Being 23

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I did it! I survived another trip around the sun. Being 23 was incredible. Throughout the year I kept a photo record of the amazing things I did and posted it in an album called “Imma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves”. <— This is a Yonce quote and I knew I needed to think about it this past year. My biggest challenge in 23 was being proud of myself, taking in my successes, and marching forward with confidence. I have a tendency to be down on myself because of the slow pace of my career. Last May I was still dealing with a lot of anxiety about the future. I’m still confused about whether I’m doing and pursuing the “right stuff”. I know there’s not a “right” but I want to pursue what makes me happy and I’m still not certain about what the next step is for me. I do know that now, this May, I’m less anxious than ever. I participated in more theatre projects this year than last. I’m gaining valuable teaching artistry skills and I’m getting offered more new and exciting teaching opportunities because of it. I’m drawn to adventure and I successfully planned and executed some amazing trips for myself this year. As far as adventures, I don’t think next year can possibly top this one. But that’s okay. I have to pace myself. My biggest overarching goal will always be to keep pursuing balance between all the different parts of myself and finding contentment in that balance. I’m trying to find the right balance of me time and friend time, creative work time and relaxing with a book time, family time and independent time, mental health time and fighting with the resistance time. It’s not easy and I know I can do better but I need to give myself some credit too. That’s why the quote I’ve chosen for next year’s photo album is “I am not a star. I’m the whole galaxy.” It’s from a Girl Blue song. I have star qualities but I also have darknesses and empty spaces that make up the whole of me. Ultimately, the galaxy is way cooler than a single star. It’s our brightness and our darkness that make us human, that make us strong, that make us uniquely us. Here’s to my awesome year. May 24 bring it’s own challenges and successes.

Here are a few highlights from my amazing year!

  • I saw Beyonce LIVE at Century Link with friends!
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  • Good college friend Mei Mei visited me in Seattle!
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  • I threw a hybrid animal birthday party!
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  • I went to Folklife Festival with Rachael!
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  • I went to Canada for 3 days with my mom!
  • I went to the Washington Beer Festival with my dad!
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  • I went to Seattle Pride Festival with Devin!
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  • I taught theatre summer camps all summer long!
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  • I musically directed a teen production of Urinetown!
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  • I went on a kayaking adventure with the family.
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  • I celebrated my mom’s retirement at Mt. Rainier
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  • I went to the Barnes & Noble midnight Release of Cursed Child with Devon!
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  • My study abroad friend Rachael visited!
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  • I went on an awesome camping with friends!
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  • I chaperoned a teen trip to New York and spent the week seeing old friends, exploring the city, and seeing 7 Broadway shows!
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  • I celebrated my 1-year anniversary with Devin at Bumbershoot Music Festival
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  • I went on the trip of a lifetime – spending 10 days on a tour in Japan!
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  • Big life success: moved out of my parent’s house into an apartment with my awesome roomates and friends Sarah & Lauren
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  • I went to my first Seattle convention – Geek Girl Con!
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  • I voted for a woman for president! (we know how that ended up but it was an exciting moment then)
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  • I crafted a Jigglypuff costume for a very Pokemon Halloween!
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  • I went to the Fantastic Beasts AND Sun & Moon premieres on the same night!
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  • Celebrated Christmas with the family!
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  • I went to Universal for Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Devin’s family!
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  • I ran a 5k with my mom!
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  • I played Wolf in Boy Who Cried Wolf with Storybook Theatre
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  • Was one of 3 actors in Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) with SecondStory Repertory
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  • I cosplayed as Rey from Star Wars for Emerald City Comic Con!
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  • Graduated TAT Lab – a training program from Washington State teaching artists.
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  • Played lots of parts in The Fog Machine Play with Copious Love Productions
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  • I went on a weekend Trip to Portland
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  • I directed FIFTY 4th & 5th grader’s at Lakeview Elementary “We’re Having a Ball”
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  • I spent my last day being 23 in DISNEYLAND!
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Not to mention I saw lots of amazing Seattle theatre, went on some lovely hiking and biking day trips, I skyped far away friends, and had many fun-photo free excursions to movies, concerts, weddings, restaurants, coffee shops, bars etc.! I also did more personal things like reading lots of amazing books, writing songs, and cuddling with my cat. I’m working on a play. It’s slow. I’m still learning and changing and living. Let’s go.
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New Song! I am me. I am us.

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Happy Friday! Is it happy? With each new political disaster (yes, I believe healthcare is important!) I feel dragged down and sad about the way this year is shaping up. This song was inspired by many things. The book I was reading was called “The Soul of an Octopus”, the story of a woman befriending invertebrates. I was also listening to  the beautiful podcast “S-Town”, the story of a New York  City reporter befriending a man from rural Alabama. I was missing faraway friends while creating new friendships with amazing people and artists. I was thinking both about how many things feel horrible and divided while experiencing the magic of intertwining stories and friendships through vast differences. I’ve also been directing 50 elementary schoolers in an after-school play and I keep telling them: “You are only as good as the rest of the cast is so please, please, help each other. Stick up for each other. Work together to make this show awesome. You are you but you are also part of a cast.”

I think we are more powerful as individuals when we’re also thinking about the collective. Anyway, enjoy the song!

New Song! Stop Where You Are

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This has been a busy, busy time for me. I  have not had a moment to breathe easy for months but, on the bright side, being busy keeps my mind occupied and steers my anxiety away. These past two years I’ve had a lot of on-again off-again anxiety and this song, by Corinne Bailey Rae, has helped me through some of that. This song, to me, is about accepting yourself no matter where you are on your life’s journey. If you still don’t have your dream job: you have the right to be happy anyway. If you haven’t achieved all the goals you’ve set for yourself: it’s okay. What you’ve done so far is beautiful, truly. Yes, there are places to go yet but you should be proud of what you’ve done so far.

Tonight I open The Fog Machine Play with Copious Love Productions (fogmachine.brownpapertickets.com). Since January, I’ve done 3 shows back-to-back and at one point all 3 of them were overlapping. I’m exhausted and ready for a break but I’m also proud of myself for really throwing myself into this crazy and fulfilling world of theatre for the past 3 months. I hope with the closing of the Fog Machine play I find time for my personal projects and time to reconnect with old friends or kindle new friendships with folks I’ve met this past year. I hope on any given day I tell myself – STOP PANICKING ABOUT THE FUTURE – What can I do today to enjoy the time I have?

Love to all of you enjoy this song!!!