was my biggest live audience to date. Then, in November, I was sent to New Mexico for a week-long shoot where I ran the camera for almost eight hours a day, five days straight. Then I got to edit that beast. And it was fun.

I've never traveled out of the country, with the exception of going to Canada before you even needed a passport, so I have yet to see the world. I had always figured that my work in film would send me to exotic places and that's how I would get to travel the world. One could easily say that my travel days in film are just beginning and although I have yet to be sent to Bora Bora, New Mexico was a good start.

So, yes, 2014 was my year of filmmaking and self-realizations. The realization that I am on the right path. The realization that I can do this. The realization that I am good at making films. The realization that I can love myself. The realization that I need to bring travel back into 2015.

Although I have yet to truly determine my goals for this new year, I can promise that I am off to a good start. On January 12th, I begin a new journey at work, one that will take me down the path of more learning, more doing, and more filmmaking. One that is full of hope and the possibility for more travel and bigger projects. I have an idea of what direction I want my life to head this year, but I need a few more days to figure it all out. To really put down on paper what I want those goals and resolutions to be.

On the personal-project side of life, I know that we will complete editing of the feature we shot in 2014. I keep telling everyone that we hope to have it completed in the spring or summer of 2015, and I am holding myself to that statement. Our film festival, BFUG, already has a couple of scheduled events and has been approached by a few other festivals/events in the area that would like to work with us. We're heading down the right path as long as we can keep up with the demands and continue nurturing the love we have for film. Our three-part music video has been submitted to the film festival circuit, so we're just waiting for our acceptance letters (rejections come too, but I like to focus on the positive), and we're exploring festival options for our documentary.

Two days into 2015 and I'm enjoying the thought of how awesomely busy it will be. Life is on the horizon and I am going to live it as best I can.

Love, hope, and peace to everyone as you walk into 2015 and experience all that it has to offer. Love your options and accept your choices. You only have this one life to live as you - give it your best shot. Focus on the good and let the bad slip away with the passing of time.