My First Quarter Century: Year in Review

The constant stream of social media and calendar engagements makes it difficult to see what I have accomplished every year of my life. This was a big one, as predicted by everything that brought in my 25th year.

Pictured: First visit to Niagara Falls, first sisters-only vacation

  • Took on full-time work in sales and marketing in the publishing industry, higher education.
  • Attended two writers retreats and fully participated in every aspect available within Storefront Theatre’s Playwrights Unit 2015-2016.
  • Wrote 400-500 pages of new material in crafting my horror play Raggedy’s Kingdom. (This page count does not include any other projects, personal or collaborative)
  • SOLD OUT the staged reading of Raggedy’s Kingdom in Storefront Theatre’s Indie 6ix Playwright’s Festival. (Which means I ran a successful email, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing campaign–check out the Before and After.)

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  • Represented Playwrights Guild of Canada as their Friday “Follow-the-Playwright” at the 2016 Canadian Writers Summit.
  • Successfully managed a smooth transition out of my friendly housemate position after a year and a half of service and living in community.
  • First steady romantic relationship since high school.
  • Became a contributing member of Kimbourne Park United Church and the Garden @ Kimbourne.
  • Attended Zumba classes so regularly my instructor came to my staged reading and I now get invited to dance at the front of the class on at least three songs most weeks…#dancingqueen
  • Traveled to Asia for the first time, which included training for and climbing Mount Fuji in Japan.
  • Succeeded in giving up social media for a full calendar month–plus even a few more days into August!

There are less items on the list than in previous years, but I am narrowing down to pursue the projects that really mean the most to me. Sales, I realize, is something I have a knack for and need to keep developing as an artist who wants to promote her work–plus it’s great practice in storytelling and engaging an audience.

So that full-time plus Raggedy’s Kingdom and Transmission, the big project I’m collaborating on for the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, are it right now.

Winnowing my projects down both inspires and infuriates me at turns. Shutting doors for any reason–even a good, healthy one–is depressing, even while the grasping desperation and exhaustion of previous years haunts me.

But for now, at the beginning of a new year with lots to be grateful for, it is time to listen to the old soul within me as it whispers: “It’s coming. Slowly, but surely, it’s coming.”

As I enter the second half of my twenties, this is what I’m writing to remember and embrace everything that I’ve accomplished. Let it inspire and motivate every new step I take next.

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About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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