It’s almost time to usher in a new year. I’m another year older and also a bit wiser than I was when we moved into 2013. I have worked on controlling my temper, avoiding saying hurtful things, and trying to show my happiness. I’m a work in progress. All I can do is hope to improve and be a better me.

One of the things I have tried to do is be kinder, especially online where tempers can flare. I always try to wish all my friends a Happy Birthday, no matter what. I tell them to feel better when sick, or offer condolences at sad news and congratulations at happy announcements. I treat others how I’d like to be treated. Maybe it’s just a tiny message amongst many, but I want everyone to know they are on my list because I care about them as human beings and as friends.

People on my Facebook are primarily people I know from offline, at some point in my life, excluding the many disability allies I have made. I know these people from my high school, Lake. BGSU, U of M – Flint, Wright State, the film and acting world, some family members, Toledo MDA and Camp Libbey, and a few other random locations I have been, in my life. It’s amazing how many people you meet in a lifetime.

I have had the chance to connect with some very dear, longtime friends and family in 2013, who deserve a shout out:

Beth Wass – I met Beth in 2000 during my Wright State orientation. She is the first person at WSU I came out to and became a good friend then, but I think we’ve become closer now. She has been very supportive of my film endeavors and has been so kind to both Ash and myself. We love you, Beth!

Cari Armstrong – I’ve known Cari for years and years. We’re from the same hometown. I went from 5th-12th grade with her brother, Chris. We lived next door to each other for a few years, but our friendship never really blossomed until online social media over the past several years. Cari and I saw each other for the first time in a decade. We had some Tony Packos and got to talk like…well like old friends. I got the chance to share her time with Ashtyn and my dear friend, Beth P.

Dara Cosby – Though we’ve been friends since 2000, since my return to Dayton, our reconnection has been sporadic until this year. Ash and I went on more than one “Dara-date” and we also are working on a film together. I see good things for our future working together and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I’ve gotten closer to newer friends, as well – friends I have made in the past few years:

Kyle Wilkinson – My DP and wing-man. I wouldn’t think of making a film without your vision somewhere in it. We work well together and we get along outside of film. It is rare to find mutual appreciation in and out of the work setting, but I found it with you, Kyle.

Kameron Davis – He photographed my film, helped my family and hung out with me. What more should there be to friendship? Kam is a class act.

Beth Pratt – One of my most adventurous friends. We like to road trip and talk up a storm together. Beth is one of those people I feel completely comfortable around. I see many more fun times together in our future.

Kasey Faye – Kasey is a friend and someone who I’ve enjoyed collaborating with, who has my back. We’ve had ups and downs, but doesn’t every good director and editor have those moments? Here’s to many more in 2014!

There are so many other important people I missed, who live far away, like my big brother, Dave, my many friends in NYC and LA and my crip family. They remain in my heart and I have hope we’ll see each other soon.

Then there is my beloved grandfather, who I lost this year. A part of my heart died with Willie, but I know he lived a good, long life. I will always miss him. I dedicated my first film to him.

Here’s to 2014 and to many more good times.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tomorrow, my fight for equality continues. Until then, live long and prosper!

[tags]New Years, resolution, friendship, friends, fun, good times[/tags]

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