Today’s writer is someone I’ve called Friend for over fifteen years now, back when I called her Willoughby and she called me Kujo. I’ve always been glad that our paths continue to intertwine and cross when and where they do, so welcome with me someone who GETS IT. She truly is someone who gets that the little things really are the big things. Welcome to the blog, Kristin!
What’s crazier than being addicted to reality TV? Working in reality TV.
I have to admit though, I love working in reality television. It involves a lot of my favorite things, like writing, and people, and TV. It moves fast. It’s fun. I thrive in production.
At the same time, it consumes my thoughts and takes over my life. Since I work twelve-hour days, six days a week, I miss out on spontaneous dinners with friends, evening runs, and taking a weekly ballet class. It’s hard to live a balanced life.
How long can I do this? But I need a job. Is this is the job I really want to do? Yes. I have to keep moving. Moving up. Moving forward.
How will I live a full life if all I do is work? Literally. All the time. Where is the joy in that?
Last December, I was nearing the end of a four-month shoot on a home design show. It was a Saturday, and I had to leave at 6:30am. I jumped in my car and headed towards the 210 Freeway. I turned the corner, when suddenly I was gazing at the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen. The sky was bright pink. Massive, horizontal, purple clouds were resting against the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance. It was amazing. I stopped singing, turned down the music, and craned my neck to get a final glimpse as I headed down the onramp.
It occurred to me that I was experiencing something nice. The view was spectacular. I was alone in my car. It was silent. I had some time to drive and enjoy just being. I had found a tiny moment of joy.
In February, I was still sorting through these “quality of life” questions, when I was given the opportunity to work on a reality show in New York. Although I hoped it would be this grand and glorious adventure and every conversation for the next year would begin with, “Well, when I lived in New York…” It didn’t quite turn out like that. The job was hard. I was homesick. I missed California. I missed my car. And I drive a 2000 silver Saturn sedan. With no power steering. And no power windows.
Granted, it was still fun. I loved, loved, loved the people I worked with every day. It was a stretching experience. I learned a lot, but these questions still plagued my mind. Is this the life I want?
I tried to find that moment of joy I had experienced in my car that early morning back in December. But it’s hard to find the pink sunrise when there are tall buildings everywhere. I mean everywhere.
And then finally, I discovered my tiny moment of morning joy.
At 8am each day, I would step out of the 59th St. subway station onto Lexington Ave. and gaze down the busy street at the Chrysler Building. It’s my favorite building in New York. It’s stunning.
Then again, each evening, I would pause to stare at it glowing brightly against the night sky. Believe it or not, those fleeting moments staring at a building in the distance made the long days easier. It was a small thing, but it made a big difference.
I’ve learned that when your mind is consumed with big questions, you might need to shift your focus. Find a new moment. Find a little joy. I found the Chrysler Building. I found a pink sky. And the San Gabriel Mountains.
Kristin Wolven loves movies, TV, coffee, and living life with her roommates in Pasadena, California. She has a passion for writing and acting. Kristin recently co-produced and appeared in the independent feature film, CAMP. She is a former elementary school teacher, who now spends her days as a freelance associate producer in reality television. You can follow Kristin and her roommates, Katie and Emily, as they chronicle their daily adventures on their blog In the Meantime. So, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to remember to open my eyes and LOOK for that little pink sunrise and sunset. Thank you for your words, Kristin! In the meantime, encourage our friend by leaving a comment below …and if you’re new to the blog, encourage Cara by following her words today!