2009 has been an interesting year, but not necessarily a good one. As the year draws to its inevitable conclusion and ushers in some new numbers on the calendar, I thought I would look back at the events in my life for the year that was and see if for posterity’s sake I could possibly learn something about this year in my life.
From the very opening day of 2009 I remember being filled with a sense of optimism. I thought that 2009 was going to bring good things in my life, finally. I wasn’t sure what positive change was on its way, but I was sure it was coming; I thought perhaps my film career might finally catch a break, it was a year where I thought I might finally get to move out on my own, I hoped my film would turn some heads and get some notice and I wished that I would finally be able to quit my day job and work in the field that makes me happy. None of these things happened.
On January 27 I was laid off – less than a week before my birthday. My boss actually cried. It’s a strange thing to be laid off from a job you don’t really care about. I loved the people, didn’t enjoy the customer service & would rather be working in film, but my job gave me the security of a pay check and that is a necessity of life. I remember vowing I wasn’t going to let this devastate me. The next morning I got up, got dressed and began working on my resume again. I was applying for jobs starting the day after my birthday.
Being laid off blew. I swiftly realized how bad the economy must truly be as I didn’t get an interview for a single job whether it was a film job or a customer service. As if that weren’t bad enough the California Unemployment system bites the big one – they lost my application & it took almost a month for them to start giving me benefits.
March rolled around and I was given a call by the head of HR at the job that laid me off. The new VP of my department wanted to schedule a phone call with me. I agreed and when he called he laid out that after he took over as my bosses boss he took a survey and realized that my position is one that shouldn’t have been eliminated. It was a strange thing. I was mentally over my job, ready & so willing to move on, but God pushed me back and I became an art coordinator again.
Shortly after I came back to work I began to assume more responsibilities for the department; training, proofing, learning new systems, learning art programs, taking on more customers. All of that was met with the announcement that not only would we not be getting raises this year, but that we were all going to be forced to take a pay cut. I am now doing a tougher job than before I was laid off for less money.
Since before the new year began I had been working with my editor to try and push END for a June competition date. Once picture was locked and it was time to move on to sound things got twitchy. It seems like anything technical that could go wrong did go wrong. However, we managed to persevere and almost exactly a year after Christopher and I dreamed up the thought of making a movie we managed to complete the beast.
Starting in June we began to submit END to festivals. I knew going into the process that the market was tough and not only were we a little film, but being a non-linear, non-zombie, zombie film was going to throw some people. However, I was spurred by the fact that I think END is amazing and everyone who’s seen the film enjoys it. That was in June. It’s now December and no festival has accepted us & I won’t comment on how many we submitted to. As each festival schedule gets announced I see big names get their films in the line-up and I am realizing more & more that this is no longer a market where the little-film-that-could can compete against a film with a major star behind or in front of the camera. I’m trying to create a strategy, but it’s like swimming upstream during a flood.
July brought us the cast & crew screening of END; one of the most nerve wracking occasions of my life. The event went well, the audience loved the finished product and I survived public exhibition of my work. I can’t tell you how cool it was to see my film projected on a movie screen, in the dark, with audience watching.
The summer also brought another major event to my life. Two of my best friends, who had been dating for over two years, ended their relationship. This has caused a ripple effect of strange through my life as they shared all of our mutual friends. It’s been very hard to try to stay neutral and not take sides and certain ongoing, uncomfortable situations have arisen because of it.
With September rolled in my grandmother’s quickly ailing health. My mother took many trips to Arizona to see her, but by the end of October she was gone. Seeing the grave where my grandfather has been buried since I was five was more emotional that I care to admit.
The fall also rolled in more health problems for the Welch sons. Jonathon began to have more residual damage from his staph infection and it’s a possibility that he now has some form of arthritis in all the joints of his body. He snaps, crackles & pops whenever he moves. Christopher also suddenly began a major health issue – seizures. These seizures bring severe pain, and are greatly inhibiting one side of his body. The doctors still don’t know what is causing them.
In November I was in a car accident. Yet again, while sitting at a red light with Christopher in the car I was read ended…by 3 cars. My poor Arthur is still at the body shop being repaired.
As December has marched on I’ve found out that END did not get into Sundance; I’ve taken my older brother to bizarre neurologist tests; I’ve decorated 4 Christmas trees. I am waiting for 2009 to end, but more than anything I am waiting for this season of my life to transition into a new one. I am still confident that God has a grander design for my life than I am seeing, but right now I don’t know if I can see any of the path in front of me. It’s irritating, but I am trying to discover what God wants me to learn from it all.
I don’t know what my outlook will be when 2010 is rung in, and honestly, it saddens me a little to think that I won’t be able to go into this coming year as optimistic as I was when I started 2009.