Yes, I am aware that it is August and not January. There are no crystal spheres in Times Square, nor is there confetti raining down from the sky. However, I do have a reason to celebrate. Today I turn the ripe old age of 28, edging ever closer to that pivotal milestone at the big 3-0. But actually, I have never hated getting older. I rather enjoy the process, and feel like I'm earning my stripes, battle scars, and weathered expressions. And technically, your birthday is really a personalized New Year. So on this day each year I like to treat it the same way I would Jan 1st – by reflecting on the past year's accomplishments, failures, new experiences (good, bad, strange, and stimulating), and in turn setting new goals for the year to come.
27 was...difficult, to say the least. Friends were lost and Dreams were built only to be broken. But you have to live to learn right. Even with the heartache, there is always enough good to balance out the bad. I got to go to Alaska and walk on a glacier in a storm. I got to be a Stage Manger of National Tour for a weekend. I got to write a newspaper, never drop a bottle, make some amazing friends, and for better or worse opened my heart to the possibility of love. I was accepted into an incredible school in a foreign country, even though I ultimately had to turn down my offer. But the single greatest thing that defined my life this year was the realization of a lifelong dream...
I finally live in New York City.
In church one evening a few years ago, a total stranger had a vision they felt compelled to share with me. They told me that my life's journey could be likened to the image of a spiral staircase; basically saying that even though it may seem like I keep traveling in circles, in reality I am moving up. Keep going, they said. It may feel like a long road, but you are on the right track. I have always hated this image. Mostly because of how true it felt.
Fast forward a few years. Here I am, finally in the Big Apple. I may not be at the top floor but I can definitely say I have at least reached a landing; a lookout; a much deserved resting point after all that hard climbing. And might I add, the skyline view is pretty spectacular. It took 6 years, two tours, way too much "Fiddler on the Roof", and some strict saving, but I did it. And because of this one small achievement I look to the future with a smile in my eyes and hope in my heart. It feels like adolescence is finally being left behind, Thank God! Because let me tell you I am so ready to move on.
As for my plans...well they are always changing aren't they. I may not be attending the school I originally thought this fall, but I think I might be happier flying high with the circus. I can't wait to start some extra work on a film set, and see if that leads anywhere. I hope to find my way into voice over performing, learn some stilt dancing, and get a few more original creations checked off the wish list. Whether broadway or something else is calling my name, I can't be certain. But I have a sneaking suspicion that this year will be a big one. If nothing else, I'll keep climbing.
To all of my friends and family who get me through the rough times, continue to encourage my crazy, and let me live my life the way I choose - Thank You. To the many people who have yet to enter my life, stir things up, and create new memories - I can't wait to meet you. And to New York, well you better watch out, cause you have no idea what you've been missing.
Growing up is never easy. But I have to say, it is worth it.
Happy New Year.