2017: A Year at a Glance
My yoga teacher recently told me that there are no ‘bad’ moments in a year, only moments. And that we should look back on our year with gratitude instead of judgement. That, ultimately, there’s a greater purpose at work here, and every moment is part of that purpose.
Although I find it difficult to believe in this ‘greater purpose’, I see the beauty in it. Especially during class when I’m feeling super zen.
I’m trying not to make judgement on 2017, but I think the best way to grow is by learning from our past. The truth is, this year kinda sucked. It’s not that a whole lot of bad things happened, it’s that, nothing of importance happened. Just, a whole lot of nothing.
I’m a firm believer that we’re in control of our lives. I’m not going to turn around and blame one thing or another for this sucky year, or the one before it – that wouldn’t be fair. I know it’s me. I know I’m the problem. But it took me till the second half of this year to realise it.
A year full of self doubt
I mean, 2017 started out promising.
I found solitude in being alone, while Josh rode a motorbike around Vietnam for 5 weeks. I lost a business deal, which in turn, made me question what I really want out of my career. I lost 90% of my ongoing clients for reasons I had no control over. And so, after being kicked to the curb one last time, I gave freelancing a break for six months and got an office job working as a Communications Producer at a local university.
After that, things kind of slow down. I went to work, I went home, and the cycle continued. This job made me seriously unhappy, unfulfilled and unmotivated. And so, I stopped writing – when I needed it most.
One day in the office, I slowly walked to the bathrooms. Fed up with the politics and constant push back by upper management, I found myself questioned my unhappiness. I thought, what do I really want? And it hit me, I just want the freedom to do amazing work I can be proud of.
That night, a friend was over for dinner. After sharing my inner dialogue with him, he quickly handed me, ‘How to Be Everything: A Guide For Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to be When They Grow Up’ by Emilie Wapnick. It was exactly what I needed.
I already knew that I’m a multipotentialite – someone with many interests and creative pursuits. I mean, it’s something I’ve always ALWAYS struggled with. But this book helped me understand what I was missing – what I needed to move forward and accept it.
Over the years, I had split my interests and creative pursuits into multiple channels. I was struggling to keep up with this, to give every interest the time and love it needed to survive. And so, they were always a little sad and lifeless, and that made me feel like a failure. If I couldn’t look after my own creative pursuits, then how could I ever make it freelancing?
So, I merged everything into one – The Woven. A space for businesses to find me and what services I provide, and a space to create amazing content for myself. I mean, I create content after all, it only seems right that my brand showcases what I do.
I spent some time reinventing my brand. And in that time, I found gratitude for my freelance career. Freelancing gives me the creative freedom to be more than a ‘copywriter’, more than an ‘art director’, more than a ‘communications producer’. Freelancing has given me so much more than any job ever could, and for that, I will never be satisfied doing anything else. So next time I’m questioning my path, I just need to remember, I’m right where I need to be.
Travel for travel’s sake
This year I managed to fit two major trips in.
Back in March I tagged along with Josh and his family to the great white north, Canada. Oh Canada. We spent two glorious weeks on the ski fields of Big White in British Colombia, before spending three more weeks driving around the spectacular Rockie Mountains.
I went with little experience skiing. I warned everyone that I was sure I’d hate it. But would be more than happy sipping on hot chocolates at our rather lush lodge for the two weeks.
Oh how I was wrong. I freaking loved it.
I’ve never been a sporty person, but damn, I found my sport. I strangely picked it up pretty quickly. It was probably partially because I had to keep up with Josh’s family of pro skiers. But mostly, I was having so much fun, I just forgot to be scared.
More recently in November, Josh and I took a rather long-winded flight to Europe. We’ve both been to Europe before, but not together. So, it was really nice to tick the ‘go to Europe with your boyfriend’ off the list.
We took things slow and spent at least a week in each city. We stayed in locals apartments, outside of the major tourist attractions and sampled the culture. Slow travel is definitely my favourite kind of travel.
The main reason we went to Europe was to do some research for Josh’s new brewery. Y’see, Belgium is the mother country for beer. So we spent most of our time touring breweries and sampling some incredible beer that we just can’t find in Australia.
We also made our way across to the Faroe Islands where I found within me, a love for hiking spectacular landscapes.
This year really kicked me in the butt. But in it, I learned a very valuable lesson – be careful what you wish for.
I’ve realised, if you put something out there, it will, in one way or another, come back to you. In 2018, I want to take more care with what I put out there. I want to make conscious decisions before I start blurting out what ‘I want’, before I really know I want it.
I learned the power of gratitude. Although, I’m still learning how to practice it. I also learned that good things take time. Instead of dwelling on the journey, I just need to sit back and enjoy the ride.
What to expect in 2018
My goals this year are simple. I plan to read and write more often, explore closer to home, and learn to make my own clothes.
For Josh and I, 2018 is all about saving. The truth is, we're both really sick of renting. It’s a funny thing – since buying a house is so overpriced these days, I always assumed I’d rent forever. But after moving one-too-many times, and having some annoying encounters with my landlords, I’m over it.
I grew up in Melbourne, I’ve lived here all my life, but sadly, the romance has faded and I crave somewhere a little more, well, natural. We both do.
So, 2018 is all about saving money, so we can finally purchase some rolling green hills near the ocean, and build our own home.
Does that mean travel is off the table for me? Hell no! Nothing will stop be from travelling. Although nothing has been booked yet, I plan to explore close to home and see more of Australia and maybe even Asia.
See you in 2018!
Tell me, what lessons did you learn from 2017 and what have you got planned for the new year?