As 2012 comes to an end I feel obliged to close out of the year with a reflection. The phrase that comes to mind most is the oft-used British-ism that 2012 “took the piss out of me”. The year simultaneously tore me down and built me up. In a nutshell, it showed me what I’m made of.
The year started with uncertainty, heartbreak, and utter loneliness but gradually morphed into one with clarity, fortitude, hard work, reasonable success, and more uncertainty. I made new friends and lost old ones. Some relationships were strengthened while others were shattered. I juggled through 8 different jobs that each gave me a new vision of myself and dealt with one morbidly-obese egomaniac boss. I attended countless auditions throughout the greater Los Angeles area and met some of the weirdest people I’ve ever met—and this coming after having been in the dance world for 8 years…
I entered a business I had dabbled in throughout the years but only fully immersed myself in this year. I dove head first into the lion’s den and have since built a strong network of creative teammates, a growing portfolio, little snapshots in commercials, music videos, and print ads, on set experience, minimal negotiation skills, and a better sense of navigation in LA! I made some friends in auditions and shoots and possibly a few enemies, too along the way. My smile grew as my waistline shrank. I experienced moments of weakness and immense jealousy surrounded by moments of absolute pride and joy in seeing my colleagues succeed at their dreams. I realized—truly—that everyone is going through their own personal struggle and there’s no need to discourage anyone from anything regardless of my personal opinions and general judgmental bitchiness. I learned not to take myself too seriously but to take my work seriously. Because after I’m long gone from this earth, my work will be what remains of me.
I lost, re-gained, and re-lost a relationship that I so desired to keep with a reluctant partner and learned that finding my own self-worth through the eyes of one person was entirely the wrong way to go about things. I hit my lowest lows this year but managed to find the inner-strength to carry on. I literally cried for days, laughed uncontrollably, cried some more, sang along angrily to Fiona Apple, drove in circles, escaped to the farthest corners of my heart, made bad decisions, made good decisions, and slowly got through it. And I know that I will be okay.
I ventured to San Francisco twice, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Las Vegas (ugh), Kyoto, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Israel, and Palestine to broaden my world view. Sometimes I had an organized, set itinerary and other times I took it as the wind blew me. I had moments of complete solitude that I thoroughly enjoyed partnered with moments of lonely isolation where I wished for nothing more than a kind word from a stranger. Other times I felt surrounded to the point of suffocation and found company where I least expected it and also felt moments of complete love and compassion from my closest friends and loved ones.
The year 2012 proved to be one tough cookie and I don’t think anything could have been different. There were times I absolutely cursed the universe and my place in it and wanted to jump in front of a bus but quickly shook my head and reminded myself that there’s just too much left to do. Watching the news I witnessed moments of atrocity that put my own personal suffering into perspective and made me count my blessings. I became even more frightened of the world I live in—a world where mentally unstable people hurt others for the pure sake of making a name for themselves in history; where governments brutally crush their citizens to the point of revolution and endless massacre; and where fundamentalists still live according to ancient and irrelevant religious texts that cause them to harass, discriminate against, torture, terrorize and murder people who think differently—yet felt astounded by the new heights technology has reached; the compassion of young people worldwide; the art created around me; and the growing awareness people are acquiring through technology, travel, and communication.
With a tendency to only acknowledge my weaknesses and deficiencies, I finally learned to realize my strengths and qualities. It may have taken a while but in being surrounded by positive people who appreciate my company I learned that it’s okay to feel confident about my talents and to push myself closer to reaching my goals. I learned that I don’t need to feel so inferior all the time in a business where there’s always another level to aspire to, but rather to embrace the challenge.
But mainly I learned what I’m made of. This year took a toll on me, one in which I didn’t always think I’d get through. But I did and I know one day I’ll laugh at all the misfortune that befell me. Maybe even write a blog or two about it. Until that day arrives though I live moment-by-moment. Sometimes I’m fine. I sit still, quietly and breathe. Other times I’m falling apart. And it’s okay. Do I have any New Year’s resolutions? Not really. Well, maybe one: to think differently. I have a small group of close friends who taught me to love myself. It wasn’t their job to teach me anything but they did. And I paid close attention. Now it’s my turn to make the changes I need to make so that 2013 will be an eventful and productive year.
One last thing. I learned that I’m a pretty good liar. And as always, I only mean half the things I say.