This blog hasn’t been touched since I went to Europe. It’s been 3 months since my last post, so the amount of catching up I would have to do would be ridiculous. I guess I’ve been having too much fun! Between trains and planes all over Europe, cathdedrals, meals, forts, hills, alps, sheep, shops, cobblestones, hikes, paintings, friends, and quaint villages, October and November flew by with a blurry, blissful head and heart. Instead of retracing all the details, I’ll just keep it short and sweet. Traveling is so much more than a luxury of sights, sounds, and tastes. It has shaped me and educated me far more than any experience in my life. I’m going to steal a quote from my friend in saying that, “without seeing the world, without traveling, you only know as much as you can see.” Our vision of life and what’s out there is so limited if we don’t go outside the box. We see what we think is important, what we think is necessary, and what we think is right. I encourage anyone who reads this, whether you have enough money or not, to find a way to save, to take a loan, to reach out to friends, and try as hard as hell to get out there and SEE more than what’s in front of you on a daily basis. Highlights of my Europe trip included: Mount Teide, Tenerife’s volcanic mountain above the clouds (highest mtn in Spain), Las Palmas beach, Gran Canaria, Almeria Alcazaba fortress, Valencia Holy Grail, every spot in Barcelona, Chateau D’If and the cathedrals of Marseille, Milan’s excellent wine, food, and shopping (leather darling!), the Last Supper viewing in Milan, the canal structure and architecture of Amsterdam, the Christmas Market, castle, and pubs in Edinburgh, the homeliness, rural views, and people of Annan, Loch Lomond outside of Glasgow, Miss Saigon and reunions with old friends in London. All I can say is, I am already planning another beautiful trip somewhere new this year, because the travel bug has hit me hard.
As for the closing of the year and the beginning of a new one, it is clear that blessings are abundant in the Stevens household. I ended December celebrating the marriage of my two best friends Morgan and Brad, had a beautiful Christmas alongside my family, a Disney Trip with my siblings, and commemorated Pops’ birthday and our first Christmas without my sweet, sweet grandfather. On December 29th, I began rehearsal for my first ever Equity Production in Naples, “Mack & Mabel.” What better way to ring in 2015 than with a professional, kind, and fun cast that works, or should I say TAPS their butt off? Being back on stage and working with such talented actors has really kept me inspired for my return to New York City in late January.
This new year is already off to a hugely positive start. In 2014, I felt the need to constantly inspire other people, to keep my chin up amongst trails, to drive through any battles with fervor, and to be my own source of light. I became very self reliant. This year, I’m already learning that I can rely on other people to inspire me too. In fact, I need others to fuel me as well. God teaches us that we are never alone because he walks with us daily. But He also teaches us that we need help, guidance, and support. Fellowship. One light may shine bright on its own, but in the company of other bright forces, the light is blinding, so vivid that it draws everyone in. A friend of mine called this kind of light, “a torch.” Some people really do bare “torches” of love and those are the people that I choose to surround myself with this year. The people that make you feel alive, that challenge you, that love you unconditionally, that you can rely on, that accept you with honesty, and that provoke deep thought in you. God’s hand has thankfully placed people like that in my life recently, and I can’t wait to witness the joy that lies ahead. One of my favorite phrases to use about humankind is “sleepwalking through life.” Many of us do it without realizing. We wake up; repeat our actions of work, we play, we maintain our bodies, we socialize or educate ourselves. Then we go to sleep and do it all over again. In one of my favorite movies, “About Time,” the main character gets the privilege of re-living his days over and over again to notice the smaller blessings throughout his day. He does this repeatedly until he realizes that he simply should treat every day this way instead of missing the blessings the first time. It sounds like a cheesy movie plot and perhaps an unrealistic idea, but THAT is the way I want to live my life. Noticing the small details, lighting a torch of my own, forging that light with others to make it even brighter, stronger. This post is dedicated to those people in my life that have helped me light my torch when it burns out, who’ve helped me remember God’s gifts when I can’t.
And because it’s A New Year, I will share my old resolutions (YES—I saved them on my phone) and a couple of my new ones. What’s crazy is I actually completed the majority of these in 2014.
- Develop exercise regimen √
- Read 20 or more books on cruise √
- Experience a new love √
- Get more involved in charity work
- Write a book
- Let go of the past √
- Be more Patient with others √
- Think Less of Myself √
- Audition for at least 30 jobs this year √
- Get Vocal Coach
- New resume, headshots √
- Financially stabilize myself
- Go back to Europe √
- Get signed by an agent
- Stop being nervous at Auditions
- Treat Body Like a Temple √
Some of 2015
- Rebuild my Faith, strengthen it
- Be Present, not somewhere else
- Budget, Budget, Budget
- Establish NYC job, Apartment
- Go to more singing auditions, rather than dance calls to get comfortable
- Work towards Actors Equity Card
- Travel Somewhere New
- Love is natural, not analyzed, not complicated
- Practice More Meditation and Prayer
- You can’t get better without work: Take far more acting, dance, voice classes
- Stop Worrying so much
Happy 2015 my readers, my family, my friends!