About 10 years ago I began an annual ritual. I would hunker down at a cafe in the west end, pull out my notebook – which I carry with me always – and jot down all of the precious moments, goals that were achieved, and friends that touched my heart. All the moments that made that particular year so memorable. It’s been my way of paying gratitude for all the exceptional experiences I’ve had and setting my intentions for the year ahead.
Before writing this post, I came across my list for Twenty Eleven, which put a huge smile on my face. It’s truly remarkable how things change and evolve from one year to the next. Life moves so quickly these days, it’s important to take a step back and celebrate your achievements and special moments.
This year, I’m writing from my flat in Yaletown overlooking the snow-capped north shore mountains and I’ve switched out my coffee for a glass of cab sav. And although I’ll still recount my year using pen to paper, I thought I’d publish it here too.
2012 brought about an interesting mix of jaunts and adventures, beginning with a week in Las Vegas. LV is not at all a town I like to visit, but I was there covering an event for work and had the opportunity to explore the town on my own for the first time. Finally it wasn’t about the neon lights and lounge singers. Instead I hung out in hotel bars and met some intriguing characters.
My best friend moved to Miami for a few months, so I made my way south for a visit. I was expecting something right out of a J-Lo music vid. What I got was an incredible community of artists, musicians, filmmakers and writers. We also made our way down through the beautiful Florida Keys, spending the day at Key West.
In June, I ended up in SoCal on business so I extended my trip to spend some time on Coronado Beach in San Diego before meeting up with my now husband in Los Angeles. We had both been many times before, but this time Venice captured our hearts. Who knows, we may land there at some point on a more permanent basis.
I spent most of October in Europe, namely Paris, Capri, Rome, and Positano. The purpose of the trip to for my honeymoon, which I’ll get to. It was a time in my life I’ll never forget. Boating around the med, swimming through grottos, sipping prosecco and wandering the winding streets of Europe. Not too shabby.
Film, Music & Festivals
Anyone who knows me well, knows there are a few things that really make me tick. Film and live music top that list. I ended up seeing an eclectic mix of shows this year, which is pretty representative of my taste in music. Heart, Scissor Sisters, STP, Madonna (who replied to one of my tweets #strikeapose), Neil Young (with my dad!), Ben Harper at the Hollywood Bowl, Santigold, Celien Dion, and Big Wreck. I also hit up my two favorite local festivals. LIVE at Squamish had the Tragically Hip and City & Colour headline a pretty badass lineup this year. I got to meet Daniel Wesley amidst the crowd of festival goers, who I would later see perform at Foxfest with Public Enemy and Sublime. I also ended up seated next to Ronnie Wood from the Stones while dining at L’Avenue in Paris. No big deal.
My trip to Miami coincidentally (or not) coincided with the Miami International Film Festival where I attended the opening gala party along with a few screenings. Choice timing. As always, I hit up the Vancouver International Film Festival and attended/blogged about as many screenings as I could. That is, until a rather momentous occasion forced me to unplug from my regular routine.
I married the most incredible man in October, and if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know I’ve always had my reservations about marriage. I’ve heard blushing brides gush over their wedding, saying how it was the greatest day of their life. And I get it. As the old adage goes, I will now eat my words because it was the greatest day of my life. Having everyone I love in one room to celebrate with us was more meaningful than I ever imagined. My husband – with the help of my mom – planned the whole humdinger as well, and did a bang up job.
On the topic of incredible men, I sat in a room with some of Vancouver’s most successful – and aspiring – business leaders to listen to Sir Richard Branson speak about being remarkable. His mantra: ditch the suit and stuffy corporate demeanor and do something meaningful. At least that was my take-away.
I also made my first Kiva loan, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. If you’re not familiar with Kiva, it’s a non-profit organization that helps empower people around the globe by soliciting $25 loans for entrepreneurs to put towards a business venture. A sustainable way to help people in developing countries. The gal I’m supporting lives in a small village in Honduras and sells men’s and women’s clothing. I’m hoping to visit her store in person next year…
Career & Writing
My career in corporate PR continued to crack along, but I’d say I’m most proud of expanding my writing repertoire this year. In January I began writing for The Province, where I was asked to blog about sex – exclusively. Apparently my editor thinks I know a thing or two about it. I also started contributing lifestyle and entertainment articles to the Huffington Post which has helped grow my audience immensely.
One thing I continue to be grateful for is the people who take the time to visit UCV.com, post comments and share their own experiences with me and my readers. I’ve connected with some exceptional people this year because of this blog and for that I thank you. Also, my amazing family and friends who, no matter what I write and publish for the world to see, love and support me…unconditionally. You know who you are.
What were some of your most cherished moments of 2012?