Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Land of Dreamers

Hello Dream Chasers!

I have just returned from a week long trip to California. I had never been to The Golden State before and I found it to truly be a treasure of a place. In the span of a week my family and I got to see more of the state than I think many Californians see in their whole lives. We flew into San Diego, went to the Los Angeles area to visit family and go to Disney Land, we visited Hollywood, went to Pismo Beach to dip our toes in the Pacific for the first time, we traveled up scenic (and treacherous) Highway 1, ate dinner in Monterey, then went onto San Fransisco where we spent three nights, toured the city, and attended my brother's graduation from Animation Mentor. *Inhale* Then on Sunday we traveled to Muir Woods to see the Redwoods and then flew back home to Maine on the Red Eye out of San Fransisco that night. Yes, it was a very full week, and it was amazing.

So, what does any of this have to do with horses? Well... absolutely nothing. But it has everything to do with Dream Chasing. My family and I visited California for two reasons, both of which were the start of dreams come true. The first reason was, as I mentioned, to attend my brother's graduation from Animation Mentor, an online computer animation course. My brother, Ben Turpin, has been working extremely hard towards this goal for the past two years. It is his dream to work as an animator for a big movie production company such as Pixar or Dreamworks, or to animate for video games. This is a rapidly growing industry and schools like Animation Mentor are producing many talented animators for the field.

The graduation ceremony was very entertaining and inspiring. One thing that they repeatedly emphasized in the ceremony was the importance of earnestly chasing after one's dreams. They said to look at graduating from AM as only the beginning. Too many people enter into their animation careers with a sense of entitlement, "I worked hard for my degree, I deserve this job." But it's people like that that don't make it long in the industry. They quickly get passed up by the ones that say, "Look how far I've come! But look how much further I still have to go! I can't wait!"  Those that continually seek to improve themselves and grow are the ones that really make it in the entertainment production field.

I'm not an animator, but I still took away a lot from what was said that day. Isn't that true for any dream you chase? Do you ever truly arrive? I'm sure some people think they do. But once you start believing that you have some sort of entitlement to the position you want or even the position you already have, that's when your dream begins to die. So really, Dream Chasers, the secret to reaching your dreams is that you never truly stop chasing after them. There is a reason this blog is called "Dream Chaser" and not "Dream Catcher". Yes, dreams do come true, THANK THE LORD, they do. But do you stop dreaming once it has? I think not. What's life without dreams?

The second reason we went to California was to visit my Uncle and Aunt and their 12 kids. I've only ever met two of their children before back when I was 6 years old. We have always lived a continent apart and considering the size of both our families (I'm the second oldest of five) we never were able to visit each other. So when we walked into their home and I saw my 12 beautiful cousins for the first time it was truly a dream come true. I cried, and it takes a lot for me to cry. They were all the sweetest, most well behaved kids I've ever met. I'm going to tell you right now, I am more blessed than all of you! All twenty of us went to Disney Land together and it was the most unforgettable time of my life. It was amazing to be in "The Place Where Dreams Come True" with so many little bright eyed dreamers. It truly was a dream come true.

My eldest cousin, Jennifer Dawn, is the same age as me. We became so close in the few days we were together. She is the sweetest, most pure-hearted person I think I've ever met. And, boy, is she a dreamer! She dreams of one day being a professional singer and songwriter. She has never had any sort of musical or voice training, but she has such a beautiful voice and an amazingly creative imagination. Jennifer told me that she has written 141 songs, "And that's not counting the ones I haven't finished or the ones I don't like to sing anymore," she told me. All 141 of those songs are ones she sings regularly to all her younger brothers and sisters. She sang to me some of her favorites, and I was truly blown away by both her voice and the great lyrics. Than she said to me, "Can I sing you my worst song?" She sang it to me and my mouth dropped open,  I said, "THAT'S your WORST song?!" It was called "Have Faith" and the lyrics were so uplifting and catchy that I caught myself humming it in the shower the next morning.

What really impressed me about Jennifer's songs is that she sings solely because she loves to sing and not to try and impress anyone. She told me that she only ever sings for her brothers and sisters and never has a chance to sing outside the house. I think I was the first person outside her immediate family that she has ever sung to. Because of this though there is an amazing purity to her songs and her heart shines through so brightly because she is not trying to impress anyone and she has no reason to fear what others think of her. I asked if I could record her singing some of her songs. I wish I recorded all of them! She actually wrote me a song while I was there ("It's number 142!" she told me cheerily). I recorded that one, which she simply titled "Miranda". I've never had anyone write me a song before. I was extremely touched. I also recorded another really fun and catchy one titled "Where is my Superhero?" But my favorite one, which she first sang to me on the way to Disney land, is titled "My Dreams." I'm telling you, I don't get emotional over music. If I ever tear up during a song, it just that, a little teary eyed. But while she sang this song, tears were streaming down my face. Was it because of the high emotions already in the room? Maybe. But still, when I listen to it now I still feel like she is singing about me. After she sang it, I told her all about my Dream Chaser blog and how I write this in order to inspire others to chase after their own dreams. I asked Jennifer if I could post the video of her singing on here and her face just lit up. This will be the first time anyone outside her family will have heard her sing. I hope you all are as blessed as I was.

So without further ado....

Never stop Dreaming!

Miranda Joy Turpin

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Interview

Hello Dream Chasers!

My apologies for the long wait for this next video blog entry. Life has been a crazy up and down roller-coaster this past month. But I FINALLY got around to finishing this vlog update today. Part of this video was actually filled in Texas during my interview at Downunder Horsemanship Ranch. I didn't get as much vlogging done as I would have liked, but as least I got some. Hopefully you will get a good feel for how it felt for me to be there. So without further ado...

Peace and Joy,

Miranda Joy Turpin