2023 END OF THE YEAR WRAP UP  (I’m grateful!!)
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2023 END OF THE YEAR WRAP UP  (I’m grateful!!)

2023 END OF THE YEAR WRAP UP  (I’m grateful!!)

This year, I learned to breathe.

Whether I was confronted with a challenging situation or facing a moment of surreal beauty, I practiced breathing.

From the east coast to the west coast, being aware of my breathing proved helpful in so many ways.

In April, I had the opportunity to experience the crisp New Jersey air by visiting close friends. In November, I was able to breathe in the fresh air of the Crestline mountains and Lake Arrowhead by renting a personal cabin. In late August, I held my breath when faced with a good old fashioned Arizona dust storm.

Looking back, I was fortunate to be able to experience so many moments that took my breath away. From relishing in a rare recording of Annie Lennox’s version of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” to hearing my nephew sing with his class in a school-wide assembly, my heart was full. My heart swelled for so many other reasons as well. I was fortunate to be in Las Vegas to say a final goodbye to my aunt, Charito. I was awestruck with joy to witness my nephew’s face as our Dumbo ride in Disneyland flew high above the Halloween weekend crowds. And my breath absorbed the exuberance of my dog, Rocco, as he and I went for a walk on the Venice Boardwalk on his “gotcha day,” otherwise known as “Rocco Day.”

2023 has also brought about its share of moments that left me out of breath with panic and concern. When Hurricane Hillary was announced in Southern California, I held my breath. And when I discovered that my SUV was a victim of a hit and run, I muttered under my breath. My breath was held while walking the SAG/AFTRA picket lines, in hopes for a deal to come through. And I needed to take a breath when I called 911 for a victim of a drug overdose at my regular sushi haunt.

This past year also brought about many moments where I had to remind myself to breathe. From saying goodbye to my dear friends Laura Anderson and Darlene Peters who passed away to saying goodbye to my FIDM Family, my reminder to breathe was met with tears. Tears ran down my face many times. My friend Rodney’s near fatal brain aneurysm brought me much sadness as well as being the object of racial harassment at the Fairmont Hotel in Century City.

From hard moments to memorable moments, I was breathing in joy with so many great opportunities. I had fun attending my nephew’s cactus theme birthday party in September and laughed out loud hearing an in-person “Weekend Update” by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It was fun celebrating my birthday at MOMA and surreal to finally walk the Met Ball beige carpet. From helping usher in Nikki’s 50th birthday, remotely, to celebrating Carol Burnett’s 90th birthday in person, this year brought about many moments of elated breath.

I was also fortunate to await many first time moments with bated breath. With my family, I went to Legoland for the first time. And I went to the TIME 100 Gala, a traveling Barbie Interactive, The Museum of Broadway and a private garden party in Seal Beach for the first time as well. I also discovered two new favorite restaurants in West Hollywood: Delilah and Raos.

I laughed a lot in 2023. I laughed so hard that I couldn’t breathe as I chased Sigourney Weaver at the Oscars alongside Pedro Pascal. (He wanted to meet her and what happened in our elevator ensued many laughs).

I also let out some deep exhales during the year. I was relieved to have had a colonoscopy report that let me know all was good. And I let out other deep exhales from reading positive write-ups on me from Rappler.com and COLLECTOR NETWORK! magazine.

As I reflect on the past year, I am grateful for the privilege to have been able to breathe in another year. With every breath I take, I am grateful for the experiences that I’ve had. One of my life’s mottos has always been: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Here’s to 2024 bringing you many moments of breathless joy.