I always love the concept of taking stock of the progressions that have happened in a given period of time in order to appreciate and remind myself of the bigger picture, but I didn't think I wanted to write a 2017 recap post until yesterday. I did little recaps the past two years (2016, 2015), but this year I want to do a little bit of a different recap than just taking this past year into stock. I want to remind you that it is a New Year, yes, but you are the same amazing you you've been in all the years past-- and that is the same person entering 2018.
At the beginning of 2017, I felt stuck for a number of reasons. After a tumultuous 2016, it felt like I had just survived and made it onto shore. I was still processing the grief of losing my dad, I had just got out of a relationship that I allowed to stunt me, and I felt so stagnant in my career. I honestly felt very disappointed in myself for feeling so stuck and uninspired. So I did two things: First, I just started doing things by just always taking action to say yes or explore new opportunities.
Secondly, I was in one of those moods where I felt like I had done nothing and was so unaccomplished. The logical side of my brain knew this was silly, so I forced myself to take a pen to paper and write out a timeline of everything that had happened in 2105 and 2016, in terms of milestones (decisions made, accomplishments) or life events. Both in personal life and career. Let's just say that paper became crowded rather quickly, and I was reminded of the insane amount of things that can happen in a given year, and how much a person's life can change in a short period of time (in the perspective of a big picture). Yet, here I was, still me through it all. Sure, I had earned a few more scars, grew, and evolved, but still the same heart and mind at the core.
Now, you guys know that I am not a fan of resolutions (I do these non-resolution challenges instead). I know it feels so enticing to look at a new year as a fresh beginning-- a chance to start anew and wash off any yuckiness, hardships, or things you didn't like about the past year. Trust me, after the 2016 I had, I so understand that feeling of just wanting to start fresh. But as I've gotten older, I've realized the importance of taking scope of the whole picture-- including the past.
Rather than thinking of the new year as "Page 1" of a fresh book, I propose that we start looking at a new year as "Chapter 2." A new year is just a continuation of YOUR story of your life; it's another chapter to write and guide how you wish it to.
I think of my body and mind as my vehicle that I get to drive through all kind of landscapes and conditions throughout my life. 2015 was a year I got to ride through all kinds of scenery and more on cruise control of seeing things I had put into motion the previous years come to fruition. 2016 left my car feeling beat up through torrential hurricanes, natural disasters, but threw out seeds to plant for the future.
And 2017 was the year of going 200 mph, with those crazy seeds blooming into unexpectedly beautiful and challenging things all over the place. I was being a little hard on myself the past week about how much more I wanted to accomplish and where I wish to be right now, but I had to kind of slap myself in the face and remind myself that I did some pretty awesome stuff this year. It has been tremendous even without the other things I wanted to do too. I started a whole new business while juggling and growing my existing ones, enriched my personal life in so many new ways, and found myself in a way I am so proud of after last year.
Honestly one of the main reasons I love Instagram and I have yet to ever delete a single post of mine is because it is like a memory photo book, with captions. Looking at an old post and reading my own words brings me right back to the state of mind and place in my life from which I created those words and imagery.
So this year, instead of listing off the bulleted things that happened just in 2017 for me, I am going to "Instagram" my Instagrams (from the very beginning!), if that makes any sense.
I hope for any of you that might be feeling stuck or placing too much stock into the new year, that this recap will show you how crazy of an evolution can happen in a mere 3 years.
I'm going to provide you a little behind the scenes of what was happening during those periods of my life that you guys might not have realized at the time, and how it's still all part of the same book of my life, year after year. Yes, 2018, I'm so excited to see what you hold in store for me, but I'll be bringing all of these beautiful chapters before you with me to help navigate it all!
Side note: I love watching my photography skills and style evolve. I'm self-taught, and I also can see during different phases that I love cooler photography, warmer tones, shadowy, light and bright. I still at heart am not married to one style which is "Instagram blasphemy" but I'd rather stay true to my intent of trying to capture a subject or scene just as beautifully as I see it. That's why I fell in love with photography in the first place: being able to show the beauties of the world through the lens in which I see it. Also please pardon how janky these collages will look in terms of design, I just don't got time to make things all pretty today haha)