How it is already December I will never know. This marks my final Editor’s Letter of 2016 and I’m feeling both nostalgic and hopeful. In the last month of the year I can’t help but reflect on the past twelve months. Highs and lows, short term and long term accomplishments, endless hours and too quickly gone weekends.
My personal year was pretty damn good as far as personal years go. This was the first full year I was in my new apartment and I nested HARD (as most homebodies do). I bought, sanded, primed and painted two giant bookshelves, bought a new adult looking coffee table, finally got my vanity set up and filled with too many makeup products, started a vision wall and made a flower wall (DIY coming soon). As far as travel is concerned, I was fortunate enough to visit New York for a long weekend and also embarked on the trip of a lifetime across the eastern coast of Australia with one of my best friends. Last but not least, I couldn’t not mention launching my little baby – The Grayscale. The feedback and reactions to this little internet space have been so incredible and trust me when I say I cherish them all. Launching TGS was one of the most trying and nerve racking things I’ve ever done but it has taught me endless skills including but not limited to photoshop, how to choose a great font, when to push creative boundaries and the magic of Google Sheets.
Overall on a worldly scale this year was a bit all over the place. After the past 30 days post election it’s hard to really remember the good things that we did manage to get done this year but I will try my best. Highlights include: 4th quarter Obama, Lemonade, the return of J.K. Rowling, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Hamilton. Also the continual rise of girls supporting girls and feminism in general fills me with so much hope and happiness that I can’t help but smile when I think about it.
Coming down from Thanksgiving and heading into the thick of the holiday season can be intensely overwhelming. While this is one of favorite times of year, I find myself all kinds of stressed come the first week of December. Over the past few years I’ve integrated a few different strategies to help calm my stress nerves during this time of the year.
- Paint. I love painting with both acrylic and watercolor (recently I’ve fallen back into watercolor) and find it extremely soothing. I by no means consider myself an actual painter, but just sitting down for an hour or so and using color to express whatever is on my mind usually proves extremely therapeutic for me.
- Read. It is the world’s worst kept secret that I love to read. In times of stress or feeling overwhelmed I have found that the one thing that calms me the fastest is sitting down with a book I can get completely lost in. In the past few weeks following the election I found peace in novels and worlds I could fall into for a few short hours.
- Museums. One of my favorite places in LA is the Getty and on weekends when I have a free afternoon I like to try and take a few hours to wander around the ancient paintings. I find it comforting that these people, even hundreds of years ago, were dealing with and feeling the same types of things that we are – love, pain, loss, rebirth, etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to feel like you’re not all alone in your emotions.
I’m going to do my best to savor and enjoy these last few moments in 2016. While I’m sad to be leaving a few things behind, I’m also extremely looking forward to what 2017 will bring. Compliment a stranger, eat the ice cream and tell someone you love them. Life is too short to play it cool.
I send you out with my current favorite song, Florence & The Machine’s cover of “Stand By Me.” Wait for the strings to kick in at 2:40, you will feel your heart expand. To me it feels like the light overtakes the dark, love always wins and we truly are stronger together.
Stay weird, stay strong, stay bright, stay beautiful. See you in 2017.