Though we're on day 23 of the New Year, it's still fresh enough to take stock of where we've been and where we want the next year to take us. We recently celebrated Lola's 14th birthday. That is a milestone for any dog, and honestly, any pet owner. You know you did something right by them when they reach any age over 10, really. But as I think about all the progress she's made since we adopted her at age 3 - from overcoming food aggression to learning how to play, and finally coming into her goofy, sweet, sassy personality - I also think back over those 10 1/2 years and, boy, have I tackled some milestones too.
Since then, I've reignited my faith in God, which without that alone, nothing else I've done since would have happened. It is through my faith in the Lord's plan for my life that has gotten me anywhere! Since then, I had the epiphany I needed to work in film and television; I got to sing the National Anthem at a minor league baseball game, which was a bucket list item; we went to Kauai, where I stood by the Jurassic Park trees (!!); I've been to Harry Potter World twice, and went to a Price is Right taping; I earned my MFA from a program that invigorated me and empowered me, and really changed how I look at the world. (For any writers, I highly recommend Stephens College's MFA in TV and Screenwriting!)
Through my MFA, I was mentored by industry insiders, toured studios multiple times (another huge bucket list item), and made some great friends. On the other side of my MFA, I've given a presentation on my favorite TV show, and am currently working on a book review for an academic journal. Oh, and I've finished a draft of a feature screenplay, on my own, which before this program was a nearly impossible task.
All these things have made a difference in me and my outlook. And looking back at all the milestones, both big and small, I'm optimistic about the milestones to come. There's a lot I haven't accomplished and a bigger difference I want to make in the world around me. I view the new year as a beautiful, glowing door welcoming me to the next 10 years of milestones. I'm nervous, because with good, bad tends to follow, but with God guiding my feet, I'm excited to take that next step forward in faith.