Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reminder: Walk Towards Your Mountain

It's been a while since I did this, but I've given the ole blog a little bit of a re-vamp. Partly because I like designing things, and partly because it used to state on the sidebar that I was a secretary, and that's no longer true.

After I lost my job at Alianza, I experienced this beautiful outpouring of love and support and kindness. I felt like I was grieving the loss of a loved one, and unexpected friendships showed up to help seal the cracks that formed in me when the school closed its doors. And now that I've had some time to mourn, I've also had some time to decide what to do next.

And here's what I've decided. I'm financially set for a few months--until December or so. And when we moved here to Utah, we moved here to pursue acting.

So...*deep breath*...that's what I'll do.


I'll audition like crazy--for things I couldn't previously audition for, just because my day-job got in the way. I'll do background work where I can get it to keep paying the bills, and to keep learning from being on set.

And I'll write. I'll learn more about how to get paid for my writing, and maybe publish an article or two.

I don't know when in my life I'll have another chance like this. When my circumstances are simply handing me an opportunity to pursue my dreams full-time, with so little risk. If, come December, the money runs out, I'll have a chance to re-evaluate, and maybe find something else to help make ends meet. But I want to, in the words of Neil Gaiman, "move towards my mountain."

In his 2012 commencement speech, Neil Gaiman talked about this great idea. He says:

"Something that worked for me was imagining that where I wanted to be – an author, primarily of fiction, making good books, making good comics and supporting myself through my words – was a mountain. A distant mountain. My goal. And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain. I said no to editorial jobs on magazines, proper jobs that would have paid proper money because I knew that, attractive though they were, for me they would have been walking away from the mountain. And if those job offers had come along earlier I might have taken them, because they still would have been closer to the mountain than I was at the time."

And I've got multiple mountains, I think...but I know that acting is one of them. Writing is another. So the other thing I'm doing, come January is...*deep breath*...going to grad school.

I found a great, 2-year, online MFA in writing program at Lindenwood University. So before I could talk myself out of it, I applied. And last week, I was accepted. I'm vaguely terrified about the commitment (in time, money, effort). I'm actually still not even sure I'll be able to pay for it. So part of me feels crazy even posting this--what if it doesn't work out?! What if I can't afford it?! IS THIS A HUGE MISTAKE?!?! But I'm giving myself permission to go for it. And if it turns out that it IS a mistake, I can take time off, or drop out, or whatever. But this degree will give me two things: 1) a chance to improve and grow as a writer, to the point where I can maybe make money writing on a more regular basis, and 2) give me the credentials I need if I wanted to teach at a university level. Which would be pretty awesome.

So, uh...here's to diving headfirst off cliffs, and to building wings on the way down.

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