Ahh, the beloved New Year. The time when everyone reflects on loved ones, lost ones, memories, challenges, photographs, romances, heart breaks, diets, exercises, adventures, trends, and new friends. I love the beginning of the year and the way that everyone faces each day with a new found grit and fresh attitude. I also love lists– therefore I am one of those stereotypical people that loves making new goals and resolutions. NOT ashamed! This time last year I was in a very different place and I look back now with so much appreciation for 2013. I graduated from UF, performed in one of my favorite musicals of all time, became a dance teacher, heightened my focus on my career, rid myself of negative energy, focused more on God’s will, let go of fear and resentment, met about 75 new friends, got an apartment in New York City, landed my first professional gig at Busch Gardens, performed in the Macy’s Parade, and now I’m about to accomplish yet another dream of mine by performing on Holland America’s Maasdam ship for 8 months while traveling. A year ago, if you would have told me I would be where I am emotionally and physically I wouldn’t have believed it. Without sounding selfish or overconfident, I am so proud of myself.
These past 4 weeks preparing for Holland America in Los Angeles have been absolutely wonderful. Shortly after my arrival, I quickly fell in love with my 8 person cast and the staff at Stiletto Entertainment. Our Maasdam Ship has 6 singers and 2 dancers, all of which bring entirely different elements to the show. And what a dynamic and kind-hearted group I get to work and live with– they are all so talented, wise, and hilarious and I couldn’t be luckier. We all share a tiny apartment (yes, all 8 of us) and we have been rehearsing non stop to learn 7 shows before going on board the ship. I speak for myself when I say I have never learned so much choreography so quickly in my life! Nor have I danced this many hours and this intensely in a long time. Needless to say we have been working hard and rewarding ourselves with trips to the beautiful California beaches, delicious dinners out in LA, and spontaneous adventures. Brittany and I have been training extra hard, going to equinox in addition to our rehearsals, steaming and eating pretty clean in order to maintain energy throughout our long days. And our hard work is paying off! I feel very good and very thankful to be moving so much and get paid for it. Just a couple days ago we decided to reward ourselves BIG TIME with a 2 day trip to Laguna Beach and the OC for New Years! We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel, got 2 bottles of champagne, had a 5 course dinner at a rooftop restaurant, dressed up and did our hair and makeup, burnt up the dance floor in the restaurant ballroom, watched the fireworks over orange county, and rang in the new year with such an appreciation for where we are in our lives. Our favorite perks: sleeping in a beautiful comfy bed, getting complimentary brunch and mimosas, and being able to unwind from rehearsals. The next day we explored the stunning view that was Laguna Beach. I was breathless when I saw the rocky palm treed cove that sat right on the corner of downtown. I immediately felt overcome with emotion for how lucky I was to be standing in such a beautiful place, with such a beautiful life ahead of me.
I hope that this New Years Day, you all reflected on your beloved past, your promising future, and I hope you experienced a moment like that– the feeling that time has stopped for a moment to remind you how grateful you are.
Happy 2014 everyone.