I have been arguing with myself about posting this for a while now… and while what is written here is longer than it should be, it is substantially shorter than it was. I think that I see writing this now more as a means of moving on than anything else. A way to acknowledge the year 2020 and leave its chaos and uncertainty behind and move forward with a positive outlook and optimistic perspective.

Like most in the entertainment industry, March 12th is the singular day that had the most drastic impact on life in 2020, however, the three months prior were the life changing ones for me. It was during this time at the end of 2019 and into this shattering year when I started recognizing my unhappiness and the emptiness that would send me and Crystal in different directions and would upend our marriage.

While there is a lot that can be said surrounding my personal struggles at the beginning of the year and the circumstances that existed throughout some very challenging months, my underlying truth remained focused on my need to find happiness again. I realized that over the better part of a decade my personal goals and the core creativity that I valued more than anything had drifted away; and while I didn’t see it in those moments, I now realize that I need to focus on finding a healthy and sustainable path forward while rediscovering aspects of myself that I had abandoned over time.

As the shutdown continued, I began to feel as if the world was speaking directly to me and telling me to slow down embrace the time. This time became the one thing that 2020 has afforded me, as I am certain I would never have taken enough time for myself otherwise. It has taken me every moment of these nine and a half months to start to realize the ways that I had lost myself and to acknowledge the emptiness that had consumed me as a result. I am thankful to be continuing a path of discovery and am finally in a place where I am starting to see the opportunities that await me in 2021 and beyond.

As I conclude this most overwhelming year of my life, I am departing the chaos of 2020 thankful for more than I ever imagined I would be. I am thankful for my parents, who opened their home, and hearts, and my childhood bedroom to me again for longer than any of us could have anticipated. I am thankful for the hand-full of close friends that have offered a digital shoulder to lean on or an insightful phone call or txt message in the most opportune times. I am also thankful for the long-lost friends and colleagues from my past that have reached out to me or answered my call when I reached out to them. I am thankful for random comments about my website or about photography in general, and for the incredibly timely praise in reaction to a spur of the moment photograph of gummy bears. Mostly, I am thankful for the moments of solitude and the unincumbered time to just think 

As incredibly catastrophic as 2020 has been, I am thankful to be stronger for having survived it.

With all of that in mind, and in the spirit of starting anew, I am going to try something I haven’t done before. Goals… ambitions… resolutions… call them what you will…. These are mine for 2021:

  • Focus on my education and complete my master’s degree before the end of 2021.
  • Continue to reconnect with friends that I have lost touch with and put in the time and effort to keep these rekindled friendships alive.
  • Realize elements of my leadership development program that will help to better my theatrical work and strengthen the company/industry overall.
  • Re-discover my love for photography and fall in love with creating images again.
  • Develop the portraiture project that has been ruminating since 2009.
  • Fall in love again with the work that I truly do enjoy doing. Do more of it. And do it better than before.

Dare I say…  I am excited to see the realization of the potential for all of us that this next year has in store… and if you are still reading, I am humbled that you took the time. I hope that you and your families all have a happy and healthy new year and that the challenges of 2020 lead to nothing but opportunities for us all in 2021.

More soon…

– D