Getting back into writing mode has felt like trying to start a car after it’s been left sitting in a driveway for two months. My gears are grinding, everything is creaking but somehow we’re on the road again.
I’ve been in my creative cave past two months taking care of my Etsy and Amazon Handmade business through the holidays. Holiday season is high season for my shops and I’ve been up late many many nights over the last few weeks trying to get all the orders out. After a successful holiday season I have been hibernating in Central California for the past week trying to catch up on sleep, get into a meditation routine and spending a lot of really lovely quality time with my family.
I’m going to level with you, this year has been hard. In the public sphere, politics took center stage. Every day opening up NYTimes.com or turning on CNN felt exhausting and mentally draining. I had to make an executive decision to lower the amount of news I was consuming because it started affecting my day to day. And you know what? That is okay. It is okay to take breaks and make it a priority to take care of your mental well-being. On the other half of that, in my own personal life I dealt with the breakups of two very close friendships. It took me the greater part of the year to accept and come to terms with the heartbreak I was feeling but I finally feel like I’m on the other side. I take my interpersonal relationships very seriously, almost to a fault. I have a few people I let into my inner circle and if something happens to those relationships I tend to take it extremely hard. As I was struggling to reconcile with one of those relationships earlier this month, another close friend asked me, “what did she bring you this year? What did she bring to the table?” My gut answer was immediate – she brought me anger and stress. No relationship should ever only bring you negative feelings. If it does then it truly isn’t a relationship, rather, it’s a strain on your own energy.
I had two goals for 2017: 1) clear AF skin and 2) doing the things I wanted to be doing. After a very enlightening trip to the dermatologist in August, I have been tackling what was diagnosed as adult onset acne. Yes, that is a real thing and yes I have/had it. After having zero skin problems throughout my teens, my body decided to rebel against me and give me acne in my 20s. I will go into my skincare journey in a later post once I’m nearing the end of my treatment but for now I can say that making that August appointment was the single best thing I did for myself this year. As for the second goal, I wanted to be in control of the activities and choices I made this year and not base my decisions on what I thought would put others at ease. If I wanted to have a Sunday all to myself where all I did was yoga and read then I did it and I didn’t feel bad about turning down plans to see friends. I’ve learned that I need a lot of alone time to recharge and I made sure I gave myself that time this year.
Going into 2018 I want to allow myself the freedom to push my creative boundaries a bit more. I tend to get comfortable in a few projects and forget to keep pushing myself to explore new ideas. I want to give myself the opportunity to flesh out a few new projects and see how they turn out. Photography, wall hangings, poetry, watercolor, maybe even a book if I’m lucky. If they suck, they suck. Maybe a few of them turn out great, maybe a few turn out okay, but at least I’m keeping that energy moving in a forward direction. Exhibit A: I had an excessive amount of fun playing with a lemon above my pool and experimenting with different shots, aren’t the colors beautiful? Part of that creative freedom will be hopefully returning to TGS on a more regular basis. I had a job switch a few months ago which also contributed to my lack of writing but now that I feel more confident in that facet of my life I’m ready to jump back into what has always been my first love, words.
I hope you all have had some time to sit and reflect on the past year, good and bad. Here’s to a fresh start in 2018. Read more books, take care of yourself, trust your gut and we’ll get through these next 365 days together.