I don't know about you, but I'm feeling thirty-two...
When I was in middle school, there was this Meredith Brooks song where she sang “I’m a little bit of everything, all rolled into one.” If I had to describe myself in one line, that would be it! I’m in my early 30s but I’m not quite where society says I should be at this point in my life. As I scroll through my FB newsfeed, most of my friends are homeowners, have gotten married, and now have families of their own. I on the other hand am renting a pretty awesome apartment with my boyfriend of nearly 8 years and helping him raise his 13-year-old son most weekends and summers. My naked left ring finger leads some people to think I'm out partying every weekend and jetsetting around the world. Listen, I like happy hour just as much as the next guy but truth be told, most nights you’ll find me on the couch with my dog binge watching Criminal Minds or SVU on Netflix. When I do feel the need for some social interaction, I'm very lucky to be surrounded by some pretty spectacular people from which to choose. Aside from the beautifully eclectic array of friendships I've accrued over the last three decades, I also have two siblings, Shay and Billy. My immediate family just finished our six-week birthday marathon – Dad's 5/9, Mom's 5/24, I'm 5/30, Bill's 6/5, and Shay's 6/15 (shout out to Ma and Pops who celebrated 35 years without killing each other of marital bliss on 4/25). We now have nothing to look forward to until Christmas. My extended family is equally awesome and I'm as close with some of my mother's cousins as I am with my own! Long story short, my family as a whole is comprised of by far the best, most loving and supportive people you could ever hope to know. So yeah, it's true I may not exactly fit into society’s mold, but I’m very pleased with the person I am today and the road my life is on, rocky as it may be at times!
Still, there are days where I feel like I’m struggling with what I want to be when I grow up…until I realize, I’m already grown so I guess this is it? (This realization is usually followed by a frantic text to Billy regarding my latest existential crisis - “What am I doing with my life?” which he'll humor for a while before telling me to “cowboy up” and go on with my day.) As a small child I would have insisted, “I’m going to be a ballerina when I grow up.” Slowly, that aspiration evolved as discovered I preferred life backstage to that in the spotlight. In high school, I specifically remember wanting to choreograph stage shows and parades at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! I still consider that to be my “dream job” all these years later! In college, I opted to explore another love of mine – cinema. I’ve always been a movie buff and loved every second I spent earning my degree. I loved writing character arcs and screenplays, I loved scouting shooting locations and editing videos, I especially loved that it tapped into my creative side but also allowed me to plan with story boards and treatments. I'm sure by now you're on the edge of your seat wondering what career path I've chosen. Oh, you're not? Too bad, here it comes! I have a standard 9-5 desk job with a communications company. It’s a great job and I really enjoy the work we do there. It’s very analytical and methodical, and my left-brain takes comfort in the level of structure it provides. I also run an afterschool dance and drama class once a week at a local elementary school – the same school I attended many moons ago! I’ve been choreographing and teaching dance for roughly 20 years and while my body can no longer handle that as my full-time career, I hope that no matter where life takes me, my right brain will always have that as an outlet.
In my spare time, I have a little side business which (not unlike myself) is a broad mixture of my passions. I create custom video memoirs for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. (putting that Media Production degree to work), I also create custom crafts and desserts for purchase (for which I’m constantly searching Pinterest for “pinspiration”), and in the last few years I’ve started dabbling with vacation planning, specializing in Disney Destinations – which is the reason we’re here today! In a way, I suppose I did become what I wanted to be when I grew up. I still dance, I still create, I still plan. I long for the day that this hodge-podge that has become Had To Be There Productions and Vacations can pay the bills. I’d very much welcome the opportunity to make this my full-time focus! For now, I’ll keep plugging away! Welcome aboard, new friends! Thanks for joining me on this adventure! I have a terrible sense of direction which I inherited from my mother, so we may get lost from time to time, and despite my generally optimistic disposition, I sometimes have my father’s explosive temper and may want to quit. But if you can stick it out with me, I also have Mom’s big heart and Dad’s quick wit so I promise it will be worth it!