2012 – thanks for the good times!

Happy Monday to you all- and happy New Year while I’m at it! Today, I’m going to reflect on the last year in blogging and share some of my favorite posts and experience. In this last year, I…

  • embarked on a new adventure career-wise! The outpouring of support following this post was really touching.
  • got my crafting on! Some of my favorite projects were this hipster tank top and my dinosaur planters– both things that make me smile on the daily.
  • shared my favorite things! This was a great exercise in recognizing those special objects I find near and dear- it was so fun, I also did an installment with my mom’s favorite things.
  • wrote an open letter to the guy who used to have my phone number. An update on this one- he’s doing fine! I know because I’ve received phone calls telling him to come by and pick up his freshly-hemmed pants at Nordstrom.
  • started doing fashion posts! This decision felt like I was really putting myself out there, and I’m so thankful for the warm reception! It’s kind of nerve-wracking putting your face on your own blog, you know? Especially when it’s kind of embarrassing.

This has been a pretty huge year for me! I’ve moved twice, started a new career in freelancing, worked my tail off, and learned a lot about myself and what ultimately makes me happy in life. I’ve had good times with friends, grown closer to my family, and in general learned to be a very happy person. Here’s to an equally happy 2013!

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Thoughts on Leading a Creative Life

Last night, in the midst of birthday celebrations and lovely friends and family, I had a very invigorating conversation about creativity- and namely, that moment when you decide you aren’t “creative”.
I emphasize the word decide because I really do think it’s an active decision made- to stop trying, to shrink from the label of “creative” and ultimately to take the pressure off – from your friends, family, from yourself- there’s no need to keep exposing your vulnerability because “you’re just not creative.” I contend that everyone is creative, but some people just decide to exercise their creativity more than others.
Take for example a classroom full of little kids. Set them in front of art supplies or give them the tools to write a story, and they set to work without pretense or a worry about what others will say. They haven’t learned to be embarrassed about what they create, and haven’t started worrying what others think yet. They’re free and even proud when what they put together might be less than their expectations. But then something changes- at some point they are laughed at, or ridiculed, or decide it’s not “cool” to care about things (one of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to middle school and high school behaviors!!) and they stop creating- because in reality, that’s just one more way that the can stop making themselves vulnerable to the world.
Being vulnerable is a huge part of a creative life. When you create something, you are drawing from an idea that lives solely in your own head, and expressing this idea in a way that exposes it to critique, to criticism, and to comment. This can be terrifying!
I have always shied away from calling myself creative, or worse still, artistic. Admitting that I aspire to these labels feels like I’m projecting this false image of myself- there are people much more talented out there, and trying to put myself under the same category as them ends up making me feel like a phoney.
But why? I hate hearing my friends saying they’ve never thought of themselves as creative, so why would I allow myself to think basically the same thing? Let’s all work on it- say it loud, say it proud. You are creative.
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I made this earlier this year, and keep coming back to this idea. Whenever I feel stressed or sad, I realize it’s often when I haven’t had a chance to exercise my creative muscles. I make something and always feel better.

Just a little thought I wanted to share in this very introspective time of the year. How would you like to wrap up 2012?

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Golden Birthday

Today, I turn 26 on the 26th.

I’ve stopped expecting that I’ll feel significantly older on my birthday, I think part of me will always be a little kid.

I do feel very happy with where I am right now in life, who I have around me to share in it, and count myself very lucky for everything and everyone I have on my side.

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Manic Monday: Holiday Edition

Happy Holidays, everyone! For today’s Manic Monday, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. Here are some links to things that have brought a smile to my face this season.

Happy Holidays!!

 

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In the Holiday Spirit

Things have been a little crazy this week, with a lot of time spent wrapping up work and preparing for the down time (especially difficult when you work for yourself!) and also celebrating the season with friends and loved ones before the big family time settles in. This has meant ignoring my blog I love in lieu of work and quality friends time- but don’t worry! I will be back next week refreshed and with even more resolve to create and share in this space. In the meantime, here are a few things that have been keeping me smile during this busy time:

Matching Roommates…

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Wonderful Gifts…

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Spending time with Kyle…

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Setting the scene for holiday cheer…

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#winning at Holiday Trivia (yay Air Bears!)…

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Happy Holidays!

 

Manic Monday

I’ve been struggling with whether or not to mention the terrible events in Newtown on this blog. I try to keep this space a positive, creative area to share my projects and experiences. But in the wake of what has happened, I just can’t seem to shake this feeling of sadness and deep sympathy for the families of the victims.

I’ll be back later this week with more of the usual, but for today, I’ll leave this Manic Monday with just this wisdom that’s being passed around the Internet this weekend, from a childhood favorite of mine:

Mister Rogers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Image via fredrogerscenter.org.