Reflecting on 2017
It’s that time of the year again. Although this time I am late. I have been thinking about doing my write up, reviewing the past year, but for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to it earlier. And even now I have to really sit myself down to write about 2017. The reason being that it has been such a turbulent year. Up until the very last end. Every year, everyone says the same thing. “This was a crazy year, next year will be my year!” Fact is, we really do say that every year, and every year we just live our lives and take it as it comes, just to do it all again the following year. 2017 has not been any different. Just different experiences. Good and bad. So here goes.
January was quiet, pretty much depressing, as I had come back from an amazing trip through Asia in December and it’s hard to come down from that high in cold and dreary weather. I did get a lot of new clients that month, so it was mainly work. In February life started to be exciting again, with the highlight going to Ghana with Jay-Way to shoot a video. it was an amazing trip where his family welcomed us with open arms and took care of us greatly. Ghana taught me new things about life and myself. I have so much appreciation for that country and the people in it. In February I got my filter lens, which opened a whole new world for me as far as I could see again. It was only the beginning of eye situations though.
In March there was lots of work, Jay-Way shows, clients, catching up with friends but then also finally going back to Houston to see my sister again. It was a much needed trip, although this was the first time she was working the entire time I was there, it was so great to spend time with her. Her amazing friends also threw me a roof top dinner party because of my return visit. I love all of them so much. I wish we all lived closer. But nonetheless, it was also recharging time for my battery.
I returned home in April and flew out to London the day after I got home from Houston. Met up with my birthday twin out there, strolled around for a few days and went home again. Unfortunately, the moment I walked back into my apartment from the airport coming home, I got the bad news that Charlie had passed away. It was that moment I was so afraid of coming, but it had come. Probably the saddest news I got in 2017, and it took me a while to really process it. I sometimes still can’t believe he is gone. I am grateful to have fond memories, photos and videos of our time together. End of April I got more bad news. The eye disease I have in my left eye (stabilized but damaged), had shown up in my right eye and I immediately had to go to the hospital to get eye injections. My sight was so bad, I was preparing to go blind instantly, and it got me so stressed that I collapsed.
I decided to take a break from everything to process the changes in my life, and went to Florida, to stay with my bf Tamara, and her kids. It definitely gave me so much peace. Where she lives there is absolutely nothing, no noise, no hassle, just peace and quiet. Sunshine and a pool. Food and friendship. Its all I needed to get myself together having to deal with eye injections every 4 weeks and adjusting my life to being visually impaired. I also got some definite closure on things that were left hanging for the months before that, and that added to the peace of mind that I was searching for.
After I got back home from Florida, I went to Paris for a few days with Denise and Layla. But I had found an eye specialist in Miami (by coincidence) who wanted to see me, to see if he could help me, so I decided to go back to Florida a week later and make it a birthday trip to Miami with Tamara. It turned out to be the best summer “trip” I ever made. From the three weeks I was in Orlando, I spent maybe only one week physically there. We first went to Miami for a few days, after that we stopped by the Malco’s on the way home, in Fort Lauderdale. It was so great to finally meet up with Romany, his brother Pablo and his family and got to see the amazing show Pablo put on for the community. After that we stopped by my uncle and aunt in Port St Lucie and had dinner over there before driving home in the evening. The next day after we gt home, Tamara and I flew to Las Vegas for 2 days, where we also drove to the Grand Canyon in a convertible, just because we could. It was definitely a great time, staying with Mei, celebrating my 39th birthday in Vegas. After we got back to Orlando, I flew out to Los Angeles to drive to Mexico for a weekend, with my dear friend Regis, who I had seen in 2015 for a few hours, but really not spent good time with in about 17 years. It was a great peaceful weekend where we did nothing but sleep, eat, watch the ocean and catch up. As soon as I came back from LA, in Orlando, I had to pack my bags, again, to fly to Dallas. My long time friend Malik had to speak on panel there for an international film festival and asked me to join him as I was flying all over the place but not stopping by New York to catch up. In that 24 hours I was in Dallas, I met some of the most amazing people at the festival, with one of the highlights being John Singleton and going to the premiere of his new show Snowfall, as his guests. I can’t even explain how amazing this birthday trip was to me. Yes, all the flying around was crazy and exhausting, having seen MCO (Orlando Airport) about 11 times, but it was all worth it. I am so blessed to have such great friends in my life.
