I recently spent a Thursday evening signing myself up for the dating website E-Harmony.com. I did so in the company of a few slices of pizza, a couple of margaritas, and a gaggle of some of my best girlfriends (specifically, some of my sorority sisters from Texas A&M). A perfect gathering.
The whole evening was a blast - my girlfriends surrounding me at the computer, encouraging and cheering me on, and all of us cracking up when I had to be really honest on questions like, "How neat do you generally keep your bedroom area?" (um...that would be an unequivocal "not very"). There will no doubt be many funny E-Harmony date stories to tell in the weeks and months ahead, and I will certainly share those with you.
But that is not the purpose of my post today.
When I was filling out my E-Harmony Questionnaire (which is roughly 143,682 questions long, by the way), the first question was: "What Is Your Occupation?" For the first time in my life, I was able to answer that question exactly as I wanted to, and my fingers hurriedly typed the words "Musician/Screenwriter". I felt such a rush upon writing that, but it was quickly followed by a wave of self-doubt. I mean, I've never sold a song or a script. No one outside of my immediate circle knows any of my work. I quit my 14-year corporate job only a few weeks ago. My current occupation, technically, is "Unemployed, Babysitting Occasionally."
I wrestled with this for a moment, and then I remembered a wonderful nugget of wisdom that I once heard screenwriter/director Kevin Smith say. I'm paraphrasing here, but this was the gist: "If you're a filmmaker, then you're a filmmaker. Don't call yourself an aspiring filmmaker. If you're working on making a film, then you're a filmmaker." These days, I spend most of my time writing songs and writing screenplays, so according to Kevin's logic - which I rather like - I am, indeed, a Musician and a Screenwriter.
But I am not writing all of this to tell you what a Hot to Trot job title I have these days. Rather, I want to use this - my very first post in the Blogosphere - to give official thanks and praise and glory to those who have brought me where I am today.
I first offer gratitude to the Lord my God, whose counsel and guidance I have diligently sought and have desperately needed from the moment this crazy "leave-my-job-and-become-an-artist" thing first entered my mind. He has been faithful as ever, and has been extra-gracious and sweet in providing me with all kinds of affirmations along the way. What wondrous love is this, oh my soul. To you, my God, I vow to give honor and glory to Your Name in all of my artistic endeavors.
I second offer gratitude to YOU - my dear family and friends. When I shared my plans with each of you, you invariably responded with encouragement and excitement. Some of you quite literally jumped for joy or clasped your hands together and gasped with glee! All of you proclaimed your belief in me. Many of you offered prayers. Even if you thought that I was a little bit of a nutjob for doing this, you kindly kept those thoughts to yourself. ;-)
There are so many ways to say thank you, and I will be thanking God and you for the rest of my life and in a number of ways.
But consider this the first official one.