28 things I loved about year 28.
I love to celebrate. I celebrate endings and beginnings because both are equally important. So every year I spend the week before my birthday celebrating my lasts of that age. Example: my last Monday morning coffee as a 28 year old. It’s a pretty silly tradition of mine, but it’s mine and I like it. It allows me to reflect on what has been and what will come. And so, today I’m sharing 28 things I loved in year 28.
- I launched Ivy & Tweed!
- I became fully self-employed!
- I photographed beautiful people in beautiful places
- I moved into the most darling craftsman home in Tacoma
- I discovered a love and talent for baking
- I learned how to make caramels
- I finally shot a roll of film (something I want to do a LOT more of!)
- I discovered my hidden talent for photographing in window light!
- I made new lifelong friends!
- I went gluten free and solved the 15 year mystery of my migraines!
- I learned the importance of slowing down and being present!
- I closed down my Facebook account!!
- I made time for reading books!
- I rode Clementine the cruiser all over Tacoma
- I walked more than I drove.
- I got to work from home most days with my darling Mr. Hackett!
- I traveled to Portland, Hood River, St. Louis, Cannon Beach, Bellingham, Santa Barbara, and some other cool places!
- I found freedom in letting go of who I thought I should be
- I started creating and implementing a model of success that works for me
- We hosted our first Thanksgiving, with both of our families in one place!
- I became an Auntie for the first time to a beautiful little niece!
- I sent out Christmas cards for the first time in 5 years!
- I discovered the divine goodness of McConnell’s Salted Caramel Chip ice cream
- I gained confidence in myself and my work
- I wrote a series on my blog called “American Girl”, about my heart for fighting human Trafficking.
- I spent days just hanging out with my best friend (Mr. Hackett) doing the things we love most—drinking coffee and going for walks and believing in BIG DREAMS.
- We built a kitchen island- and I love to use it every day!
- When began to feel suffocated by pressure to succeed, I let myself unravel. And I unraveled—and unraveled some more. Until I found all the pieces of me that had been neglected, forgotten, and perhaps some were even yet to be discovered. And then I began the journey of piecing myself back together while being mindful of those delicate parts of me that I had been lost for so long.
Twenty-eight was a pivotal year. Aren’t they all? But this one was different. Some years are working years, and some are adventurous years. But this was a growing year.
The unraveling part was big. It was a year of self-discovery. So much of what I loved about 28 was a result of paying attention to my real needs and desires. I had been driven for so long to succeed in a way that I was sure would make me happy. But in doing so, I began to fall apart. I was surround by hundreds of people every weekend and in the midst of it all I felt lonelier than I had in a long time. I was busier and more successful than ever, and yet I felt empty and drained. My work was strong and admired by many, but I was left uninspired and longing for something more. I came undone. Just a little at first, but then I started to unravel. And for months, I just kept unraveling—like a ball of yarn that just rolls on and on until it is nothing but a trail of string. All the while, I was almost too busy to even see how much I had come undone. But I just let the unraveling continue as I finished what I had started.
And when I had finished my busy season I reflected. I tuned out the world, turned introvert, and spent most of my free time reflecting on all that had been revealed from the mess that was left of me.
And this is what I found…
I’m not an extrovert. Perhaps I had been, or maybe I had wanted to be. But I found that I’m more of an out-going introvert. I’ve heard that’s a real thing, and I believe it. I like my quiet time and I’m much more of a one-on-one or small group kind of gal. I’m cool with this new discovery.
I don’t want to be famous. I had thought I wanted to be famous in a serious way. I chased and I chased and I chased after something that so many others were chasing too. After a while I got tired. I took a break from the chase and found that what I was seeking, this fame, came in the form of approval from thousands of strangers that didn’t have my best interest at heart. It came at the cost of running further from the things that bring me joy. And the more I chased the more I found that my successes never lived up to my hopes and expectations.
I need community. In the likeness of neighbors and people I see on a regular basis. Not a thousand acquaintances or Facebook friends. But real friends—it’s not a numbers game but a matter of quality time and mutual appreciation.
I’m a bit of a homebody with a love for adventure. Ha! Trying to figure this one out has been tricky. I think with the world of social media showing me every awesome thing every other person is doing, I felt pressure to be doing awesome things too! And then there was the fact that I once was quite the adventurer. I love adventure. And I’ve had some unbelievable experiences. And sometimes my past makes me feel pressure to continue adding to my book of epic stories. It’s this notion that if I don’t travel more then I’m letting go of who I am, or was? But I LOVE being at home and reading books, drinking coffee and going for walks around my neighborhood with my one an only. Our life is beautiful. And it’s pretty quiet. And I the busier I am the more I long for those quiet moments. We are old souls and I love that about us. And I’m okay with simple and quiet. And when I do travel, I don’t want my motive to be because everyone else is doing it, or because I want to show everyone what I’m doing. Really, I want my adventures come from a place of genuine interest and experience. Not for others, but for us.
On that note, I guess I feel that way about most things. Doing them for me, and not for others. Not just travel. Travel just seems to be the popular thing. I think it makes sense when the whole globe is connected by one or two apps. But in general there is an unrealistic pressure to do things and post things because of what’s trending. I found myself constantly making decisions based on what would be well received. My motivation was driven by the approval and fan ship of thousands of people I didn’t know. And my self worth was based on their response to my posts. For me, this is NOT a way of life. I decided to change my approach and post things that inspired me. I still like sharing my art with the world. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. I just had to learn to share MY art. In doing so I found my voice. And it was so very different than I had believed it to be. It was full of light, and shadows, and emotion. It was deeper and richer. It was more original. It was less complicated. And it was inspiring and fun. It gave me more confidence and allowed me to step into a new role as an artist. There was freedom in fearlessly showing what moved me.
I’m sure I could keep going on and on, as I’ve never been short on words. But this pretty much sums up the big life lessons. To end it, I’m thankful for the challenges and new revelations that 28 brought on. And I’m even more thankful for the way it set the stage for year 29.
And thank you to all of you who stuck it out with me this year. For those of you walked by me in the tough times and supported me through the big changes, for you I am grateful. Thank you for celebrating the close of one year and the welcoming of another! I love that we are on this journey together!
In other words, Peace out 28!
All the X’s & O’s!
PS.. Photo credit goes to the one and only super amazing Devon Michelle Photography!!!