As I embark on this crazy journey, I think it’s important to reflect on the year. One year ago, I started the Survivor Pro tips. This series of work has propelled me into a level of healing and creativity that I didn’t know I had the ability to reach. I am so thankful for the response that this work has received. I am thankful to know that my work has helped a few people and that I have been able to express myself on a deeper level.
I also made this post one year ago, where I made some promises to myself. I have kept most of them. I have definitely stuck to the putting myself, my art, and my career first in my life. I have stuck to the healthier lifestyle, and I have managed money quite well. I feel more healthy than I have felt in my entire adult life and I am pursuing my passion relentlessly.
In June, I quit my teaching job in order to make more concrete moves towards doing my art full time. I sifted through job applications, went on some interviews and got rejected every step of the way. But you know what? I am thankful for all of the rejection. I am thankful for getting rejected from grad school, from jobs I thought I wanted, opportunities that presented themselves and then fell through, everything that has NOT happened this year has paved the way for all of the AMAZING things that HAVE happened to me. I have fought tooth and nail to get where I am. I am happy. I am fulfilled. I spent a few months doing freelance for Pottery Barn, which helped pay the bills for a while, and I am working on some small freelance gigs for friends and working a few days a week at a beloved boutique in my neighborhood. I cannot say enough about how grateful I am. I really can’t. It would get redundant.
But you, My Dear Reader, must know that I have not taken a single thing for granted. From my past jobs, my colleagues, my former students, my friends, my family, and the ever growing network of artists and friends of artists that I have encountered this year. They have helped expand my world so much. My mind and heart are so full as this year draws to a close. I have made strides towards my goals and I have my community to thank for that.
I do miss my students. I miss working with them and making an impact on them every day, even if it was small. But I promised them that I was leaving in order to become a whole person, in order to be a better role model and to show them that they can indeed pursue their passions if they work hard enough, make connections, constantly learn and improve, and bounce back from setbacks every single time, no matter how hard it seems.
There is a lot of work to do. I have improvements to make, learning to do, and goals to make and reach. But I must say, after this year, I am really feeling things come together. I know now that I can really envision my future and make it happen (I know this sounds really self-helpish but it’s true for me right now).
I know that there is a lot of work to be done so that I can tie my work to my community, so that I can continue to make an impact on it and to help heal some of the pain that it suffers and repair some of the broken relationships it has. This is the biggest part of what I aim to do in 2014. I aim to work harder to improve my art and build a cohesive body of work so that I may have the resources and capacity to work within my community to heal and grow it.
2013, it’s been so, so amazing and real. I can truly say that it’s been a blessing, even with all the bumps and bruises. I am thankful for the whole thing and I am ready to meet your sister, 2014. I hear she’s a real firecracker.