Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Making movies, learning lessons, and growing up

I cry about everything now and I’ll probably cry when I write this. I’ll keep you posted.

I want to write this now, before life gets so hectic that I don’t have time to. I want to write this now, so that I can remember how important this really is to me when I feel like giving up. I want to write this now because I haven’t before and I’m feeling blessed.

It was August when we found out that Dream Season had been nominated for a Mid-America Regional Emmy. It was a surprise for a lot of different reasons, but mostly because Eric and I are just two stupid kids still trying to figure out what we’re doing.  The nomination came almost a year after our first documentary premiered in Maryville and long after I was willing and ready to close the Dream Season chapter of my life.

But things happen for a reason. I’ve always believed that, even though I try to ignore that thought when I want to feel miserable about life.

Cry Katie, let it out, no one cares. God’s punishing you.

I so often forget that those hard times make the good times better.

Making a movie…it’s not as easy as it looks. Did you know that you need permission for everything and you have to pay a million people a bajillion dollars to even entertain the notion? As we entered post-production on Dream Season we were hit with more unexpected expenses and fees (because we’re just two stupid kids remember?) and Eric just looked at me and said, “Tell me that everything is going to be all right.”

It wasn’t the first time we thought about throwing in the towel. By that point we had every single video we needed to create our movie, but quitting was still an option. It was always an option, and to be honest, at some points…not a bad one.  I don’t know that it would have been a bad decision then, but I do know now that it would have been the wrong one.

I can’t watch Dream Season without wanting to bang my head against a wall. I think people always feel that way about their own work. There are so many things I would have done differently if I could go back and at least 352 ways I could make it better now. When Dream Season was happening, I fantasized about future projects but when it ended, I couldn’t see us pushing through to create anything else. I came to terms with that and I even told Eric, “If this is the only thing we ever do, I’ll be proud of us.” Despite knowing things now that could have made it better, I am confident that we told an incredible story, met some amazing people, and shared an experience that I’ll never forget. It changed my confidence, my attitude toward life, and my appreciation of Eric.

“As with any Journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination.”


This almost seems like an open letter to him, and maybe on some level it is. But it’s mostly for me. I don’t want to forget how important he is and how blessed I am to have him by my side for these projects, especially knowing I’ll probably shoot eye darts at him consistently and shower him with profanities 17 times over the next two weeks…and it’s only the beginning of this new journey. Sorry in advance.

Eric and I became friends in college. Go Bearcats!  We are so different, but also so very much alike in so many ways, but let’s get to what matters here. I asked Eric, in the middle of Dream Season production, “Did you think six years ago when we met, we’d be making a documentary together now?” Absolutely not. 

It’s one of my favorite things to think about. How quickly and fiercely life pushes you in a new direction. Our friendship has definitely had its ups and downs, as most do. Forgiveness is important to me, and we’ve extended that kindness to each other on many occasions. Not the fake forgiveness that buys you a little bit of time, but the genuine forgiveness that makes it possible to do things like this together, not kill each other, and actually learn, grow, and have some fun.

Eric. He’s bad at accepting forgiveness. He’s generally late. He sometimes can’t remember a conversation I had with him two minutes ago (probably because he wasn’t listening), and he avoids confrontation like the plague. I mean that when I say it…like.the.plague.

He’s irritated now reading this.

UGH. I’m always listening! What do you mean I avoid confrontation?!

But Eric taught me a lot of things over the past few years. Take risks, be confident, have some damn fun. He taught me that you can’t take EVERYTHING so seriously. I learned that you can take a poster off a wall for an interview shot and climb on the back of your car to shoot the sun set and you’re probably not going to be arrested. I learned that the only way to get better at something is to just frickin do it. I learned that coffee is actually a necessity for some people and that red wine is better than white.

Eric.  What I learned about him. He’s a dreamer. He’s the type of person you text and say, “Let’s make a movie.” And then you actually do. He’s a little bit reckless, but almost always rewarded for his risks. When he’s not? Eh, move on. He’s the kind of person who doesn’t always have the words he needs to say, but also the kind that will send you flowers when your hard drive crashes. He’s brilliant and unbelievably talented.
(Here are the tears. Knew I wouldn’t make it through.)

He’s also the type of guy that says, “Yeah, let’s do this,” when you ask if he wants to make another documentary…even knowing everything we went through before. For two smart people, we sure can be stupid.  J

I’M SO EXCITED! We have not only one, but two projects in the works. Life hits you fast. And before you’re know it you’ve gone from just two kids who don’t know what they’re doing to two adults who know just enough, just enough to maybe make something great. That’s the goal. We've been blessed with more awesome opportunities and I won't waste them.

All those feelings from Dream Season have rushed back over me. Not the hard times, those pass. The excitement of the experience, the people we’re going to meet, the goals we intend to reach. Those thoughts have my head spinning and more than a little excited. I’m pumped. With everything I learned from Eric over the past few years, my dad, and the other great people I’m surrounded by, I’m confident that we can do this. Unlike last time, I’m not afraid of failing. We’re going to mess up. This is going to be hard.

This is going to be worth it.

Thanks in advance to my team of supporters who I know will be joining us on this adventure. Sorry in advance to Eric. I’ve only had one tantrum so far; Things are looking good.

Life is short. Here’s to risk, passion, trials, fun, and reward. Let’s do this.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I don't feel inspired to write or share right now. In fact, I feel everything but that. What's the opposite of joyful and hopeful? I never write when I'm feeling down. There's a reason for this. There are actually about 33 reasons and they can all be found as posts on my college blog. EMBARRASSING.

When we're feeling blue and depleted, it's so common to turn our days into pity parties. I actually texted a friend today and asked him to "send me something nice", because I was feeling so poorly about myself.  That's not fishing for compliments or encouragement, it's demanding it. Now, I get to feel bad about that too.

Has the lonely bug hit me or what? I've found a lot of comfort in being a strong, independent woman, but these days I desperately long for a hand to hold and someone to call who thinks the sun shines out my ass no matter what mood I'm in or what success or failure I've seen over the day.

I've gained nearly 20 pounds in the past four months. Not 20 pounds of muscle, but 20 pounds of plain old fat. No excuses, although I want to make them. I feel worse about myself and my body than I did when I was 368 pounds. The difference is, I care now. I care about the way I look, the way I feel, how others perceive me, and how much abuse this young (but old) body of mine can take from me.

I'm not writing this blog at an attempt to "get back on the wagon." I'm already there. But what scares me is how very important attitude is toward everything in our lives. The "I can do this" mentality has been the only attitude that has garnered me any success this far in life. Every moment that I've felt like I can't...well...I haven't.

Today I'm feeling like I can't do this, any of it. I can't do the two new projects that Eric and I signed on for. I can't lose this weight. I can't meet my work goals. I can't find my happy. For so long, I've used so much strength from within to fight my demons, but for the first time in a long time...I'm going to look to outside sources, at least until I get back to that place again where I feel like nothing in the world can stop me.

My dad, Eric, my students, my family and friends...they're my motivation for now. I'm inspired by others' successes, and I hope with just a little help, I can kick all this negativity to the curb. Frankly, I don't have the time or the life for it.