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In August of this year, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of moving to Los Angeles. I arrived to Burbank just four months after the song “Seasons of Love” made it’s Broadway debut. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical RENT, the iconic song considers what experiences and events should shape how a year is remembered. In other words, how do you measure a year in a life?

In daylights, in sunsets

This year brought me an opportunity to travel locally and explore sights of California I’ve not before seen. In Big Bear, I played in the snow. In Carmel, I watched the sunset on the ocean. In San Diego, I ate burgers in the rain. In Monterey, I shopped Cannery Row. And in Los Angeles, I saw the city from a new vantage point courtesy of a private helicopter tour.

In inches in miles

There were many moments big and small over the past year that have shaped its meaning. Certainly a big moment occurred in late October when I had the great privilege of attending a private, secret concert by Adele on the steps of the Griffith Observatory. The blessing of being part of such a special event moved me to tears. A week later, I danced the night away at a Halloween concert from Deborah Cox. And in September, I walked the red carpet of the Emmy Awards outfitted in a bespoke dinner jacket made of vintage kimono fabric.

But small quiet moments too formed the sum of my year’s experiences. I found laughter in my current favorite television show THE OTHER TWO, and nostalgia watching THE REAL WORLD HOMECOMING. I am also grateful for three covid vaccine shots received, and the small part it contributes to bringing this pandemic to an end.

In laughter and strife

There are many memorable anecdotes from this year to share, spanning from lighthearted to frustrating and upsetting. I was delighted by Ethan Hawke’s and Jared Leto’s commentary on my study in the background of a Zoom call as they waited to enter a virtual awards show. I was flattered when a DMV photographer complimented me on my camera presence. And I felt initially frustrated but ultimately satisfied when the coils of my broken garage door were repaired…by none other than myself. I was also grateful to be able to help my aunt cast a Will Ferrell/Ron Burgundy lookalike last minute for a live event, and assist a good friend as a dialect coach for her audition to play a Filipina mom, all within the span of 24 hours. Then there were the more irksome times, like when a scam artist posed as my godmother via social media direct message, or when an IRS-made error resulted in a partially revoked refund.

In truths that he learned, or in times that he cried

In July of this year, my dear friend Michelle, who I have known since high school, passed away. On a visit home, I was honored to record a personal eulogy for her at our high school.

Measure in love

The love I have for my nephew has filled me with overflowing joy. My joy was magnified at the opportunity to spend my very first celebration of his birthday with him – his fourth.

Remember the love, Seasons of Love

Each and every act we do creates a ripple effect to those around us. Through our actions, our love, our hearts – our story never ends. Through knowing all of you, my story will never end. Thank you for allowing me to celebrate my 525,600 minutes in remember a year in a life.