Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The PHX bucket list

I suppose it is time that I "let the cat out of the bag." I am moving to Atlanta this fall for a job.

I have had a rough time the past year and a half, as the recession has taken its toll on all of us. The most troubling thing has been trying to find my purpose. Some people search for jobs, some for fame, and others for purpose. I am the latter. I can't be happy on this planet doing something menial. It must have substance and value. Money is acceptable, but money without purpose is meaningless to me.

So, I say all that to say, I believe I have found my calling. I am taking a job working in the film industry. I know that sounds like a fame-seeking role, and perhaps it does serve that, but I truly believe it is a calling. I would one day love to join the ranks of J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan and Peter Jackson, and be a visual storyteller for generations. That is my dream.

I feel the most responsible way to pursue this is to work my way up from the bottom, write scripts, and learn every angle of the industry. If they need an amazing lighting guy, then I will become that. If a great coffee maker is required, i'll learn to brew it the best. Whatever is needed, I want to be the best at it. For the first time in a decade, I feel completely motivated to succeed.

This job does change some things that I had intended to do future-wise: move to Portland in the spring, camp at the base of the Grand Canyon, etc. So, I feel it prudent to post a list of things that I would like to do before my time is up in the Valley. I welcome your help.

So, before I leave for ATL in October, here are some things (some more grandiose than others) that I would love to do before I go:

1) hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim again
2) visit Tombstone like a gawking tourist should
3) gorge myself at Liberty Market for dinner (perhaps multiple times)
4) spend a night in Hotel Congress
5) record a song with a great PHX music guru (Bob Hoag, Jim Adkins, etc.)
6) climb Squaw Peak and Camelback in the same day
7) take a boat ride on Tempe Town Lake
8) play a show at The Rhythm Room
9) spend a day working at Gangplank and at CoHoots
10) get my first tattoo to remind me of the change this place has made in me
11) grab a beer with Zack
12) watch all Harry Potter movies with Ms. Herr

I am so grateful to have lived in Phoenix while I have. I have made some of the best friends that I have ever had in my life here. Despite the hard times, I have been more blessed than I ever could have imagined. For me, life is measured in great moments, and by that measure, Phoenix has given me a full glass.

So, thank you to all of you who have shared my journey into the desert. I'm sure there will be more posts about this, but I wanted to share a list that is growing of what must be done before I leave. Feel free to add to it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

products of disarray

All to often it seems, we get so caught up in our own little worlds, that we barely notice others are existing around us. We are all guilty of it - myself included.

Recently, I had my eyes opened when I shared a conversation with an acquaintance. See, after you share those dark moments of the past with someone, you cease to be acquaintances. Once you let down your defenses, you are visible for what you really are. The problem that this creates is that we are so guarded of our fragile hearts, we run at the slightest offering of someone who wants to know us.

I remember sitting on my best friend's porch in high school and talking until it was well past time for me to be home. Despite the mild lashing I received for being out past curfew, those conversations were where we became friends. You tend to be more honest in one-on-one conversation with someone who is aiding you in getting into trouble.

The conversation with a former acquaintance was eye-opening as we shared the details of our respective upbringings. While they were different, each tale seemed to have a way of helping us see how our childhoods had shaped us. And for the good that the pain brought. For it truly seems that what we call disarray has a funny way of preparing us for the future. The past is an inadvertent teacher.

I've had some moments in life (which I will share in some later posts) that have ripped my heart from my chest, but years later that painful memory prepared me for the onslaught that is growing up. Also, I've had some strenuous friendships and relationships that I would not take back for the life of me.

I suppose the purpose of this post is to encourage communication and experience. Don't hide from sharing parts of your heart. This life is too short to hide from who we really are. After all, when you let your guard down, you really are quite beautiful. Don't ever forget that.