I finally get to attend the Turner Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

In 2010, Turner Classic Movies held its first annual Classic Film Festival in L.A. At that time, I worked a part-time job earning $150 a week as a bookkeeper at a local church, had a four-year-old son, was trying to get my business off the ground and had plenty of bills. I made the decision when Alex was born to stay home
with him. I wanted to be there for all the milestones, and I’m so
happy that I made that decision and Brian supported it. I was there for the firsts, and while we felt it was the best for Alex, the truth is that we didn’t have any extra money for the ‘fun stuff.’ The first Film Festival was out of the question, but what did happen was a complete change.
Alex was four, about to head off to school, and I wanted more. I knew there would be no more children in my future, so I kept my ears open for new opportunities. A year later, that opportunity came when I was hired to work for the Journal. Six years passed, and with each passing year, a new reason to miss the festival came up. My car died, Brian had his accident, and our dream home came on the market. But the dream and drive never wavered. Year after year, I worked harder and harder to fulfill my dream. I would sit in front of the T.V. during the spring and tell Brian exactly what films I would have chosen to see if I were in Hollywood. Each year, I would lie in bed with tears in my eyes, questioning if I would ever get to attend a festival. The year they showed one of my favorite movies, The Women, was particularly horrible. I knew I belonged there with ‘my’ people. I could talk about Beatrice Lillie, Leatrice Joy or Snub Pollard in an environment where people knew who these people were. It’s where I could share my greatest passion with others who understood it-who understood me.
Now, the day has come. There were days I wanted to take all the
money I saved and buy something dumb or just toss my hands in the air and declare it wasn’t worth it, but I kept my head down and powered through. Everything I have done has led me to Wednesday, April 27.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll board a plane on my own for the first time. The moment I step off that plane in California, my dream
begins. Seven years, seven months, and countless hours of calculation will all pay off the second I step off that plane. I worked, saved, planned, and scheduled the next six days down to the hour. Sure, I would kill to have Brian with me, holding my hand as he does through life’s most extraordinary adventures, but it wasn’t in the cards. This is my adventure to take alone.
But now what? What happens next? For seven years, I’ve imagined
the moment of first stepping off the plane in California. I know moments like these pass in a matter of seconds. What if it’s nothing like I’ve imagined? What if it’s awful? Now, my brain is flooded with the ‘what ifs.’ What if I get robbed the second I step foot on Hollywood Boulevard? What if I get food poisoning the first day? (It’s super possible because I have a weak stomach and believe in the five-second rule.) What if I’m an outcast? (I’m painfully shy.) There are many things I’m ‘glass half-full’ about, but when it comes to myself, I am very ‘glass half empty.’ I am utterly terrified that I will find a way to take something that I’ve dreamed about for so long and mess it up. And if I don’t, and it’s the most incredible adventure of my life, then what?
I fell in love with classic films when I was still in my teens. I’ve held on to this love and this passion for so long. I thought that someday I might find a new passion and move on, but this stuck, and it will stick for life. I crave a good classic film like people crave ice cream. If this is everything I have ever dreamed it would be, what will I have left to dream about? What happens when you live the dream that has kept you going for so long? I dream of Alex finding great happiness and success in life. I dream of Alex’s graduation and life’s most cherished blessings, but everyone needs that one dream. The one utterly selfish dream, whether it be winning the lottery or never working again, we all need something to dream about.
Brian told me a while back that this is my World Series. Brian led
me to my love of the Royals about ten years ago, so I’m still considered a ‘new fan.’ He grew up with them; he was there through the worst times and now through the best. I was there at the low point but only for a moment- that felt like an eternity. It felt so incredible when they won the World Series, but it was something entirely different to Brian. It ran deeper through his veins. It was 30 years of waiting for that moment, and when he got it, his dream, it made life much sweeter. Now that he’s lived his dream, he yearns for that high again.
This film festival is my World Series; while I led Brian to his love of
classic films, it isn’t the same for him as it is for me. He would enjoy the festival and maybe even love it, but it runs deep in my veins. I hope I come home yearning for more and dreaming of the day I get to do this again.

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