I would be lying if I said that 2014 wasn't a huge year for me. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that this year held more opportunities and realizations of dreams than any year previous- even dreams I dared not say aloud to anyone.
In no particular order, here's what 2014 held for me:
I wrote a nationally-printed (newspaper) column (and then left!!!).
This actually began in 2013, but continued into 2014. It was the encouragement from a dear friend (who is a bonified, amazing, envy-worthy journalist) at the end of 2012 that led me to submit a piece of writing to a national newspaper. It was printed. And that was really the beginning of my journey toward becoming what I would consider a "writer", as I accepted the amazing opportunity to test out my writing skills as a columnist, which eventually led to a paid, weekly column. But by April 2014 I realized that writing a weekly column, especially one that included opinion, may not be exactly what I wanted to tie myself down to at this point in my writing career. The column was such an amazing opportunity and it was extremely hard to muster up the courage to leave, but I think we all have a voice inside that tells us when we are done and, as scary as it is to listen to that voice, it is important that we do. For me, at least, it was the catalyst to a million new opportunities that I never dreamed of!
I was in a national commercial!
I saw a casting notice on my Facebook and, on a whim, I clicked on it (sorry to the person in my timeline that had liked it because they wanted to audition!). I had some beautiful head shots done and thought, what the heck, I'll just submit. And then I forgot about it. Until I got an email indicating that I had been chosen for an audition. This is where my husband stepped in because if it wasn't for his unbelievably awesome encouragement, I never would have gone to that first audition. I thought I was being silly for even trying. The night of my audition I received a call back. And again, my awesomely encouraging hubby made me promise I would go. And the night after the call back, I found out I was "on hold" for the commercial. The next day I received word that I did indeed make the cut and was going to be in the commercial. I don't know if I will ever forget that feeling.
We shot the commercial and print ad over one VERY LONG but exhilarating day and the commercial was seen nationally during October and November, 2014. I don't know if I will have the opportunity to ever act (or audition, even- I find getting national auditions to be the hardest part, as this was my FIRST national audition!) in something like that again but it truly was a dream come true!
I became a talk show host!
I still have trouble typing this because it seems as if I am typing out a dream or resolution and not my reality. The week I was set to shoot my commercial, I was also given the opportunity to audition for a daily, live talk show as the host. To be fair, I had recent experience on my side- I had shot commercials and been a regular guest on news programs- but I had never been "the host". And, once again, it was my husband that encouraged me to make the audition happen because it was a crazy busy week for me and I wasn't sure how I could make time for the audition. But I did. And I got it. I GOT IT. My family was in the car and I was locking our front door, when the call came to let me know I was chosen to host the show. And I cried. And then I fretted about what to do because, in reality, going back to work outside of our home would result in a huge family shift. But in the end, I took it. And I couldn't be more happy that I did. My new job has opened me up to a world that makes me feel (professionally) happy, fulfilled and excited every single day. I am more grateful than you could imagine for this opportunity and, although it is only a maternity leave contract (meaning 2015 may spell the end of my time at Daytime Durham,) the lessons I have learned about television, hosting and myself will be lifetime ones.
I realized how important my family was.
Truth? I was so sick of being at home. I needed more and I was taking my boredom out on my family. At the perfect time (God always does that, doesn't He?), all those opportunities I listed above came my way- just when I thought I was going to crack- and my family fully supported me. They barely even blinked when I was making all these crazy life choices, they just supported. My husband could have balked because taking a television job meant a significant increase in work on the home front for him- but he didn't. My kids could have cried that mommy wasn't going to be around as much- but they didn't (in fact, they have been so freaking awesome). My mom and mom-in-law could have left me floundering- instead they stepped up and babysat or just helped out every time I asked. It was amazing to see aunts and uncles and siblings simply support when I needed it the most. It made all the transitions so worth it.
I got a mantra. And I love it.