Two thousand and thirteen has come and gone. And what I year it was. I was extremely blessed last year to spend eleven and a half months in school studying writing for film and television. Storytelling has been a passion my entire life, but, as they say, the path is not straight. There are times when I chastise myself for taking so long to figure out how to get where I want to go, but I finally understand that I’m exactly where I need to be. (If you can think of a less platitudinous way to say that last sentence, let me know.) Had I gone to film school earlier in life, there is no way I would have completed it as successfully as I did. I’m excited for 2014 like I’ve never been excited for anything before. (Well, except maybe flying to Paris for the first time.) But I am grateful for being exactly where I am and for everything it took to get me here (even all of those soul-sucking years of waiting tables). But this post isn’t about 2014, it’s about 2013, so here we go:
In 2013 I: successfully kidnapped zero dogs. My apartment got flooded with mud. I got a tattoo. I read my writing in public. I had my writing filmed. I spent three months on crutches. I went to Vegas. There were nights out: Lydia’s bday when we got bear-sprayed; fireworks when Lydia sweet-talked us onto a boat to watch; (that girl’s the best kind of trouble.) Dancing and drinking with my fellow writers. But, more than anything, I wrote. I’ll spare you the boring details, but after dozens of drafts, hundreds of hours, and thousands of words, I completed two feature films, two television spec episodes, two TV pilots, two web series pilots, dozens of film critiques, a short film, and a ten page reimagining of the end of Romeo and Juliet in full iambic pentameter. Whew. But that’s not very photogenic. So, without further ado, 2013 in pictures and only a few more words.
Vancouver, our glorious city, was extremely beautiful. The sunniest year in my memory, Vancouver showed us why it consistently places on the list of most livable cities.
Making it all the more incredible, Vancouver is filled with amazing people. I neglected these beautiful weirdos more than I wanted to (see list of writing accomplishments above), but we still managed to spend plenty of time together, all of it ridiculous. Birthdays, drinks, concerts, random adventures, lazy board game nights, you name it. I couldn’t ask for better company. I love you guys.
Between all the writing and semi-successful attempts at a social life, I also endeavoured to keep my garden alive. It wasn’t as successful as 2012, but I still managed. Sweet peas, snap peas, kale, squash, tomatoes, herbs, and flowers all grew beautifully; my pumpkin, however, died. It is my dream to have a thriving pumpkin patch and I may have shed a few tears when my baby pumpkin rotted on the vine. C’est la vie. One day I will succeed!! (Can you grow pumpkins in California?)
In mid-March the trouble making Lydia invited me to try rock climbing for the first time. It was fun… until I fell and brutally sprained my ankle. The swelling eventually went down and, with it, half of the muscle mass of my right calf. It was certainly an ordeal, but I was lucky enough to have a ton of help to get me through three months on crutches.
Shortly after “the fall”, I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas to meet Hayley and all her beautiful friends for an amazing stagette. They all kindly pushed me around in a wheelchair and dumped me into the pool whenever necessary. After Vegas, we hopped in a couple cars and drove to Carmel, CA for the wedding. Hayley and Ryan Neimy are simply two of the most wonderful people you will ever meet and I was honoured to be there. The wedding was stunning and touching and unbelievably fun.
We drove into LAX only to fly out (a heartbreaking task), but, thankfully, upon my return, Vancouver continued its year-long (mostly) warm and sunny streak.
About a week after I was fully back on my feet, sans crutches, Bonnie and Erik fly in from San Francisco for a visit and solidified their place in my heart as two of my favourite people of all time. I showed them as much of Vancouver as I could and as quickly as they arrived they were off.
I think in 2013 I cooked and baked more than I ever have before. Perhaps it was a necessity of being a broke student, but more likely, it’s my growing enjoyment of all things kitchen-related. (Even cleaning. But, like, on a much smaller scale.) I ate far more pizza than necessary, but it was often topped with kale, making it acceptable. I made eggs benedict, pecan tarts, curries, all things Mexican, cinnamon buns, pad thai, baked squash, and all sorts of other dishes with varying degrees of success.
Oh yeah, the writing and the reading and the brainstorming; a lot of that was happening.
Sometime in the summer this crazy kook moved in. She brought with her approximately one thousand DVDs and the repeated, welcome presence of the lovely Farran. I have lived with dozens of people over the years — including almost all of my best friends — but Nisha just might be the best roommate ever. Together we’ve consumed more television, boxed wine, and homemade hummus than any doctor would recommend, but I’ve loved every minute of it.
Last summer was amazing (fireworks, BBQs, beach days and nights), but the Illuminares Festival was my highlight. Do whatever you can to get there next year; it’s incredibly beautiful.
At the end of August we had a short break from school. My wonderful parents drove in from the Okanagan and took my brother and I to the Sunshine Coast. Gibsons has to be one of my favourite places in the world. While we were there I also fell madly in love with Davis Bay. Life goal: own a cottage there.
And Vancouver continued to be stunningly beautiful.
There were many other fun times. Some even, gasp, not captured by a camera.
One of the coolest parts of 2013 was seeing my brother break into the music world. He is hands down the hardest working person I know and deserves every ounce of success he achieves. He inspires me to chase after my dreams. (Cheesy; I know. But sorry I’m not sorry, it’s true!) I know 2014 is going to be huge for him; (after closing 2013 out DJing at BC Place, how could it not?) I can’t wait to watch him rise to the top.
And, yes, Vancouver was still very pretty.
Save the best for last, right? 2013 would be nothing without all the incredible people I met at VFS.
For the first time in my life I was completely surrounded by people who wanted nothing more than to talk about film and television for hours and hours on end. I owe my year to everyone on that 4th floor. To the teachers, admin, my classmates, and all the other students wandering around, thank you. 2013 was more than I could have ever asked for and that’s thanks to all of you.
I could not be more thrilled for 2014. And, I think, a year from now when I do my next “Year in Review” I’ll be floored at how much things have changed. I’m ready 2014. Bring it on!