I cannot believe that 2019 is already here. I still remember the beginning of the year and all of the great things I was looking forward to as I started my life anew in Milwaukee. For some reason, I was not excited at all to bring in the new year and already the first 10 days of the year have already flown by.
Have you ever heard of a restart? A restart is essentially a moment in your life where you take a step back and look at your life as a whole and see what you can change, improve or leave behind in the past. Restarts are powerful events that we undertake because they give us a sense of purpose and they help point us in the right direction. Most people take the start of the new calendar to make a restart and try to improve things in their life.
We write down resolutions, we make a list of things we want to accomplish, we tell ourselves we will eat healthier, exercise more, have more fun, but we mostly end up following old habits. Restarts are moments where we realize we haven’t been doing as we said we would and give it one more go. I believe restarts can be done all year round; they break us out of the slump of everyday life and get us in the mindset that we have the opportunity to change our life little by little at any moment during the year.
2018 was an incredibly challenging and satisfying year for me. Although if I didn’t say I had my fair share of anxiety-ridden days this year, I would be blatantly lying. It was a year where I learned more about leaning on myself and trusting my instinct. I learned about independence and self-sufficiency, the power of believing in yourself and removing doubt from my thoughts. On the flip side, I also learned about asking for help and knowing when to let others help you in any way that they can. I tried to remove my ego from situations where it wasn’t necessary. I learned about getting shit done, just sitting down and working for what you want.
It has already been a full year since I left home and I have been away from my family. It has been a tough year, although full of lots of self-discovery, reflection and growth. I want to take a look back at some of the things I accomplished this year and the things for which I am grateful.
I managed to start a new job at an advertising agency in downtown Milwaukee. I moved into my own apartment, after living with my boyfriend’s sister’s family for a while after we moved to Milwaukee. (Thank you so much for that!)
In the summer, I traveled to Seattle to see Dua Lipa live in and I stayed with some terrific friends I had not seen in the longest time. It was great to see them and carry on our friendship as if time or distance had not been separating us. I also got to explore the city I had always wanted to go to and drowned myself in the city’s various coffee shops. (But first, coffee, obviously.)
This year I retook my photography and experimented with lighting, pushing me to try new techniques and concepts. I feel this was a good boost that I needed after spending so much time without shooting after the hurricane. and read a lot more than I expected myself to, after dropping the habit of reading for pleasure because of the busy life I had back home.
There’s been a lot of me getting out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to try new things (because why not?). I have met terrific, creative people all around me and I have continued finding opportunities for growth, with a side of probably too much Drag Race, obviously. These new friends have served as a great influence to recognize the things I know how to do and imbue confidence in myself. Something that many people don’t understand about moving to a new place is that you no longer count with the same support network or connections that you used to have. It is an incredibly lonely venture which you overcome or you don’t. You either confront it head on or allow it to have power over you.
Since I believe in the power of writing things down because it brings them into existence, which is why I will be listing down what I want out of 2019 and what I can expect from myself with the new year.
It’s no mystery that I love to read and that I probably read way too many self-help or business books (not that it’s a bad thing). A lot of it comes from trying to fill in gaps that I feel I have and that nobody taught or I ever learned. As a creative, a lot of learning is self-taught, guided by passion and curiosity. This means that there is no straight path to learning and getting to where you feel you need to go. For me, this has changed a lot from year to year, while in school, but also now working full time. Sometimes you just have to be your own mentor and figure out what you need and go for it.
I have this blog, so I should write more, right? Well, that will hopefully happen. It gives me a great rush of euphoria to get stuff written down and published for strangers to read. It’s therapeutic. It makes me feel terrific, as if something has left my body and is out in the universe. It’s also great practice. No deadlines, no pressure, just expressing myself or writing about a topic I am interested in.
I wish to be more open about my emotions and not block or control them, as I am used to doing. Welcoming emotions and experiencing them for what they are is beautiful and denotes emotional intelligence. A lot of my anxiety stems from not channeling my emotions or not allowing myself to feel them because it’s “not right” or because I know better. This is a coping mechanism that isn’t healthy, because it invalidates your emotions and your natural reaction to how you respond to things.
This includes being more patient with myself, and practicing self-care regularly, not when things are stressful or going awry. This means, telling myself to calm down and take things easy, not adding more things to my plate than I can stand and being real with myself. Conversely, this might at times means that I have to push myself and expect more from myself.
Lots of our time during the year gets spent on our daily routines and just making it through the day. We look at the end of each work day as if it were our reward. Lots of my time is spent thinking about the future and wasting away my time when I could be doing things that fulfill me. This year I want to allow myself to be more present and do fun things on a regular basis, not allowing myself to fall into a monotonous routine, making everything seem like a chore that needs to get done.
So that's my list. What things are you looking forward to accomplishing this year?