Tex’n the City: Epilogue

In late September, we launched an online series called Tex’n the City, where former Dallasite Brandon James Singleton chronicled the months leading up to his 30th birthday as a transplant to Southern California. He started with a checklist, then moved one-by-one through the things he wanted to accomplish before the big day: 1. Live in a dream home, 2. have a well-paying career, 3. get a hot body, 4. enjoy his social circle, 5. have a great boyfriend, 6. be drama free, 7. have “respect,” 8. have security, 9. have a BFF and finally, 10. be ready for the future. Rarely did what he think he wanted — or had — turn out to be what he imagined.

On Dec. 15, Brandon hit his mark. Here’s Part 1 to his post-script to the first 30 years.

DOOMSDAY.

I’ve compared life to the cinema a lot over the last few weeks. But just like the movies, sometimes when things look slim, that silver-lining comes from nowhere.

1. DREAM HOME. I am enjoying living on the West Coast more than any place I’ve ever lived. I love Texas. I’ll always love Texas. But being in Hollywood has forced me to grow up, in every way.

There’s an energy that drives people out here to go after what they want. And succeed in obtaining it. It’s one of the busiest places in the world. And it can feel lonely and make you feel insignificant if you allow it to. But it can also make you feel inspired and motivate you to rise up to the challenge and achieve your dreams.

I am in love with Hollywood. I was born here. It just took nearly 30 years for the prodigal son to find his way home.

2. WELL-PAYING CAREER. A few days ago, I get the call I’ve been waiting for since September: I was offered a full time position with one of the companies I’ve been interning for. Within the week, I was working on sets for Lifetime, Nick@Nite and NBC.

All of these months of hard work are paying off.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Tex’n the City: Item No. 10 — Rounding the corner

Just weeks before his 30 birthday, Brandon James Singleton finally has a revelation that will prepare him for 30, 40 and beyond… 

“So here’s what you missed on Glee.”

Wait — wrong intro.

Earlier this week, I has another date with Remy, a new guy I’ve been seeing.

He had me at hello: Hot! Named Remy! An accent! As long as he’s not hiding some secret alcoholic or deep-rooted drug addiction, he’s in!

He took me to a restaurant in Huntington Beach. Going good.

Then he brought up Tex’n the City.

At first it was easy stuff, like when it started, what it was for, etc. Then he asked what he probably thought was another easy question: “How do you feel at this point with what you’ve done so far?”

Hmmm. I didn’t really have an answer. Then he asked, “If you hadn’t this, how do you think you’d feel now?

That one was easier: “Miserable.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Tex’n the City: The checklist

Editor’s note: This week we launch a new online series, Tex’n the City, by Brandon James Singleton. A combination web diary and advice column, Tex’n the City will track Singleton’s plans to get his life together as he narrows in on his 30th birthday. Enjoy!

 Tex’n the City: The Checklist

by Brandon James Singleton

Do you have a list of things you just knew you’d accomplish by a certain age? Sure you do.

First car by 16 … Study abroad before graduation … Throw the best 21st birthday party ever — or at least one epic enough to make all your friends and enemies jealous …  Get discovered after college walking out of a Starbucks, and become America’s new male Oprah ….

OK, maybe that last one is just me. Point is, everyone can own up to at least one such goal.

Then, reality hits.

No matter how hard you work or how detailed your plans, most things don’t turn out like you expect.

With my next birthday — the big 3-0 — slowly creeping up, I’ve been inspired to try and break the curse I’ve imagined was placed on me by that one kid in elementary school I renamed “Stinky McRoach” in front of the classroom — hey, it kept the heat off me for a bit. I know, kids can be mean! But if you’re the poor, short, gap-teeth pudge with bifocals, in a rich private school filled with mini-Channing Tatums and little Kristen Bell look-alikes, try to grow up blameless. (Way to go, Ryan Murphy, waiting until now to make geeks popular. Where were you when Stinky and I needed you?)

To prep for this new passage in life, I re-read some really, really old journals I managed to find. (Thanks, Myspace.) Imagine my disappointment in realizing not only had I not accepted my fourth Academy Award by 25, I hadn’t been nominated for my first. (Maybe if I worked on a movie first…). Nor am I fighting off the paparazzi who bombard my home in the Hamptons simply to get a shot of me and my fiancé, Tyson Beckford, lounging around our Olympic pool like the one in Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart” video. I don’t vacation in Florida with Diddy and J-Lo, or spend nights laughing it up around the Hills with the cast of Party of Five.

Strangest of all, I seemed to have misplaced the extra 25 lbs. of sexy greek-god muscle I was to spend ages 26 to 27 putting on for that Spielberg summer blockbuster he would beg me to star in.

Maybe some dreams are just that.

But many others aren’t. I made my list of the top 10 things that truly are achievable, and should be by 30. Call it my Life Timeline Checklist:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones