american idol kelly clarkson

A Final Encore for American Idol

American Idol changed my life. I’ve written multiple essays on this very statement over the years, but I’ve never been able to fully express just how much of an impact this televised singing competition has had on me since 2002 (and specifically the last eight years).

Besides the usual suspects (Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Chris Daughtry), Idol introduced me to many of my favourite artists today, including David Cook, David Archuleta, Brooke White, Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Haley Reinhart, Casey Abrams, Phillip Phillips, and last but never least, the late and great Michael Johns. The unique talents that have emerged from this show over the past fifteen years have made me sit up and listen to their creative takes on modern music with fresh and eager ears. They’ve also opened my eyes up to a global community of music lovers, and the connections I’ve made with fellow Idol fans have turned into some of the greatest friendships I’ve ever been blessed to have.

As Season 15 premieres tonight and begins the search for the last American Idol, I hope that this final season will be a fine and fond send-off for the Idol series, with a solid cast, a worthy winner to bookend Kelly Clarkson, and a huge celebration of all the years of memories that have gone by.

To me, Idol was more than just a game. It was a game-changer. Following this show has been a crazy and unforgettable ride, and I’m excited to tune into (and blog about) this farewell season with all of the Idoloonies out there.

Because this…. is American Idol! Dim the lights, Kieran, and here we go…

Image Credit: Fox

rose pink blue reflection

My Super Sweet 2016

“Sixteen candles make a lovely light.”

In my teenage dreams, I was always anxiously looking ahead to the next chapter – finishing middle school, getting past that nerve-wracking freshman year of high school, and culminating in the grand Sweet Sixteen celebration, when all of my awkwardness and terrors would be vanquished once I turned 16 and graduated into that pre-adulthood stage of life.

Of course, things didn’t turn out quite that way. I’m well into my twenties now and still have my fair share of insecurities, uncertainties, and fears (spoiler alert – no matter what age you are, that never goes away).

But as I sit here to reflect on the past and consider my goals for the present, I’m realizing that these past two years have been exponential times of personal and professional growth for me. Confident, courageous, and happy aren’t words I could have used to describe myself at the beginning of 2014, but I can say so now. And I think that calls for a celebration, damnit!

2014 was all about surviving the quarter-life crisis and starting my career. 2015 was all about ‘making it happen’ and streamlining myself for the future. In 2016, I want to continue to broaden my horizons, in areas like travel, career, volunteering, education, fitness, home, creativity, and friendship, and just follow the yellow brick road towards learning and experience. In addition to that, I also want to make it a top priority to celebrate both my ongoing discoveries and accomplishments, as well as extend that congratulatory and celebratory spirit to others. Too often, we forget to give ourselves a much-deserved pat on the back, but acknowledging ourselves and each other is an important element of attaining satisfaction.

With that being said, My Super Sweet 2016 is going to be all about making this year a time for celebration, along with adventure, playful indulgence, weird wonderfulness, and treatin’ yo self. 

What’s your grand vision for your 2016?