28 Nov 2014 End of the Year, Wrap-Up
You know that show, HOARDERS on A&E? The one that tells the sad tales of how people succumb to the addiction of storing and saving to extreme and often debilitating levels? I find that I can somehow relate to that. Not in terms of possessions that is, because I love to let go of things that I no longer use on a regular basis. But what I can never let go of are memories of events that helped shape me. I am a hoarder. I hoard memories, moments and positive feelings. With time moving by so fast, I want to be able to remember and reflect on all the fortunate moments that I have had the privilege of experiencing. Thankfully, I will always remember 2014 as a year that overloaded my mind with so many moments to take in, remember and hoard.
On March 8th, I hoarded moments from one of the most spectacular days of my life: the wedding of my sister and brother-in-law. Giving the final toast of the evening, I vowed to store that moment of love and genuine happiness in my mind for decades to come. And, I will never forget my dog Rocco joining in at the wedding reception.
Eight months later, I was blessed to speak at my grandmother’s 100th birthday celebration. Upon entering the reception, I was awestruck with all of the love in the room for my father’s mother. It was a moment that I will never forget.
The year 2014 was also filled with memories of many encounters in the world of fashion, including meeting the legendary Anna Wintour in New York, attending a sale at supermodel Janice Dickinson’s home, and speaking to Diane von Furstenberg at a special engagement. A highlight for me was being treated to a gallery exhibition of iconic Hollywood costumes presented at the Phoenix Art Museum on my birthday.
In the recesses of my mind, I was blessed to be able to hoard memories from my time in France. Staring at the “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre was a moment that I will never forget. And touring the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was an experience that will live in my mind forever.
2014 also marked a year where I was able to connect and reconnect with friends and loved ones from all around the world. I attended a collegiate speech reunion and reconnected with fellow teammates and dear friends from my competitive Forensics days at Arizona State. I met, for the first time, a cousin who lives in Singapore. And, I was so blessed to see my dear Aunt Gloria and her entire family after so many years apart. I also played the source of connection, having introduced my sister to one of her favorite actresses, the genuine spirit that is Jessica Chastain.
When I think about what I’ve experienced this past year, I also have to reflect on moments that were embarrassing and painful, like the time I split my tuxedo pants at the Governor’s Ball following the Emmy Awards, or the first year I was ever completely sedated with anesthesia for dental surgery. And although it was heartbreaking to say goodbye to my close friend Misty, I have hoarded moments that we have spent together, deep in my mind, to treasure her always.
With gratitude, I have hoarded memories of accomplishment. I am thankful for being first optioned to host the red carpet of an Asian Christian Film Festival, the same day I was requested for a meeting as a possible host for a daily Los Angeles talk show. Other things that I have accomplished include serving as an advisory board member for Creative Artistry, a start-up business dealing with video montage editing, and seeing a personal record-breaking number of shows at The Pantages Theatre.
Although, I may choose to hoard memories that don’t necessarily encapsulate me, I’ve enjoyed hoarding moments that are truly random. From watching John Travolta introduce “Adele Dazeem” in-person at the Dolby Theatre, to riding in a horse drawn Cinderella-themed carriage at a lake for a couple’s wedding, spending a holiday dinner with the Hollywood Foreign Press at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago restaurant, and being a six year old boy’s biggest garage sale customer on a random Sunday (although I didn’t need anything I purchased, I was happy to support the little entrepreneur), I’ve been fortunate to retain unique moments that make me smile.
As I look back at the year 2014, I remember the year with a smile. I realize that my experiences are mine to own. I acknowledge that. I love that. To God, I am thankful for them. It is by looking at my past that I am able to embrace the future with anticipation. Here’s hoping that 2015 will give me a multitude of moments and experiences to hoard and re-live for all time.