Wow. 2017 is really ending. So much has happened in the world (which can go without saying) and so much has happened to me personally. Taking time to reflect on the year is an important exercise that I think everyone should do. Only then you are able to really have a full picture of your progression throughout the year and where you should be heading next.
Some things I tend to recall:
-Did I have any really high/peak moments, and how did I get there?
-Did I have any really low/down moments, how did I handle it?
-Did I make any new friends, what do I like about them?
-Did I lose any friends and why?
-Am I in good health?
-Did I hit any major goals/accomplishments (personal or business)?
-Where did I travel to?
And finally after thinking about all these things...
-Am I happy?
Bottom line, happiness is always my goal at the end of the day. It really doesn't matter how you choose to live your life, as long as you are happy, you are winning. So how was my year, you ask? It was AWESOME! I have lots of highlights this year, way more than my lows! I made some steps in the right direction with my illustration business! This year I participated in 6 makers markets, landed 1 major project, did a handful of commissions, sold some original paintings, made a lot of new work, completed my first daily drawing challenge, relaunched my website, made an online store, AND started this blog! I feel very proud of that little list of accomplishments because it shows progress. Though slow moving, any progress is good! Of course there are things I wish I could've done more of but I cant beat myself up over that because the things that I did do were done with the best of my ability!
Here are some of my favorite pieces I did in 2017!
I have three major creative goals for next year:
-Sign with an Illustration Agency
-Have a solo show
-Paint at least three murals
These are really big goals for me and I really want to put my head down and grind towards achieving them. No more excuses. For each of these goals I have made a list of all the things I have to do to get there. I am not the type to start my New Years resolutions on the 1st of the year. I like to start earlier so that I am in a better position and more confident at the start of the new year. With that being said, there are some things that I have already started to do. I have become more consistent with my social media presence, I have begun making it a habit to be creative daily, and I have shifted my mindset to one that is more productive and motivated.
Aside from my business goals I also have some personal ones. I love to travel! It is a passion of mine and it also fuels me creatively. I only traveled twice this year, compared to the 5 trips I took in 2016. This year I made my fourth visit to beautiful Doha, Qatar for work with VCU FASHION. That is always an unforgettable experience. I miss my friends over there so much when I am gone and I hope to be able to return again next year! My second noteworthy trip was my move across the country, which is something I still cant believe I did! I left my college town of Richmond, VA to come out west and see something new. Now we live in Denver, Colorado and couldn't be more happy with the change! In late May, we headed out on an awesome, three-day road trip with our pets across the country and it was, hands down, the highlight of my year! Looking into next year my goal is not to travel more, but to travel to new places. I want to see more things that I have never seen before. I want to have more speechless moments, end up in more crazy situations, and have more firsts with my sweetie. Quality over quantity is the rule to follow.
Another highlight of 2017 was this summers full solar eclipse which happened on the day before my birthday! Never in my life, have I experienced such a beautiful and magical natural phenomenon with my own eyes. We drove for four hours up into Wyoming in the middle of the night, slept in our car, then, in the morning, made our way onto some empty farm land directly under the totality line to watch the magic happen! It was breathtaking! I really cant put it into words so I wont try. Just know, if there is another one during your lifetime, you must see the event at 100% totality! It is absolutely worth it.
On a really personal note, this year has been a major health awakening for me. This is not a topic I would normally speak about publicly but it was a MAJOR part of my year so I can not truthfully write a review without bringing this up. In November of 2016 I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, an autoimmune disease where you loose your hair in large circular patches all over your head. It can sometimes even lead to full body hair loss. I could seriously write an entire book on my experience in the last year with this diagnosis and my method of treatment but I will keep it short. I rejected my doctors suggested treatment of steroid injections in my scalp, for obvious reasons. It took me six months after the diagnosis to find my own way (with the help of the internet) to a lifestyle and diet protocol for those with autoimmune diseases wishing to reverse their symptoms and live a better life. Fast forward another six months to today and I am feeling AMAZING! After 20 weeks on a strict elimination diet in combination with major lifestyle shifts, my bald patches are filling back in with hair!
Ive also experienced some other benefits:
-I am in awesome physical shape
-I have a healthier relationship with food
-I understand my body more and what it needs,
-Ive learned the importance of self-care,
-I have way more energy with a much better mood which equals a happier woman overall!
This health journey is really only the beginning and I plan on carrying everything that I have learned about myself so far into the new year and the rest of my life. If you are interested in hearing more specifics about my autoimmune journey in relation to nutrition and lifestyle, I would be happy to make a whole post about it. Just let me know!
***Also, keep in mind that I am NOT an expert.
The year 2017 has been really fun (not including all the awful things that happened in the news)! I am really pleased with where I am ending the year and I have so much to be thankful for including my incredibly loving and supportive partner, my awesome friends, and my family! Here’s to 2018! I have never said this before but I seriously know that 2018 is going to be my year! I am declaring it and putting in the work to achieve it! Lets get to it!
I want to know your thoughts on New Years resolutions? Was 2017 good to you? What are your hopes for the new year? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!