Saturday, September 6, 2014

Enjoying--And Appreciating--The Ride

When I started work at One Life to Live all those years ago, it was as if I was living some kind of a dream. Having been a fan of the show for years, I was now walking into its studio each day, meeting actors I'd watched on TV, seeing up close the sets where all the action took place, delivering the scripts that gave the shows all their words and stories.

There was ample opportunity for me to be a gawking admirer, and there were certainly moments when I had to catch my breath when discovering some new person or new magic. As lucky as I felt, however, I was there to work, and while the "magic" hung around in one form or another for years, I translated my opportunity to enter this "dream" world into learning and working hard and moving up. I wasn't just there because I was a fan. I wouldn't have lasted two seconds if that had been the case. I lasted because I took an opportunity and I ran with it. I proved, in running errands and typing schedules and observing other people and listening to mentors, that I was there because I could do this--not because I'd watched it on television, but because I worked at it in real life.

For all the years since then, I have watched other people do the same thing--well, variations of the same thing. I have watched people start things and expect that the opportunities will fall in their laps. I have seen people think they can rely on their past or their connections, only to find that these things are very soon not enough. And I have seen people who, like me, took the dream they were given and ran with it, saying "yes" to both the exciting challenges and the mundane ones, learning from every task and every conversation. Appreciating where they are, even on the days when where they are doesn't quite live up to the dream. I see those people, and I am reminded of myself, and of the great ride I have had since those first OLTL days all those years ago. It is a ride worth remembering, even when some days, the ride has become bumpy.

So today, I salute the people who take their opportunities and run with them. Even if the dream doesn't feel worth it every day, the work and the willingness to learn and the openness to new experiences will matter. If all goes well, these things will start you off on a very long ride. One worth remembering, and passing on.

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