2018 was a year of changes for me, more so than any has been recently. After starting at Blue Sky, I found some stability, but not safety. I was restless and frustrated. When I had friends and family my age buying houses and settling in to what would hopefully stay their ‘forever’ homes/careers, I was leaving my job, moving back home, and going back to school…again.
Four years of living on my own, mostly independent, living with my partner for three of those years, and suddenly I’m back in my childhood bedroom, retaking classes I’d dropped out of five years ago. To be fair, I’d dropped out of my MFA program because I’d gotten this amazing opportunity to work on feature films like The Peanuts Movie and Ferdinand. I don’t regret that in the slightest bit.
Going back to SVA wasn’t an easy decision for me, and one that I still am not happy with. I think that’s why 2018 is such a weird year for me. The first half was me trying to make something work that just wasn’t working for me. I left Blue Sky in May, had a summer trying to figure things out, then started classes in NYC in September.
I was immediately behind, even when I was progressing. I hadn’t opened Maya, the main animation software used, since 2013, and was relearning even basic things in the interface. I was storyboarding a film that I wasn’t happy with, but didn’t have the time to be unhappy with. I suddenly had to make a film in 8 months, a short film at least, but that doesn’t make it easy.
That–leaving my job, moving home, and becoming a student again–was the biggest change of the year of course. Everything changed because of that. My mentality, lifestyle, health, self worth. Everything is constantly shifting. High highs and low lows.
It’s a work in progress. I want to spend more time on my film than what school allots. I want to spend more time on each of the steps, and truly learn them. I want to learn more about the earlier stages, but I already spent too much time there and ate into other areas.
That’s the biggest change. So let’s look at some nice stuff!
- Attended a Robert McKee story seminar
- Attended my first Society for Animation Studies conference in Montreal
- Visited Montreal for the second year in a row with my partner
- Saw Joe Hisaishi perform live
- Watched more documentaries and more films directed by women
- Achieved my GoodReads challenge of reading at least 15 books
- Crossed a few new things off of my 30 Before 30 list
- Got to move home and spend more time with family
- Got a new dog (for my parents, but still!)
- Hiked Bear Mountain for my birthday for the 4th year in a row
- Got my first paid writing gig on a site I’ve been reading for forever
- Staying in a cabin in the snowy woods with friends (and watched the Annie Awards!)
- Attended the bulk of two speciality film series at the Alamo (“Stop Motion Masters” and “Witches, Sluts, Feminists”)
- 1000% got my moneys worth on MoviePass while it lasted
- Had burritos, ate at a kamayan, grilling, hotpot, all with co-workers who become great friends
- Have been documenting thesis as a vlog (albeit not as frequently as I should but still!)
- Visited my undergrad program and gave advice to senior students
- Had a blast at NYCC with friends and also by myself
- Saw local productions of Hunchback of Notre Dame and Something Rotten!
- Danced to a live band, swam in the ocean, played lots of board games, pet lots of dogs, played a lot of Smash Bros on N64, reunited with friends
- Saw the Harry Potter exhibit at the NY Historical Society
- Met my baby cousin
Those are some of the bigger things. There’s been a lot of anxiety between school and life in general. My social anxiety with texting people and reaching out came to bite me in the ass, but luckily I have friends and family who know when to back off and who know when to (and aren’t afraid to) call me out.
I anticipate 2019 being an equal mix of high highs and low lows as I
hopefully wrap up my schooling and expect more life changes while I try to figure out what my idea of stability will look like in the future. Always in flux.