St. Thomas Of Course (Part 2)

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Here it is guys! The final post from my St. Thomas extravaganza!  Not gonna lie, flipping through these photos again, brought the memories right back, as I sit in my hot apartment here in Harlem. I can never fully explain how much fun I had in the Virgin Islands, but being able to celebrate my birthday with my closest friend, was the sweetest thing in the world. Hope you enjoy the pics from the Wing Festival, my birthday in St. John, ferry ride pics and a few more beach pics!

Ciao 🙂

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St. Thomas, Need I Say More?

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Well, I’ve finally managed to clear some room from my media library to bring you part one of my St. Thomas vacation recap. I have decided to really come through the hundreds of pictures I took while away and present an edited photo collage of my adventures.

While it has been a month since my trip, I can still smell the water, hear the birds, and feel the salty ocean water on my skin. The only thing I miss more than the breathtaking views and the overwhelming aura of peace and relaxation is Cynthia.

I have to admit it’s pretty awesome to have a friend in this corner of the world. Yes, of course, I miss her, but getting to see her in her new home: thriving, happy, effervescent and carefree, was wonderful to see. My wanderlust has definitely been piqued and I am now thinking ahead to my next great adventure for 2016. I’m thinking Italy! But until then, here are photos from the first three days of my trip on St. Thomas proper. Enjoy 🙂

Happy Friday

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Hey all!

Sorry I’ve been absent this week, trust me the plan was to start saturating my blog with photos, posts and recollections about my St. Thomas vacation, to make you uber jealous excited about your next trip! But, curses to the blog gods, my storage is way too full in my media library and I have to figure out what my next move will be; deleting files or buying storage? A true problem believe you me because I love sharing my photos with you each week. So my apologies, but you’ll have to wait for the St. Thomas photos to be posted next week!

Have a great weekend! Make it fun, it’s almost July!

Ciao 🙂

Tuesday Thoughts

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Yesterday, my dad asked me a question:

“What’s your testimony today?”

I rolled my eyes (he couldn’t see this) and said “Dad, that’s not why I called you this morning.”

“I know, but you know the last time I was asked that was…”

And my father went back to a moment, when he himself had to answer the unexpected question. Hearing him open up about the changes that were occurring in his life, and how it all worked out in the end personally, financially and professionally, I was moved to speak.

“Actually, Daddy, I do have something to say”

You see, yesterday was my niece, Ava’s, 6th birthday. My brother’s first child, and my parents’ first grandchild. Whenever Ava’s birthday arrives, it is a day of happiness and love, two-fold; one, because she is becoming more loving, beautiful, and exceptional with each passing year, and two, because my father has been blessed with another year on this earth.

Let me start at the beginning.

For me Ava and Papa’s lives will forever be intertwined for me. My brother and his wife announced the pregnancy with snow globes for each of my parents, with a small picture of Ava’s ultrasound, on a December morning in Jackson at the Cracker Barrel. In the new year, we found out that the soreness and pain my father had been feeling on and off for the past few weeks, were symptoms from his now diagnosed cancer.

Talk about facing life and death.

As the months progressed Ava grew and my father experienced numerous health setbacks and scares as the doctors tried to determine the best way to combat his internal foe. Meanwhile, marooned in New York, I felt helpless, unable to see Dad or celebrate with my brother as Ava’s birthday drew near. It was the first time my mother uttered to me, in the middle of the night, after waking from a terrible nightmare, “Lissa, we’re always where we’re supposed to be.”

In time, check ins with mom turned into “check ups” on Dad. I was afforded an amazing opportunity to flex my acting muscle at Williamstown Theatre Festival, I had my doubts about not going home for the summer, but Mom and Dad assured me, that I had to keep moving forward and if anything should happen, they’d get me home.

A few weeks passed before I got the phone call, “Hey Aunt Melissa!” from my brother. Ava was beautiful! All ten fingers and toes, and Dad was starting to receive treatment and was getting somewhat accustomed to his new circumstances.

Now I could keep going but I’ll stop here and say that just last month, my dad got to spend time with Ava and his two grandsons in Jackson. Look what God can do!

Birthdays are always amazing days filled with reflection, gratitude and joy. But when I think of Ava’s birthday, it’s a birthday for my dad as well. A day that symbolizes life for them both.

Ciao 🙂

Happy Birthday to Me!

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Today is my birthday! While this photo was taken last summer in Duck, just know that my outfit is probably the same, but the sand is whiter and the ocean is greener! So happy to be celebrating my 26th birthday with Cynthia in the St.Thomas sun!

Home tomorrow, but until then I’m going to enjoy my last full day of paradise.

Ciao!!!

Throwback Thursday

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Graduation season has come and gone. Seeing the caps and gowns of various shades moving through the city brought smile to my face. Hard to believe it has been four years, since John Sexton announced we were officially graduates of New York University over the Yankees PA system.

Yes, graduating from NYU was, and is, one of my major life accomplishments thus far, however, the summer following graduation is what set the path I still follow today.

My apprenticeship at the Hangar Theatre from June-August of 2011, formed strong friendships, challenged me in unexpected ways, and helped me to see just what I would need to expect of myself in order to make it in the performance world. An exercise we did at the end of our time there is still with me to this day: a letter to myself to read the next year.

I wrote my hopes and dreams for the summer and my career, handed it off to Laura and Kris and forgot about it. Sure enough, one year later, almost to the date, my letter arrived in the mail. In honor of Throwback Thursday, and 4 full years out of undergrad, I have decided to post the letter here.

Life can be funny sometimes…

7/23/2011

Melissa can you believe its been year since Lab Company? Well little old me at the end of this journey want to leave you with a few hopes and dreams.

1.  I hope you are fighting the good fight and are finding work that speaks to you and allows you to bring a piece of yourself to the work that you know no one else can do.

2.  Your goal of having one paid acting gig before Christmas really did come and you, Myles, and Kyla celebrated in a great way. (karaoke preferably 🙂 )

3. That you continue to build strong ties with your sister-in-law showing your love through acts of kindness and not just words.

4.  Build a relationship with another casting agent and always remember you can call Stephanie whenever you need.

5. Stay true to yourself, listening to your voice and the voice of God. Making tough decisions with clarity and grace.

Never forget where you came from! Hope you enjoyed Jilia’s wedding, that Langston, Ava, Mom, Dad, and Frank are healthy and well and that you’re even closer to getting that Equity card.

Ciao,
Melissa