Avidazen 2012, Hello 2013!

Well hello there, 2013, it’s nice to meet you.

Wow, 2013. No longer does the 21st century seem new and strange. The future is here and we’re all doing our best to get along so bring it on and farewell to 2012- you will be missed.

As for this past year, it was was for the ages. So many actually important things happened in my life that I have only to thank God, my family and friends for. I really grew up this year. I turned twenty-one and really enjoyed my first year of drinking in public in bars, ball parks, and festivals. I learned to love more than Budweiser and lick my lips when tempted with the cool taste of a vodka-tonic or Jack and ginger. Yes, 2012, had it’s fair share of shenanigans which included two weddings! One for my Aunt Tracy to my new Uncle Bill and another between my dear old friend Paul and the wonderful new Mrs. Cartwright, Shannon.

It also had it’s fair share of trials and tribulations. First of all, a year ago this week I lost one of my best friends, the dog I grew up with, Charlie. January 3rd will never pass without me thinking about him and the subsequent party I threw where we played a Sandlot drinking game… No party this week, but on the 3rd I will be having a root canal… haha? I also endured the biggest test of strength in my relationship with the woman I love firmly and deeply. We climbed back from rock bottom and have been on top ever since. Sometimes you just have to go through hell before you get to heaven and that includes the ever-unfolding saga of 5 Idora Blvd…

…My father reconnected with a past love of his and I couldn’t be happier for him. He seems to be a grand place and together they have moved to Clearwater, which means the future is murky for the old homestead. Right now I’ve been helping my dad renovate the place for renters and starting with the first day of 2013, the house will be on the market. Alas, my ole’ dad was not the only one to relocate. My Aunt Tracy has settled outside of Ft. Lauderdale and my Aunt Sami and cousins have moved to Cincinnati. Not too mention, I moved out of the apartment and in with Jaynee and her family- to whom I could never be more grateful… Never thought I’d move back to Osceola County, nor did I ever think everyone would move away.

Yes, it has been a year of changing identities and I have grown exponentially as a human being and artist. I still do not know my true place in the world, but this year I came closer to finding out. I had a real wake up call early on, and it took a real special mentor and group of friends to put me on the right road to success. Acting is hard. It takes extraordinary levels of self-discipline and dedication but I firmly believe that after 2012 I can really put those skills into practice. After all, I did spend four months of the year working as a professional actor….

…A whole quarter of my year was spent at the fantastic Hangar Theatre in the equally beautiful Ithaca, New York. For the first time in my career as an actor, I escaped the walls of educational and community theatre and reveled in being immersed in an environment supported with other professionals. Where everyone has an equal stake in the outcome of the play and we all work as hard as we can because we know how lucky we are to be a part of the stage. Take nothing for granted and enjoy everyday like it’s your last. You’ve got to in this world and I sure learned to appreciate that mantra in 2012.

A huge part of that was all the traveling I took part in this past year. I’ve never been so many places in my life before than in 2012. I even rang in the year away from home! In Gatlinburg, Tennessee with Jaynee. We got back on January 1st, and not two months later I spent a weekend in Atlanta, GA with one of my best friends, Terrance. We had a hell of a time checking out Peachtree Street, auditioning for the Georgia Shakespeare Theatre, and paying a visit to the final resting place of Martin Luther King, Jr. I even explored unfamiliar places within Florida, circumnavigating Lake Okeechobee with Max and Josh.

But of course the biggest adventure of all began in the last week of May with my best bud, Armando. We had both gotten internships at the Hangar and only had one way of getting to New York… the open road. It took that whole week to get there, but it was well spent exploring strange new lands and traversing our magnificent country from South to North. Days spent in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, winding our way through the battlefields of Virginia and the sea coasts of New England. And while IN Ithaca, I went everywhere from Niagara Falls, to Woodstock, to two self-guided excursions to New York City, where I fell in love with everything that great-no, enormous- city has to offer.

Then when it was all over, Jaynee flew up and we had another road trip, albeit much shorter, back to my Florida home. We stopped in Gettysburg, PA and visited Harrison in Charleston, SC as he is already in the midst of the next chapter of his life.

Yes sir, 2012 was could easily be deemed the Year of the Road and I look forward to the many new adventures 2013 holds in store. Already, I’m returning to Ithaca for another play, have hopes for another gig elsewhere in the world, and I am finally graduating from college at the very in December! (though walking with my class in May). Sure, I ended 2012 without a real job, and I sure hope to land one sometime early this year, because although I am super stoked for what it has to offer, I am already looking beyond to 2014 and what I will need to truly flip the page on the next chapter of this grand book I like to call life.

P.S.

I voted for the first time for President of the United States! Here’s not only to the next year, but to four more!

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