(Read about the entire birthday trip here.)
I flew home in July after the 4th and finally had some time to rest from my birthday tour in the US haha. Of course dealing with the hospital again but it was going well. In August I got the good news that the illness had pretty much gone out of my right eye and the doctor decided to skip the injection, only for the disease to come back twice as bad, 5 days later. The doc tried a new medicine that following week but it didn’t work, so I ended up in the hospital every week of that month, with deteriorating sight. It got so bad that I was struggling with walking on the street, putting shoes on, looking for things in the stores, just every day stuff. In September they injected me with the previous medicine again and luckily that was working. I lost my biggest client in September, which at first was a moment of stress, but I managed to turn it around into hustling even harder to do what I love to do.
In October I got news that the medicine had worked and my sight was getting better again. Whew, that was good to hear, but I still had to wait and see how it went. Amsterdam Dance Event was amazing as always. Had some great interviews and panels at the Beats conference and was networking with amazing industry people and artists again. Its always a busy week of work and catching up with a bunch of people being in town.
In November I randomly attended the Red Bull BC One World Finals, which was down my street this year. It was great catching up with a whole bunch of friends who I hadn’t seen in so long. Mad love to Rakaa, Crazy Legs, Skeme, Renegade and Conchitta for that great weekend. Later that month Denise and I went to Porto for a few days, my first time in Portugal. Of course, lots of food and walking around the city. The week after, I did a new promo shoot with a photographer, which turned out to be pretty awesome. Entire website is updated. Go check it out www.paykolmus.com.
The first few days of December I went to Athens, Greece. Kim and Denise both have birthdays in December (2 and 4) so we had planned to go there for the weekend to celebrate and explore. Of course again, lots of food and sightseeing. It was a great trip as I always wanted to go see the history and monuments in Athens. This month, I had to wait 6 weeks before my next injection, as the doctor wanted to extend the time between injections as my scans were looking better. I was so nervous for those extra 2 weeks because it went wrong back in August. But I made the 6 weeks without losing vision and got more good news when I was back in the hospital. Again, the disease seemed to be stabilised in my right eye, and the doc wanted to skip the injection again. I took it though, just to be safe. For now, I won’t have to go back til February (Yay an entire month without having to go to the hospital!) unless something happens of course, but we pray that it doesn’t. God is a healing God and I know He is the only one that can cure my eyes.
Going towards the holidays with this good news, I got sick though. Flu symptoms, stuffed nose and ears, sinuses blocked. I still went to my parents for Christmas, and my birthday twin was visiting on Boxing Day for a few days. As I was ready to hang out with him, I got the terrible news that my mom was in the hospital, as she had a stroke. The entire last week of 2017 was just horror. Mom being in the hospital, me being terribly sick, birthday twin being here for his peace as he had gone through some terrible months, and I just couldn’t do anything. Thankfully God didn’t think it’s my mom’s time yet so she was doing better and got released on Friday. Birthday Twin is super chill and didn’t need to do much other than sleep and eat, so he let me just be sick and get better.
In the end (literally) I dragged myself out of my bed to go to my parents to spend NYE with them. It is so good to spend time with both my mom and dad, and hug them while I still can. No party or other person is more important, than being with them. Life is short, our time here on earth is not guaranteed. Not my sight, not my life, so when I count my blessings through it all, it’s so much more than all the hurdles I have to jump over in life. Each year it gets easier. Not saying it is easy, but it gets easier with experience. And because of that, it makes me more grateful and enjoy life more every day, every year.
God has blessed me with so much, and I will remain grateful every day for the life He has given me and live happily according to the plan He has laid out for me. <3