Happy New Year! Hard to believe it’s already February, and I’m just now sitting down to reflect on my 2022. It’s my own fault, of course…there’s always something happening somewhere in NYC, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the constant FOMO of it all. So this year, one of my goals is to slow down enough to actually smell the proverbial roses as I pass them.
When I look back at the last year, even I can’t believe how many exciting escapades I crammed into just 12 months. A year ago this weekend, I was in the midst of a whirlwind Jason Bateman weekend. The Harvard Man of the Year ceremony, the SmartLess live shows and Q&A sessions in Boston and Brooklyn, the lovely fellow fans I met online and in person along the way…it was one of the most magical experiences of my entire life.
In many ways, I feel like an internal switch flipped that weekend, reminding me that I’m capable of making anything happen in my life — and that momentum only continued to build throughout the year. Every single part of my world underwent a major transformation over the course of 2022. I took control of my health, losing 100+ pounds (again…the struggle is so very real #persistence) and overhauling my eating habits. I’m back in NYC, living on the fringe of the theater district — a dream come true for me to be able to just hop on over to a Broadway show on a whim. I took a new job that meant going from completely remote to commuting to an office in SoHo a few times a week. A job change was one of the few things that wasn’t on my 2022 bingo card at the start of the year, but it’s been a happy accident. I know that all of these changes deserve, and will one day receive, their own devoted posts.
If you know me, you know that, despite everything I just told you, change and I definitely do not go way back. I’ve made major strides in that department over the years, but I think this would prove an inordinate level of change at once for anyone. And in the eye of a change super storm, how do we know we’re making the right decisions? It’s impossible to ever know that answer, of course. And while I’m not convinced there really are any right or wrong decisions, I do believe in the universe…and she gives us signs.
As I mentioned, I now have a commute, which I try to make somewhat productive by listening to podcasts (ahem, SmartLess), Broadway soundtracks (bring on Moulin Rouge) or audiobooks. One morning, I was listening to If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (a reimagined Cinderella story, totally on brand for my Disney-loving self) on the subway ride to the office. Imagine my utter shock when the main character, who was moving from NYC, mentioned how she’ll miss so many things about the Big Apple, including the 28th Street station on the 1 train — and I looked up to see I was stopped at the 28th Street station as I sat on the 1 train. What the what? How many things had to line up in the universe for that exact moment to happen? Far, far too many for me to ever believe it wasn’t the universe sending me a sign that I was quite literally on the right track.
And I’m with the universe on this one, seeing as I’ve done some pretty unbelievable things of late. Let’s hit some of the highlights:
– I learned all about the celebrity side door entrance and exit…chatting with some professional celebrity chasers waiting for Jason to leave the Good Morning America studios opened up a whole new world to me. I used the same strategy to catch Jason leaving the Jimmy Kimmel Live in Brooklyn set with Jennifer Aniston a few months later.
– I went to the Tony Awards. Enough said.
– I got into a taping of Late Night with Seth Meyers with Tom Holland as a guest, which was a huge score on its own. But it also happened just days after seeing another Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, doing a live Q&A as part of a Tick Tick Boom screening. It’s like my own personal Multiverse of Madness.
– I had a blast in Vegas with my Mom and Julie at the start of the summer. It was a million degrees outside, but we had fun in the A/C hitting our favorite spots. We visited Resorts World for the first time to see Carrie Underwood — the voice, the costumes, how does she do it?
– I had an up-close-and-personal Moulin Rouge book signing moment with the incredibly talented Tony winner Aaron Tveit. We won’t discuss how many times I saw Aaron play Christian in 2022, but I will say that one of the best nights of my year had to be sitting front and center at one of his final performances. Unreal.
– I went to more shows than I can count. Musicals. Plays. Broadway. Off-Broadway. I saw — and loved — them all. Theater just has my heart, it’s a surreal experience for me. How many times did I float home from a show on cloud nine just feeling so joyful and grateful to be able to see a show whenever my heart desires?
– I had the best time ever celebrating the holidays at Disney World with Julie. It’ll forever be my favorite time of year to visit the parks…and it delivered once again. Big Thunder Mountain will always reign supreme, as I have so many fond memories of us riding it as a family over the years. But how could I not go crazy over Slinky Dog Dash — I mean, a Disney/dachshund crossover? Say less. I only wish Kona could ride it. And in an unexpected turn of events (thanks to Southwest), we ended up spending Christmas Eve at the Magic Kingdom watching the Christmas parade. On a super personal level, this was also the first time I’ve ever been to a theme park when I didn’t have to worry about whether I’d fit in a seat or that I’d be huffing and puffing in the crowds to the point of embarrassment. Truly a new lease on life.
I could go on and on, but just putting this list together makes me smile. In the shuffle of daily life, I let writing and posting blogs take a back seat. It’s such a positive creative outlet for me that I really want (and honestly because it boosts my mood so much, need) to start doing it regularly again. Look for more posts this year.
Here’s to 2023 bringing even more good things into all of our lives…and to us being able to take a step back and recognize them while they’re there.