First and Goal
For all my anxiety and self-replenishing supply of new concerns, 2019 has been a pretty great year for me. More than anything, it’s been a year of finishing. Projects that I had been dreaming of for years have all come to fruition in a similar timeframe. When I look at the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year, most of them have resulted in something that resembles achievement.
I made a film that I had been working on for two years. I finished a play that had been occupying my imagination for even longer, and submitted it to some prestigious contests on campus. I had a fantastic internship that built on my experiences as a college film critic. Things have been good.
So lately, I’ve been looking ahead to 2020, trying to set goals for next year. And the outcome doesn’t look nearly as glamorous. I’ll graduate college, then have to move to a new city, and basically start my life over. All important stuff, to be sure, but I don’t expect any of the “victories” I’ve enjoyed this year.
This has been bugging me for a while, so I’ve started to think of my life in terms of football drives. 2019 was a year where I started at first and goal from the five yard line, and all I had to do was score. I had been driving down the field for years, setting myself up for a touchdown, and I just had to finish the job. But 2020 is going to start with a kickoff, and if I can get the ball out of the end zone to my own 25 yard line, I’ll be thrilled. It’s a year of setting things up, navigating transitions, and hopefully putting myself in a position to score again in the future.
When you think of it that way, it’s easy to see the next few drives I have ahead of me. It’ll probably take me a few years to get my first job as a television writer, which will feel like another touchdown. But then, I have to start over again, climbing the TV ladder until I’m in a position to create my own show. Then I have to take the ball out of my own end zone once again, as I try to move from a guy who created one show into a JJ Abrams-level TV mogul. It never ends.
This time last year, I was really excited about the concept of goal-setting and life-planning. I set a bunch of goals for 2019, and it felt incredible when things worked out. So it was initially hard to realize that every year of my life couldn’t be like this. But this new way of thinking has me excited, even about the difficult times ahead. Running the ball up the middle for a five yard gain isn’t glamorous, but sometimes it’s really important. As long as I’m always working towards a new touchdown, I’m fine. All that really matters is the final score.
Student, blogger, ball-carrier