Jan 1, 2016 started with a quiet view of the ocean from Lighthouse Park. The previous night's hangover was quickly cured with the ocean breeze and good company.
Earlier that week, I had set one goal that would guide 2016: "I reach over 500,000 people with films I direct or DP that inspire and elevate the world by Dec 31, 2016." I wanted an ambitious goal that would push me to create consistently and put the work into becoming a better DP and director. It was the most important thing I had set my sights on.
Now, as I cross that goal off the list, I know it wasn't the most important thing that happened - far from it. 2016 was a year of real adulting. Of learning to navigate life, dipping into discomfort, finding courage and cultivating community. Here's a behind the scenes to the people who made 2016 possible.
1. Cancer, Choice, courage and community.
At the end of 2015, my mom was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. There's so much I am grateful for that resulted from the diagnosis.
I learned what courage looked like from my mom as she underwent her treatments.
I saw what support and unconditional love looked like from my Dad, as he put his life on pause to take care of my mom.
I discovered the power of choice, even when "Cancer" was the only option.
I saw of our family & community rally behind my mom in so many little ways that made enormous differences. From dropping off food to all the hospital visits, I saw so many acts of support, generosity and positivity. Thank you all so much.
An another thank you to Akira and Pia for wrangling me in to do the Obliteride and the people who helping to raise over $2,200 for Cancer Research.
2. For friendship, my crew, JT CO-WORK, & THE DISTRIKT.
For Friendship & my crew: (including you in Toronto, Edmonton, and NZ): I couldn't have asked for more. Thank you for making so many of the moments in 2016. Thank you for the support during the year, for teaching me the ropes in ultimate, for all the dinners, all the late night chats and adventures.
Jess, Laura, Zach, Meg, Ryan, Lauren & the JT: Thanks for letting us camp out at the Juice Truck every Wednesday. When I was freelancing in 2012, finding community with the people I wanted to work with was the most challenging part. Thank you for opening up your space for us to gather and work together.
Ally, Jian & The District: Thank you both for showing me what leadership looks like. What it means to create community. What it means to be powerful Men and Women in the world. Thank you for including me in the community with open arms.
In 2013, I wrote a goal that "I am creating visual content daily that inspires and elevates others with Lululemon." After an internship and the past two years as a filmmaker at Lululemon, I've grown as a filmmaker in a beautiful and trusting community. Thank you to all our athletes for trusting me and our team with your stories, for sharing your vulnerabilities and teaching us what it means to be human.
To my big-boss Winger: Thank you for continually challenging me and giving me the opportunities to grow. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else on set when things don't go as planned.
To the film team (and Tina & Brent): Thank you for being the best team someone could ask for. 2016 has been a wild ride and I'm excited to keep creating with you.
4. This little nugget.
I know how much you love being acknowledged on the internet (I'll keep this short). Thanks for being the best partner someone could ask for. For constantly challenging me to be a better person. For keeping me grounded while I chase dreams. And for bravely adventuring, despite the possibilities of bears.
2016 has come to a close with mountain views, a snowy New Years and Bon Iver on the speakers.
Thank you to all who have been a part of it, for the moments we've shared and experiences we've had. Here's to another great year!