(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
YouTube link added 12.26.07
3:45 PM, Sunday, December 31st, 2006:
120 entries in one year. Whew.
How much more? A lot.
The truth of The Journey is this: I wholeheartedly believed this year would never happen. The "be positive at any cost" crowd doesn't want to hear that, but welcome to the real world. Now at one point early on, obviously I believed in this year or I never would have come out here. But after the years that transpired I accepted that it was very possible...that I never got a break. After 6 years, there was no reason to believe the next 6 years would be better. I stayed here only because I no longer belonged anywhere else...
...and then I got lucky. The Journey Gods had enough. They struck on the 1st of April (how poetic of them) and they never relented. It's been 9 straight months of non-stop ups and downs with over 100 entries in just those months alone. It'll be a good year before I can actually gain some sort of perspective on just how amazing this year was, but it's tradition to write this entry - so I'll try to take a stab at it.
Man is it even possible to summarize? America's Got Talent was a year in itself. It really was. That 10 entry series was just incredible. I just reread it and...WOW...what a heartbreak! Goddammmmmmn. I can't fathom how I'd feel had Living Room Live never come along. To be booked for the show and then lose it a day later. That feeling of pure magic for only a day. All the while MSNBC playing "Let's Bomb Iran", then being booked for an interview and losing THAT the next day. Astonishing. Winning the first round of Living Room Live then losing the second. Going through all of that and then still going to New York to be on the show? Then Donna, pitching the hosting gig, The Sopranos... JESUS. I'm tired THINKING about it. How was I able to keep up with The Journey? Just incredible. And of course what lies ahead is also mind-boggling.
But honestly, the only reason this year sticks out? The 4 previous years. If you look at my entire adult life, a little over a dozen yearsm this year really fits right in. I have always seemed to fall into places and just "belong". From making CDs to radio to right now with CBS. It's all a very clear pattern of what seems like my entire adulthood...except for those 4 years. Those years where I didn't have faith in my ability to wake up in the morning. They are the most precious years of The Journey for me and I re-read them often. This year is indeed the year of my life, just as 2001 was before it, 2000, 1999, 1998, and so on, and so on.
That being said, it kinda floors me how easily I'm getting along on a stage like CBS. I don't feel out of place. In fact I feel like a leader. I feel like this burst of energy that has a million ideas and people actually listen to them and agree with them. And I don't flinch. It doesn't ever occur to me to think:  "What if they don't like this?" I'm in this zone right now where I have the utmost faith in my abilities and I'm pushing it every possible way I can figure out. I'm scheming in the shower, before I go to sleep, during an episode of The Sopranos, constantly finding a way to turn this into more and more and more. I'm in the game and I'm playing my heart out.
God... I'm in the game. I really am. Jesus, it's really hittin' me. This is it. This was the year I've waited for my whole life. Just the opportunity to show what I'm made of. A direction. And it was the perfect mix of opportunity and drive. As I've said over and over - there were no meetings planned by CBS in NY. All that theorizing about how them flying me out to announce the winner was really something more? It wasn't. As far as they were concerned that was it. They shook my hand that day and I was on my way. But I stayed out there for weeks and schemed. The fight never ends. I'm fighting NOW. For every, single, scrap. People always act like there will be this big break and then it all falls into place... in fact? There's only big opportunities. The breaks do happen, but they're opportunities to do more. Most people would've gone on The Early Show, spent the night in the fancy hotel, and flew back the next day. Hoping that somehow that one appearence would lead to something. No. No, no, no. You really do have to spell out your career to the powers that be. You're pitching constantly. How special it is to have this documented. The keys to everything are within these entries fellow dreamers. You really can apply this to your situation and make the road ahead yours.
So yes, it was the year of my life. It was so good I can't even comprehend it. I could use my favorite word a thousand times:  Incomprehensible. It's such a perfect descriptor. Events so encompassing your brain can't take it in. And the shot of me hearing that voicemail. Wow. It still hardly registers. I have to chew at it, bit by bit as the months roll on...
...and I'll be chewing for awhile. THANK YOU 2006. I needed you so bad. Bring on 2007.
Happy New Year.