When I think of all the fun activities I will be participating in within the next 11 months, I am gobsmacked of just how lucky I am to be living my new life in So California, and having the means to do the things I want. Life is still far from perfect, but, with baby steps, it's going to get there! After a low keyed June and July have passed, I now look forward to a very active year ahead. And just as I wonder if it's all just too much, having too much upcoming planned fun, I think about the years I was seriously underemployed and worked at jobs beneath me - but were still legit jobs to pay bills but not be able to afford to do anything else; the time I was studying for my graduate degree in which I didn't do anything but study; and the last year before I made my big move to LA, I worked several jobs to save up for the move. All of these difficult, stressful, lean years were exactly in the past 10 years... years that I felt a dark cloud singled me out and lingered over me, poking me, reminding me of the constant bad luck streak I was suffocating in. There were a few moments of joy, but they were fleeting and rare.
Thankfully, that's all in the past. I truly believe that even for good people like me, you have to deal with bad shit, a continuous stream of bad luck in order to rise above it and gain control over your life so that you can live a life of happiness. So with those dark days in the deep recesses of my mind, I find myself planning grand adventures for myself so that I can treat myself and show the love that I have for myself. Below is a list of events that I'm looking forward to.
September: After a last minute change of plans just two weeks ago, I will be attending the Toronto Int'l Film Festival for the weekend of Sept 8-9. For the first time, I'll be flying in and out of Toronto to attend TIFF. It will be a quick visit, but it's also a test run for future short visits for this festival. If all goes well, I may consider shifting my annual family visit to October so that I can take the Friday off to fly to Toronto. But for this year, the weekend visit will suffice with what I want to see there.
Another film festival starts on 9/20 and ends 9/28 is the LA Film Festival. Last year I volunteered there and watched a few shorts. I don't know if I'll volunteer for them this year, but I do want to attend the festival to see a few films during the first weekend. I'm getting the sense that LAFF won't be in direct competition with TIFF, so if I want to experience fancy world premiere events, TIFF may demand my presence in the future.
The weekend of September 29th is my birthday weekend and I'll drive down to Dana Point in Orange County for the Ohana Festival featuring Eddie Vedder. At first I was just going down for that Saturday, but I decided that if I leave work 2 hours earlier, I can get a jump on traffic and arrive there Friday night to check into the hotel and enjoy my beach view for that evening. Then on Saturday, hang out on said beach for the all day music festival.
October: This will be the month that special screenings for Oscar bait films really begin so I will take advantage of as many as I can. Additionally, on the 12th, I'll see Nine Inch Nails in concert for the first time in nearly 5 years. So overdue!
November/December: Continuing to be home bound and enjoy the beginning of awards season. I don't know what my Christmas plans are yet. Maybe nothing since I'll be...
January: Attending the Palm Springs Int'l Film Festival. I purchased my 6 pack last week and I'll be able to select my films in mid-December. Again, attending for the first weekend only and driving there Friday evening Jan 4-6.
Feb/March: Nothing planned, but neck deep in the height of Oscar season.
April: I'm going to Weekend One Coachella 2019!!! I still can't believe it. This will be my first time and I'm going all out. I'm sure I'll love it, but if this will be my only time, I'm going to act as if it will be. It'll be a blast. And the weekend before, my family will be visiting me in LA so I will be busy with that too.
May: My trip to Italy!!!! I'll be visiting Milan, Crema, and Venice. I've always wanted to visit Italy and I know I will visit it again in a few years because I'll be breaking it up into two phases: Northern Italy 2019, and Southern Italy TBA within next five years.
July: I am trying to attend the San Diego Comic Con in 2019, which will be its 50th anniversary, and it's expected to be even in more demand. Although I have booked a hotel for 3 nights, I don't know if I'll even be selected to qualify to even TRY to buy a badge. Yes, it's that intense. If I'm not selected to attend, I'll cancel the hotel, no big deal. This event is a want, not a NEED like the film festivals.
So as you can see, for the next 11 months, I have a fun busy calendar ahead and I'm so excited and grateful to be in this position at this point in my life. I couldn't do most of this if I didn't take a gamble with my life and moved to So Cal.