I’m sitting on my couch in my pajamas and wool socks, wrapped in a hoodie and an afghan. It’s ten degrees outside, and I have a cold, which is just a shitty way to end a year. I read through a bunch of my posts from last year in preparation for this, and was amused to discover my first post of 2014 was a complaint about how I had the flu and that it was frickin’ cold. So, we’re back where we started. Yay.

My 2014 had a slew of artistic highlights for which I am immensely grateful. I had my television debut in January, followed by a successful run of (and Jeff nomination for) my adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities. I spent the summer playing probably the best part I’ve ever had in the best play I’ve ever been in, with Monstrous Regiment. I followed that up with a fun role in another great House Theatre production, Season on the Line. While that was going on I also made a second TV appearance, this time with actual lines and screen time, on Chicago Fire. And then December capped things off with the double-awesomeness of winning the Bloody Axe at Deathscribe, and seeing my first play get published. All in all, not a bad year.

The rest of 2014 can suck it, however.

There are the usual complaints. Money problems kept me up nights. Still do. I have several jobs, which added up still don’t pay me enough. In the new year I will have to make some significant changes there.

The longest, darkest winter I can remember was made harder by the loss of our beloved cat, Zoe. The addition of our newest family member, Aggie, made things better, but I do not think I’ve ever experienced such a long, sustained funk as I did during those long, cold months. I completely fell off the wagon regarding my diet and training, and eventually gained back all the weight I’d lost, and then added about ten more pounds.

The summer of Monstrous Regiment was almost entirely positive in spite of turning forty. It was followed, however, by perhaps the most difficult September our community has ever experienced. After losing loved ones like Molly, Bernie, and (for me personally) Sheldon, things just will never be the same. What things will be, I cannot say. I feel like we as a community are still grieving, and still undergoing the transition to whatever is coming next. It won’t necessarily be worse or better, but it will be different.

Add to that friends who lost loved ones, who are battling cancer, whose children are fighting serious illnesses, and I think we’re all just ready to start things anew. We’re here now, and we’re ready for some positivity.