If you’re a regular reader of mine, you know I look at (my) life through three prisms: spiritual happiness, professional growth, and personal relationships.  As I look at where I am now, compared even to 12 months ago, I’m incredibly humbled.

At 33, I’ve written and directed a professional short.  I still can’t say enough about the professionalism and overall comfort I felt working with the guys from Through a Glass.  The end result of course was national exposure.  I lost track of the number of times I was teased about Sanaa Lathan ‘saying my name’ on television.  I plan to direct again at some point.  I haven’t determined when yet.  Last week I was in this acting workshop, and I did a cold read of this comedic scene that played very well.  The casting director gave me a note that was like an epiphany: do more comedy.  I was trained in drama, and I was (at least) technically proficient enough in ‘Lady’ to prove I could act.  But my individual charm, my personality, my ‘shine’ is much more obvious when I’m being silly or a smartass.  I’ve had comic relief in every project I’ve ever done, but I’ve never led with it as my primary focus.  I’m inspired to write again, for the first time in almost a year.  I’m taking on more schooling, focusing more on the comedy training I already have.  I’m enjoying myself.  We’ll see where I’m at 12 months from now (God willing).

At 33, I’m starting my second decade as a West Coast resident.  And I still feel like I just moved here. There’s so much I still haven’t seen or done in this city.  And that doesn’t include San Fran, Hearst Castle, Torrey Pines, and a lot of other parts of the Golden State.  USC, the Lakers, the Dodgers, these are my teams now (can’t imagine cheering for anyone but the Chiefs).  I’m loving the return of sunny days, and I got pissy as all hell when it wouldn’t stop raining. I’m beyond spoiled!  This city, its energy, its diversity, its liberalism (and quiet conservatism); I feel like I’ve lived here my whole life already.  And you notice I haven’t talked the Biz when I talk about the city?  In retrospect, it seems amazing I never really planned to come this way.  Everything truly happens for a reason, and God truly has a plan.

If normal at this moment in time is defined as not being as tight lipped as Tiger Woods, but not being as open as John Mayer, there’s no harm in me admitting at 33, there is a She.  Our relationship is very young, but She is amazing.  Silly, sexy, sensitive,sarcastic, political, charming, affectionate, giving.  I’m looking at Her birthday gifts to me as I write this, in awe of it all. I’m Michael Jackson, I’m John Lennon, I’m Bruce Wayne: I’m this black, Muslim, ‘Hollywood’, noncomformist geek, and she ‘gets it’.  I guess we’ll see if He and She become a We now that I’m 33.  (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, that wasn’t me being smitten, that was me needing to get my behind into bed.)

At this moment, as I move past my last professional milestone, I see the next one coming up quickly.  (Not jinxing it.)  At this moment, I’m waking up in a city I love to live in, enjoying another sunny day.  At this moment, I have a Pretty Young Thang saying those three words to me every morning when I wake up, and every night before I go to sleep (and several times in between).

On my 33rd birthday, I’m essentially living the life I dreamed of having.  My spiritual, professional and personal happiness are all good and looking to become great.  I’ve never been more aware I’m in the 1% of people on this planet who can say that.  I’m having my (birthday) cake and eating it too.  I’m beyond blessed and incredibly humbled.  God is good.

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