I recently overheard someone talking about how awful 2018 was, and how excited they were for it to be over. It made me ruminate on this past year.

2018 was a real test for humankind. There were many tragedies; politically, humanly, emotionally… National tragedies, personal tragedies, environmental tragedies. It was tough. We all scraped our knees, got gum in our hair, tore our clothes, sobbed for our moms. Some may say that the dementors were out this past year.

But, we got through it.

Why?

I think it’s because we as a society had a shift; a transformation.

I notice people being more empathetic and compassionate towards one another. This year was a test of unity, and I think we excelled. We could have said “every man for himself” and turned on each other; but we didn’t. We got stronger as a society. There were some who had the mentality of only fending for themselves, and they tried to tear us apart. But I think that they did not succeed. I think we took that as ammunition to be more there for each other than ever before and we transcended.

I congratulate all the beings who participated in strengthening our bond as a people. We are strong. We are warriors. We could not have gotten through the year without the solidarity.

Adversity makes us stronger, right?

I see the way that all of my friends have transformed in this past year, and I brim with pride. I look at how I’ve transformed, and I’m happy with how I’ve ended up. I can unashamedly say that I like the person I have become, and I like the way that I am progressing. Transformation is not stagnant; we are all constantly morphing and evolving.

I am right now looking at my New Years goals from last year. There is one that sticks out to me.

“Write and film at least two short films.”

It was a daunting task when I wrote it. I feared it. I thought “I’m an actor; what do I know about writing and producing?” I didn’t think I’d be able to do it when I wrote it down.

With my studio, this incredible group of artists that I’m a part of, we wrote and shot 24 short films this past year. We are currently in film festivals all over the world, and have so far added one more award to our shelf, and have been nominated for many others.

This has helped me transform. I learned that the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. My thirst for more knowledge has grown, and I have discovered an entire world is at my fingertips for me to seize. Yes, it’s overwhelming; daunting; terrifying; seemingly impossible. But I am now more confident. I have already done something that I never thought I could accomplish, and am ready for even bigger steps.

I also could not have done it without my people. We are an immensely powerful group, made so by our like-minded attitude, common goals, and passion for making a positive difference in the world.

To me, this seems like a good metaphor for the year. 2018 immediately threw a very difficult challenge at us for which we were not at all prepared. But, not only did we pass, we surpassed. We exceeded expectations. Maybe we were shaky and unsure at first; we were nervous and did not know how to do it or what to expect, but we took a leap into a dark abyss and landed on our feet.

As I look back on 2018, I feel a fondness and a love. I’m grateful for all of you shining lights out there, with the hearts to help others and make a positive impact. We will not be knocked down. We will not only stand together, but lift each other up.

Let’s make 2019 a year of historic magnificence.

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