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My favorite decade has always been the 90s.

In those ten years, I learned so much about myself and was shaped by struggles, unconditional love and light from above. (It was also my favorite era for television, music and movies).

In looking back on my past year, I can’t help to notice so many connections to a decade that occurred just under thirty years ago.

The 90s was when I formed some of my strongest friendships. This past year, I was able to see most of my closest friends. It’s a rare year to get hugs from friends I love: Nikki from Texas, Kelly from Oregon, Wilson from New Jersey, Audra from Arizona and Miguel from Spain. Thinking of my friends this past year also brings tears: my two best friends from the 90s have gone. Mark moved to Greece. And, Cherie passed away. She was the ying to my yang and I miss her, terribly.

In 2019, the soundtrack from my favorite decade seemed to surface everywhere I went. Watching Green Day perform at the American Music Awards brought me joy while dancing to En Vogue and TLC at the Grammys after-party had my twenty-something self soaring. My favorite 90s experiences from this past year was meeting the duo from WAYNE’S WORLD at the Oscars, watching a live rehearsal of the iconic 90s musical RENT and cheering on Stephanie J. Block singing 1998’s “Believe” at Broadway’s THE CHER SHOW.

I remember the 90s as a year that I experienced tremendous highs. 2019 was no different. In March, I slid down a slide attached to an L.A. highrise. Hours earlier, I swooned over a spectacular sunrise hot air balloon ride in Temecula. From horseback riding in the hills of Malibu, petting a baby shark in Long Beach or attending the LA County fair for the first time, I had a fun year. Especially fun was going on an 18 hour trip to Grants Pass, Oregon to attend a breathtaking wedding next to the stunning Rogue River.

Despite a year that brought nods to the 90s, this year was a year that I also embraced other eras. From dressing as an 80s rebellious character to attend For The Record’s THE BRAT PACK to channeling a 70s feather clad Elton John for a Studio 54 extravaganza, I fully committed. Heightening an experience through clothing is something I began in the 90s. I continued that love this year when I dressed up as a comedian for a murder mystery party and had an equally fun time donning my high school colors for an epic Arizona high school reunion. My favorite moment of dressing up was sporting a custom made, bead encrusted Liberace costume for a favorite New Orlean’s party.

For some reason, I also have a lot of memories dealing with food from this past year. I had a spectacular Easter with my family brunching at Tommy Bahamas in Scottsdale and had a horrific dinner at a snooty New Orleans restaurant, Clancys (one that involved a roach). (Ask me about that, in-person). In New York, I gave a longtime Hells Kitchen restauranteur a hug after he closed his popular diner. And, one of my favorite discoveries of the year also involved food. During the year, I discovered Patti LaBelle’s desserts at Walmart. I’m addicted.

Some of my hardest experiences occurred in the 90s. Fortunately, I have acquired an innate resilience to deal with moments of anxiety. Earlier in 2019, I was faced with a dental dilemma that resulted with a fortunate outcome. And, mid-year, I faced one of the most frightening moments of my life. Experiencing an earthquake that didn’t seem to end, I became scarred from the experience. Another experience that brought on anxiety included riding in a NYC uber that was pulled over by NYPD. (Despite the combative attitude of the young female driver, she was released with a warning.)

As I’ve matured from being in my 20s in the 90s to being in my 40s in 2019, I realize that there are so many quirky incidents that make me pause. From having my home chosen as a Neilsen Household (which was declined) to seeing ROCKETMAN within one week in Los Angeles and later in NYC, there are so many fun occurrences that made me smile. I smiled when John Leguizamo’s producer arranged for me to meet John after his L.A. show and I smiled each time I hung-up the phone after Face-Timing with my nephew.

As I reflect back on a year that drew connections to my favorite decade of the 90s, I’ve come to realize the importance of reflecting where one has come from. (That’s the reason I write these yearly reviews). But, I also know the necessity to keep looking forward. Looking forward empowers us to ebrace the future and manifest the best. To look forward is to greet each day with open arms and welcome new experiences.

The 90s are my favorite decade.

Here’s hoping that the 2020s will be an even better one.