It’s an industry that’s booming right now. With the Canadian dollar dropping the film industry is coming back across the Canadian border to take advantage of the exchange. The small animation company Nerd Corp, was bought out by DHX Media this year and what that means, among other things, is a much larger staff Christmas party. I was grateful that I had invited my little brother as my date to my adventure at the VAG last month, because, in the absence of a viable candidate to take to his staff party, he asked me along. “It’s formal attire,” he said, “I’m wearing jeans” he said. When you’re 28 you can get away with wearing jeans and calling it formal; at 38, not so much. So I scrounged through my closet for a satisfactory outfit and headed into the big city to party with the artists behind the screen.
When you’re busy with life you don’t think to check on the little details like: how far the skytrain is from your brother’s house and whether it’s going to rain or not. When you’re in heels these things matter. But we arrived at the Commodore Ballroom in one piece at least and strolled up the steps in our best we-belong-in-the-city saunter. Thinking I’d better adjust my cleavage before we got to the top, I heaved them around in a very unladylike manner, only to realize a little too late that I was in full view of the bouncers at the top of the stairs. So much for the city persona!
I wasn’t really ready for the magnitude of the party. The place was packed and featured four different bars around the edges of the ballroom and upstairs on the balcony. People were dressed up in everything from jeans and t-shirts to women in full length dresses and men in tuxedos. The multiple screens were lit up with all the cartoons produced by DHX Media and I was continually surprised at how many I recognized. It was a real city party.
Sitting here at 11:23pm on New Years Eve by myself, in my sloppy sweater, with a glass of whisky, chocolate and red eyes from listening to Brandi Carlile’s Wherever is Your Heart I think back on that night and wonder about how I measure a good experience. That night was fun, there is no doubt; but tonight, which should rank at the very bottom of “good” experiences in life, now actually ranks up near the top for me. Getting dressed up and going out only has value to me anymore because I have spent nights with tears running down my cheeks learning how to live my life fully.
I recently heard someone say that a breaking heart isn’t just breaking, but breaking open; creating more space for love and more space for joy. This is what nights at home alone with whiskey, or my guitar, do for me. They break my heart open. Then when I decide to kill my feet in torture chambers and skin tight dresses, I know I’m going to have fun because my heart is a little more open and a little more full.
So on this last night of 2015 I toast, with my mug of whiskey, to breaking open your heart and loving a little more fully and a little more passionately. And may 2016 bring you exactly the joy you ask of it. Happy New Year!