I love holiday movies. My boyfriend and I watched so many Hallmark Christmas movies we were able to make bingo sheets to accompany our viewing sessions. But one thing that's bothered me through almost two decades of holiday movie watching is that there are no Thanksgiving movies.
Thanksgiving is an inherently dramatic holiday. I have several memories that would fit well into some sort of coming-of-age or family drama. Like that time my aunt was asking about the spinning chicken game behind the couch. Or the year that my mom and I got wine drunk and watched Say Yes to the Dress.
About five years ago I set out to write a feature-length Thanksgiving screenplay. It involved a woman returning to a small town to find that she didn't really recognize it or herself anymore. It sounds cliche, but it's something I can relate to, since it's sort of my life. However, much like a lot of the things in my life, it never really came to fruition. I wasn't really sure where to go with it because I wasn't really sure where I was going.
But I vowed not to stop. I vowed that someday I would write a Thanksgiving movie, or maybe a few of them. Because I wanted to be able to watch a Thanksgiving movie. And because my mom didn't raise a quitter.
Flash forward to the present day. My boyfriend and I are collaborating with some friends to make a feature-length film. A script was written, a table read was held, feedback was received and I volunteered to do the rewrite. It was originally set at Christmas, but somehow that didn't fit. We decided it should be set at Thanksgiving.
I set about writing it and this time, it feels a lot better. Everything seems to have fallen into place. It makes sense. It's dark, it's twisted, it's surreal in part, but it's a Thanksgiving movie.
I didn't even realize that I'd written one until I was riding my bike to work today. But I did it. I accomplished the goal that I've held for the better part of a decade. It wasn't the Thanksgiving movie I ever set out to write, but I still did it.
And I think that's an important thing to remember. Sometimes, we won't reach our goals on the path we thought we'd reach them. Sometimes when we do reach the goal, it won't look like we envisioned it. Sometimes we won't even realized we reached our goal until we're waiting at a stoplight. But we still did it and we should still be proud.