I feel so fortunate to have Eric, my son, as my guest blogger today. Eric is our eldest child and has always had an amazing ability to visualize his dreams and make them happen. This skill is supported by massive amounts of courage and faith. He is an inspiration to me, and when I falter from disbelief, I think of him.
He graduated from Boston University with a degree in Economics, and shortly after graduation told David and me that he was moving to Los Angeles to try his hand at Hollywood, and off he went.
Eric has been in LA for eight years and the last six years has worked in TV development and production. He has worked on shows that have aired on CBS, FOX, ABC, MTV, FX, AMC, and Lifetime. He lives in Hollywood with his fiance, Scott, and their dog, Deacon, just a couple of blocks from his sister, Alexa.
I cherish his insights; he is my superpower!
I’ve been living in LA for eight years now. I work in Television Development- the majority of my time is spent working with writers and directors on clarifying their vision for their work. One question that I find myself asking every writer I work with (when discussing their scripts) is “what is your character’s superpower?” More broadly speaking, what is the thing that they, or their peers, or the audience can always rely on them to accomplish. I’ve found that often it’s not a question that has a ready-made answer.
This past December I made the trip home for the Holidays with a lot to accomplish. First on my to-do list was to tell my family that I would be proposing to my now-fiancé, Scott. Other to-dos included my favorite down-home-creature-comforts: cooking with Mom, hiking with the dog’s, conversations with Dad, and seeing as much of my family as I could squeeze in. Mission accomplished!
On my flight back to LA, I spent time reflecting on the visit and specifically on how so much of the visit was different than any other holiday we’d spent together before. See, we weren’t in Hollis or Orleans this time- we were in Mont Vernon, in the house where my parents have been living for the last year. The stockings weren’t hanging over the huge fireplace where they’d been for 24 years, the tree, which in past years had been 8 feet tall, was replaced by an 18-inch sapling. I knew it would be different, and I was prepared, but what I couldn’t have known was how, despite the change in scenery and smells and square footage, the holiday would be even more special than it had been in the past.
After 29 years, one holiday spent in a new house with my family helped me figure out what my superpower is: my connection to family and the foundation alive in my life every day because of all of them.
My holiday back home was a beautiful whirlwind, a perfect blend of familiar and new. It was two weeks spent in many locales that, in discrete moments, felt worlds away from what I remember as “Home.” The change in scenery provided a clear lens for me to see a universal truth: no physical place or thing makes a family, or makes traditions meaningful- it’s the memories and laughter, the moments shared, that make us what we are, wherever we are.
Before moving to LA, I’d called four different cities home. I didn’t know it then, but there would be another nine new houses and 12 different roommates before I would realize that every place that I’d laid my head in life was home: my superpower at work because of my family foundation.
Now, about the proposal to Scott, he said “yes!” With an engagement to enjoy, and a wedding to plan- and a whole new limb on our family tree growing- the superpower is growing in a myriad of new ways.
The gift I give to myself this new year is to be deliberate in putting my superpower to work. What yours? What can your family, friends and the world around you always rely on you to accomplish?
Happy New Year!