I never imagined having screenings of my own film. But that's what happened. The idea itself was a little intimidating to say the least. I faced a lot of challenges and made some major sacrifices in my life to make this film a reality. There were days that I felt like throwing in the towel because it seemed like it could never all get done the way I envisioned it. But at the end of the day it turned out just perfect! And when I looked at my side, my two best friends were right there beside me standing tall and smiling. I'd like to take a moment to share my appreciation for these two people; Jackie and Jim.
Jim and I met within the first week of our freshman year in High School. I noticed him on the first day because he had long hair, a cute face and was wearing a band shirt which happened to be one of my favorite bands. We dated for the next five years; we were High School sweethearts. Jim and I always remained close friends after our romance ended.
Jackie and I met in High School when we were 16 year old kids, I was in a play in my sophomore year of High School called For Whom the Southern Bell Tolls. One of my class/cast mates and I walked out after the play took stage and found our friends and family waiting for us. That was the first time Jackie and I met. She was dating said cast mate at the time. Turned out she knew my boyfriend too, they'd gone to middle school together.
Jackie started going to our High School shortly after that and she and I became friends instantly. We clicked. We were very close right from the start. Our bond began with cats and music. But half a lifetime later it has expanded far beyond those two things (though we do both still love cats and enjoy similar music tastes).
We've definitely seen our share of arguments, had some pretty big doozies that lasted for lengths of time to the point we probably thought we'd never talk again, but the Universe always brought us back together. I share a deep bond and unconditional love with these two people that at this point in our lives, after all we've been through with each other, after marriages and kids - at the end of the day, when life is stressful and it's an overwhelming mess of chaos in my head, when I need to talk, laugh, vent, or cry, I can call them. Still. After all these years. When I look back on all my major and important life events; these two people have been at my side in some way or another and have been there. They were there way back when and they're still here today.
We all have our own lives now and we don't exactly live down the street from one another. Sometimes we may not speak for days, weeks or months at a time. But when it matters and when it's important or when we just need to talk to someone we love and trust - we know that we will always have each other.
More than half a lifetime later, I couldn't be happier than to have had these be the two people who were at my side the night of my first screening in Ocala. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I was nervous and excited wrapped in one. With my mind in a million places and this one pretty huge event in my life going on, it was seeing these two faces and knowing they were there with me, I knew no matter what, I'd get through it. Even if the night had gone in the opposite direction than it did, I know they would have found a way to help me laugh and live through it.
The screenings were both really great. But above all, I'm really glad that when I look back on this major life event years from now, it's Jackie and Jim who were at my side for this one too.