Hey there, new year!
I’m a fan of the new year; I like having a date and a reason to reflect and reset. I’m someone who’s always looking forward, and sometimes I have a hard time acknowledging my accomplishments. Can anyone relate?! My guess is yes, you definitely can.
So that’s what I’m going to try to do here: acknowledge what went right and what I accomplished in 2018. Then, talk about what I’m looking forward to in 2019.
Reflecting on 2018
2018 was a big year in so many ways: I quit my desk job to become a full time photographer and creative assistant. I also took my first international and overseas trip to Italy!
I put my personal artwork out there in ways that I’ve never done before. I showed my work in the Blue Sky Drawers (you can see my work there until March of 2019!) and I asked all of you to support me with your dollars by purchasing tickets to my RAW show.
And about putting my work out there, I experienced some rejection this year. I applied for Sony’s Alpha Female program and grant for $25K. I wanted to use the money to support myself while building eCourses about self-portraiture, self-love, and self-care. I didn’t get the grant, but I was so happy I applied. And honestly, I’m okay that I didn’t get it. You have to get rejected sometimes to learn. There are many people who deserve these opportunities, and it can’t always be me or you.
I started making sparkly shells (more exciting things to come in 2019)! I think of my shells as my “Venus in Libra” project. One of the reasons I love making shells into sparkly, pearled keepsakes is because it’s purely fun and joy for me. Nothing about it is serious, it appeals to my senses, and the final product makes me smile. I love being surrounded by beautiful things, and likewise, I love giving people beautiful things.
Something I can’t overlook about 2018 is that I let go of some people who were seriously stressing me out, and I welcomed new friends who have added a ton of greatness to my life. Many of those friends have come from my partnership with We Myndful, a lovely community of folks who come together every month to talk about and embody mindfulness. I’m so incredibly thankful for the friendships I’ve fostered there.
Finally, this year I did something I’ve NEVER done before: I gathered, organized, and compiled ALL my tax information before 2019 even BEGUN. This is a huge, huge deal for me because, I mean, WHO likes doing their taxes? Usually I procrastinate on this until the last minute, but I felt that end-of-December Capricorn energy coming on strong and I decided to jump in and do it.
As for 2019, here are a few things I want to do for myself:
Be more present.
This year was about building my business, and I worked harder than I ever have to do it. When you’re a small business owner, the reality is that the work is never done. There is always more promoting, refining, and book-keeping I could be doing. However, though I’m an incredibly hard worker, I have not always been the smartest worker. I get things done quickly, but that’s only because I work tirelessly. 2019 is going to be about knowing where I can give myself a break and chill. I want to be more present with my family, my partner, and my friends. Because really, that’s what I’m going to remember in the end.
Get my booty in physical therapy.
I injured myself a couple of years ago and haven’t been to physical therapy once. I re-injured myself earlier this year and that still didn’t get me into physical therapy. I experience back and neck pain almost daily, and it’s time that I do something about it. As a former dancer and someone who loves moving, I don’t want to spend another minute being afraid to move.
Exercise most days.
This is not about feeling like I need to lose weight. Rather, when I exercise, I get better sleep and my headaches decrease dramatically. I let go of exercise for the most part for over a year and I got worse sleep and was in more pain than ever because of it. Recently I began belly dancing and dabbling in yoga again, and it has done wonders for my well-being. Now I look forward to moving my body because I know how much better it’s going to make me feel.
Enjoy what I eat.
I absolutely love to eat. Like a lot. But often times I’ll find myself in the middle of a big project, so I’ll pop something in the microwave and eat it in front of my computer. It needs to stop! This has a lot to do with being more present. If I’m enjoying what I’m eating, I’ll have no choice but to be present - in what I cook for myself and how I eat it. To me, there’s nothing better than a large, satisfying meal. I can’t wait to eat some good food this year!
Take myself on dates.
Again, the being present thing. Work was top priority this year, and I put myself on the back burner constantly. But I recognize that if I keep doing that, not only will I suffer, but so too will my work. In 2019 I want to take myself on a mini-date once a week, whether it be going on a walk to the Japanese Gardens or taking myself out for coffee. It doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be something that’s only for me and my pleasure.
Shoot film again.
When I learned to photograph, I did it on film. Only a couple years into learning about photography did I slowly start moving to digital. Shooting film is absolutely magical, and I miss the joy it brings to my life. I also miss the way it makes photography about actually photographing things, rather than thinking about the image you want to create before you even begin to photograph. Over the holidays, I was gifted a couple packs of old-school polaroid film, 35mm film, and 120mm film. I can’t wait to start shooting! I’m also excited to finally check out The Portland Darkroom, which I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
There is so much of Oregon I feel like I haven’t seen. Why not?! We are so dang LUCKY to live among splendid trees, ocean, and mountains. I want to see more. I want to take the time to enjoy where I live.
Tell myself a positive money story.
Do you ever do this? You find yourself saying “I can’t afford that,” or “I don’t deserve to have that.” There are many things I tell myself I can’t afford or don’t deserve, and it all has to do with money anxiety. Most of us have it - that’s the thing about needing money to survive. However, when I’ve told myself these things in the past, they haven’t always been true. What it’s done, though, is given me a whole ton of anxiety I don’t want. I’m not saying that I plan to spend money wildly this year, but if I worked really hard to complete a project, I’ll treat myself. And if I need something to improve my business, I’ll buy it. This is about valuing myself like I know I deserve. And I know I can do it.
So, what’s something amazing you did in 2018, whether personally or professionally? And what’s something you’d love to do in 2019? I love hearing your perspective! And to all of you: I hope you have a wonderful and sparkly New Year!