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Burning the Candle

One thing that I really love is animation. I have loved it for as long as I can remember. I loved Disney shorts growing up and would always rent Disney short collections at local video rental stores.


Then in 1989, I sat in the theater over Thanksgiving Break, while visiting my family in Central California and my life trajectory shifted. It was "The Little Mermaid" and I knew I wanted to be an animator. I was nine years old, and it was such a big statement for such a little person, but I knew that was what I wanted. I bought that VHS (preordered from Waldenbooks, if you were interested) and I watched it daily. You might think that is hyperbolic, but it is not. Not at all.


And then "Beauty and the Beast" came out and my goals were solidified. I announced my intentions to everyone who would listen. Luckily, I had a lot of support. My parents' coworker would go to Disney conventions and have things signed for me - like this:

Why yes, Nik Ranieri and Will Finn circa 1992, I will keep drawing. Thanks for the reminder. (lead animators for Cogsworth and Lumiere)


It's framed, it's on my office wall, and I love it dearly.


One thing that I love is the advice to the 12-year-old to "not burn the candle at both ends." 12-year-old Noella is like, "Um . . . candles have one end. I will not be burning the candle at both ends. I gotchu Nik Ranieri. We're cool."


And 40-year-old Noella? I let you down Nik Ranieri. I have not burned the candle at both ends. I have cut it up and lit it on fire and basked in its glow. Dang. Too much too much.


So currently, between the full-time position as an assistant principal, going to school for my admin credential, plus trying to take care of the kids (2) with soccer and schoolwork and whatever other things they always seem to have happening. Do you have kids? Do they want to eat every day? Like, multiple times a day? Ugh. Can't they just eat cereal? Or ramen? Or popcorn?


But the art? The writing? That's what I want to be doing. Finding chunks of time, here and there, to take the time to draw and create and find those little pieces that bring me joy. At this point in my life, I know that creating isn't my primary responsibility and it may be a while before it is, but I'll find my moments. I'll probably fall asleep on the couch tonight while drawing, me and the dog snoring together. I'll find a moment here or there to blog (I'm currently in my class . . . shhhhhh) but I can multitask. In fact, when don't I multitask?


Okay 1992 Will Finn and Nik Ranieri, I will keep drawing and if anyone says anything, I will direct them to this almost 30 year old autograph that lives on the wall of my office. So there.


Someday creation will be my focus, but for now, I'll find my pockets of time and light that candle up because I have to create.



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