2016 – A Year of Dedication

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The end of a year is always a bittersweet time. One chapter ends while another begins. This year, especially, it seems so many are desperate for a fresh start, for the slate to be wiped clean, for the turning of a new page. Despite the things we hope will become a faint and distant memory, I think it’s always important to take a breath and consider all that has happened in the last 365 days, and remind ourselves how much we have to be grateful for and what work there is left to do.

The last twelve months have been an exciting time for my career. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work on some extraordinary projects that have received recognition and awards in the industry. Roses made out of Doritos Ketchup chips? Sending a woman to capture the world’s first 360 footage inside a volcano? These are things I never could have dreamed of working on when I was still in school, but it’s actively an everyday part of my job. I’m also part of a great team I can trust and rely on, and spend hours laughing with – even in stressful times. Oh, and I planned our holiday party this year. It was pretty damn fun.

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(That’s me in the giant furry coat.)

You may have seen my recent post, How I Got Healthy, in which I talk about how my life has changed this year since I started kickboxing. Being active and taking care of my body has become so ingrained in me, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t itching to work out. I sometimes ask myself, “Who are you? What have you become?” But discovering this passion through determination and commitment has been incredibly fulfilling. I still have a long way to go to achieve my goals, but I’m excited to continue on this journey.

As for my creative endeavours, I spent a bit of time in front of the camera this year. I finally acted in my first short film, Let Go. It’s still in post-production, but I hope to share it with everyone soon. It was a joy to work alongside friends to create something so funny and so us.

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I also started a YouTube series with Frank that gave us an outlet to talk about nerdy things. It is appropriately named Guy & Girl Nerd Duo. GGND is on a hiatus at the moment while we take some time for reinvention, but I can’t wait to continue creating something that is founded on the things I love.

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I got into a bit of action behind the camera, too. Frank, Trevor, and I created a funny little short called Tactical Invader: Parking Garage. Shot entirely on my iPhone at the end of a fun night, there is more footage of us bursting out into laughter than what made it into the final cut.

And of course, travelling is always the highlight of my year. I spent this year re-exploring places I’ve been before and falling in love with them all over again.

In the spring, I spent a week in Oahu with Jen basking under the sun and sinking my toes into hot sand. She’s back there now for the holidays and my heart aches with envy.

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At the start of August, I spent a magical weekend in New York City with Erin, where we met Boys Like Girls (a band we’ve loved since we were sixteen), frolicked in Central Park twice, stuffed ourselves silly with lobster rolls and pizza and Shake Shack burgers, and drank the city’s whole supply of white wine and whiskey.

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And to cap off the year’s travels, I went on a 2-week trip to Alberta and Quebec with family. I deeply miss the beautiful views in the great national parks out west. I could spend years there discovering the mountains and lakes and still not have seen enough. I can’t wait to share more of the photos on the blog.

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Amidst the travelling, the work, the working out, and the acting, there are many other treasured gems from 2016 that I’ll hold dear to my heart:

  • My family’s annual camping trip
  • Discovering Nugateau‘s amazing eclairs that have seriously rivaled my love of macarons
  • Spending a relaxing weekend at my president’s Lake of Bays cottage
  • Expending way too much energy playing Pokemon GO
  • Dressing up as Elektra for Fan Expo
  • The release of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
  • Seeing Gallant and LANY in concert
  • Spending time eating and cooking with close friends while always trying new food

I started this year with the resolution to dedicate myself to the important elements of my life, and while I’ve made a lot of progress, I can feel it deep within myself that this is only just the beginning, and that there is so much more to come.

I’m ready to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms – happy new year.

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