Golden Years: Reflecting on 2016
2016 was beautiful and sad. It was definitely a fully saturated year dripping with emotion, with intent, with both the gory and the glorious.
I started the year in a rampage of self destruction. I wasn't making anything, working a job that had an okay pay rate but made me feel depressed and stagnant, in a very new but extremely idiotic relationship with a person I didn't like or respect. I woke up every day and trudged through the shit I was dealing with over and over again because that's what I thought my life had to be. Through the support of my friends and my family I gained enough respect for myself to break up with my partner at the time, quit my retail job, start working jobs that fulfilled me creatively, took a year (almost) off of dating to understand myself better, and started Little Lamb Studios. I made things, I understood myself, I explored my feelings outside of therapy, I learned to be happy on my own. I came to full terms with my past long term relationship that ended in 2015, packed it into a box, and stored it away in my mind.
I did yoga, I exercised, but these things seem inconsequential in comparison to the leaps and bounds I grew in my mental stability this year. For the first time in my adult life I was alone in Rochester, with my best friend in Seattle and no romantic partner or interest and I was happy. Masking depression with companionship has been a shitty coping mechanism I developed in college and I think this year I finally shook it. That being said, just two months shy of my year mark of being single on purpose, I met a guy and I'm smitten in ways I've never been before. I could talk about every wonderful thing about him for paragraphs but the best thing about it is that we make each other better. He doesn't hold me still or hold me back, he makes me a better maker, person, and woman.
Here are the things i'm going to try to be more thoughtful about in the next year. I know people think resolutions are dumb, but time moves in cycles and it's good to look back and see your growth from a specific point onward.
-Be more authentically true to myself.
I find sometimes that living in my hometown and with my parents I feel the urge to fall back on being a person I grew out of in order to appease people. At the end of this year I finally got the guts to dye my hair pink again and I'm determined to keep doing things that make me feel comfortable in my own skin, even if not everybody loves it. Keep getting tattoos, dying your hair, and wearing weird swan dresses future Mary.
-Make at least one thing for myself once a month.
I have a hard time balancing needs and wants. I have an ever expanding list of things I want to make for myself but I always come up with reasons why I don't have time to be working on things for myself. This leads to me making spur of the moment "treat yo self" purchases which hurts the big picture money plan. If I plan out those treat yo self moments ahead of time, it should help save money and improve my relationship with making things.
I've been using the app Qapital to save money for about 3 months and i'm so in love. I am literally the worst money saver ever, I'm a repeat culprit of the money transfer from savings to checking for unnecessary reasons. Qapital takes a few days to process the transfer, so that's been keeping me from relying on money in savings for a quick fix. You can also program it to automatically transfer money in a number of ways, including a fixed amount once a week, a fixed amount when you spend any money, or even every time you post to instagram! It's genius! This isn't a sponsored recommendation (obviously) but if you use this link you'll get a free $5 when you sign up! Seriously I can't recommend this app enough.
-Remember that you don't need to convince everyone to agree with you.
This year I, along with many of my friends, struggled with the discourse that came along with the election. People came out of the woodwork to disagree about the basic rights and emotions of women, queer folk, and people of color. As a person with strong feelings linked to these topics, it became emotionally draining to argue my points with people who were using these arguments to see me get upset, not to have a discussion. I learned that if a person is genuinely not interested in listening to your point of view, it's not your job to educate them. Especially when it comes to myself, because I am very emotional and am prone to crying when I am flustered.
-Explore Rochester more frequently.
On the first day of the new year, Sam (boyfriend) and I went to the Lamberton Conservatory in Highland Park and I was shocked that this place had been in my home town for my whole life. Sam and I drove around and talked about all the places we wanted to go to in 2017. Places right in our city that two 24 year old artists can get to for cheap, of course. I greatly admire The Dainty Squid's blog for featuring not only her awesome style but also her adventures. I hope to post more about different adventures, things I'm making, and how i'm feeling in the new year.