New Year to Do Me.

December 31, 2017


 It’s New Years Eve, 6:18 pm and I have no plans of going out to party.  Surprising right?  Happy go-lucky me who absolutely loves to dance and enjoy every moment life has to offer is sitting in bed writing a blog.  I’ve been planning on writing this “reflection blog” for weeks now but I haven’t found the time to do it.  Or let me just be honest, I was scared to write it and now, hours before the new year rings in, I’m opting out on partying because I need to finally reflect.  

    When I think back to 2017, I immediately think of the vision board I made leading up to New Years Day.  My resolutions were to practice the piano every day for thirty minutes, run at least a mile every day, get an Atlanta agent, and submit another audition for Survivor. While trying to complete these resolutions, I learned many valuable lessons and one of those was that when you’re passionate about anything, life is happier and easier to deal with.  I tell you that to say, while I do love playing the piano, two months into that resolution, I realized I wasn’t as passionate about progressing my skills as I thought I was.  Running, on the other hand, is an activity I hold dear to my heart but the first few months, I was sick a lot as a result of running outside in the cold.  My Mema begged me to wait until it warmed up and I had to agree with her on that one so I didn’t get to check that resolution off my vision boardeither.  Getting an Atlanta agent however, was a task I spent months working on.  I didn’t send off my materials until I felt 100% confident but even so, none of the agencies I submitted for accepted me. I didn’t have any luck with the several Survivor auditions I sent in although I thought I had a bite when Jeff Probst tweeted me after seeing one of the auditions!  He replied to my tweet, “Impressive.  Sending onto casting” but I never heard anything from Survivor at all.

    Ya know, I kept putting off writing this blog because I knew I had failed miserably at my resolutions for 2017.  It wasn’t from a lack of effort, I know that and I also know that if there’s anything you want in this life, you’ve gotta keep trying.  Never Give Up is my motto so as I made my vision board for 2018, I not only thought about what I wanted but what I needed to do to be successful for each one!  The first resolution I wrote down was “Workout in a Sports Bra”.  If you follow me on social media(@JillanaDarby), you know I’ve been working out hard at TriFit Barbell in Mauldin.  I always share my workouts soyou and myself can track my progress.  Since starting with TriFit in March, my body has definitely changed and I plan to keep going strong where I’m so secure in my body that I can bust up in there in just a sports bra! Well, not “just” a sports bra.

    The next New Year’s resolution I wrote down was “Get Atlanta Agent” and following that was “Submit Another Audition” which was written under my drawing of the Survivor logo.  I know I was unsuccessful at getting what I wanted from both of these resolutions last year but I’ve got to stay positive and try again.  Speaking of trying again, I did cut out the words “RUN” from my 2017 vision board but for ’18, I have no stipulation on when I should run.  I am going to try to run every day but I’m not going to put so much pressure on that one.  The last resolution I hesitantly wrote down was “Find a Job in CA”.   

    I shouldn’t have any worries about fulfilling this resolution because in my heart of hearts, I feel as if I should already be living in Los Angeles.  The problem is, there’s a part of my heart where even as I sit here and type this, there’s a sadness.  I hate to think of leaving my five year old niece and my last living set of grandparents.  I know, I know it’s my only life and I should live it to the fullest but the fear that I’ll miss something is holding me back.  Or maybe it’s the fear of failure... See in 2012, I came back to South Carolina because my first and only niece was going to be born.  I have been in her life since that day and I’ve been one of her best playmates.  Just last night actually, we were watching Disney’s Moana together and I told her, “I think I need to go back to California and follow my path”.  It was the perfect moment to discuss this because it was the very part in the movie where Moana herself compared her family’s wishes to her own desires. My niece looked over at me with stern eyes and said, “If you go, I will be mad at you”.  Well that didn’t work out the way I wanted it and yes, she’s only five but just the thought of her being mad at me or worse, forgetting about me breaks my heart.  Right after she said that to me, Moana asks her grandmother, “is there something you want to tell me” and the response was, “is there something you want to hear?”  I felt the rush come over me, “YES! Yes, I want to hear I can go to California and that everyone’s going to be okay”!

   In life though, we don’t get those kinds of clarifications.  One must make a decision and give it their best shot.  Even if you don’t know if it’s the right path, you have to follow the mixture of your heart and gut telling you what to do.  Moana says it best, “I’ll be satisfied if I play along but the voice inside sings a different song”.  Each of us has to sing our own song and as I figured out this year, once you find that passion then you’ll feel true happiness.  Here’s to hoping 2018 helps with all the questions burning in our minds and souls.  We’re not going to get the exact answers we want but maybe if we all follow our passion in life,we’ll get closer to our purpose.  Don’t forget that many people lost their lives in 2017 and you and I are meant to be here for a reason.  We’ve just gotta find that reason. Make a vision board as I did and try your very best. One more thing, for the start of this new year, make sure to tell a loved one how much you care for them.  After I publish this blog, I’m going to go up my Mema’s house and let her know how much I love her.  I’m going to fill her in on my resolutions too but however she responds, I know exactly what I want to hear.  

   Good luck in 2018, friend.  Give it all you got and Happy New Year!