Tuesday, December 31, 2013

my new years resolutions + general thoughts

+ motivation quotes

Hello 2014, I do hope you are filled with some unbelievable things. I have big plans for you, and though I'm sure there will undoubtedly be a few pit stops and roadblocks, I have a feeling you and I are going to see many beautiful landscapes. So let's get to it, shall we? Here's what I'm hoping we will be able to do, though I am not against going above and beyond. In fact, I encourage it.

1. Build my portfolio
- this will be the year to hone in my craft and build up a killer portfolio. Next year will be the marketing year.

2. Get down to business with keywording stock photos.

3. Get into more freelance graphic design projects.

4. All A's in school.
-this one seems like elementary school Lauren all over again, but it's a measurable way of me wanting to just focus even more on school this upcoming semester. I was very focused last semester, but I know there's room for even more improvement.

5. Draw more.

6. Write something. Anything.

I have a love/hate relationship with the new year, because (and I apologize for how this will sound) I feel as though no other person in the world takes it as seriously as me. Self improvement is so hugely important to me, as is the idea of time. I'm constantly fascinated with how time works, and New Year's is probably the most emotional holiday for me as it symbolizes the passing of time and the chance of becoming a better person. And yet I am just like every person because in a few months we'll stop doing our workouts, stop working hard in school, etc., etc., etc.. And then we'll say, "____ is the year that's going to change!" Enter into a neverending cycle. So who knows if 2014 will be another race around the track. I hope not. I'm not planning on it.

2013 was sort of a break for me, a break to focus on myself as a person, to do a lot of introspection, to figure out what I want to do with my life. And while I am only (almost) twenty, and I know plans change and I will change, I've always known generally what I want to do with my life. Each year builds upon itself in that my generalizations become more specific. Now I know I want to be a photographer. Not just, "Oh I'm gonna be a photographer!" But I really want to focus on the art of it. I want to create art. I'm going to create art. And not just that, but I am going to create art that forces peoples' attention. Because as humans we all have something to say, to help others, to help ourselves, and I need to say a couple of things. (But I should also say that I am still in love with client work and have no intention of not doing it in the future.) 2013 was the blueprint stage. 2014 will be the creating stage. 2015 will be the marketing stage.

(2013 was not a particularly exciting year by way of tangible accomplishments. My two biggest accomplishments were being published in Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and receiving the Triple "S" Award, the latter contributing to the "blueprint stage", in that I finally figured out at least the general direction I wanted my photography to go.)

Truly talented people, those iconic sort of people, were the ones who were so obsessed with their craft that they refused to give time to hardly anything else. I think it's been too long of a stretch of me dabbling in a lot of things. Being a "fashion" blogger and being a general lazy person being the two biggest factors.

I have this fear that what I decide to focus my energies on will end up being the wrong thing. My two loves in life are photography and writing, and for the past several years I have focused on the former. And it's terrifying to pursue just one because what if the other was what I was supposed to pursue? Part of me listens to the advice that being a jack of all trades truly does mean being a master of none, but then part of me thinks, who decided that that had to be the case? Why can't I do all the things I'm passionate about? Surely I have these passions for a reason--not to place one at a higher importance than the other, but to exploit every drop of desire I have to pursue them with everything I've got.

This whole "outfit blogging" thing has stretched me thin. I recall one day over lunch, saying to my boyfriend that I didn't want to blog anymore. That idea had been looming in my mind for quite some time, and I was scared to say it out loud because I knew how much I enjoyed it at one point, I knew how much it helped me gain confidence (and a backbone) for myself, and I knew how much I adored (and still adore) the community of it all. It seems as though everyone is a blogger these days, and in doing my own research, it seems a complete luck of the draw that a blogger becomes "successful". I've decided that I'll never be one of those successful fashion blogger types, and that's a perfectly fine thing. It isn't a huge passion of mine, and I'm fine to let it go. However, documentation and community are important to me, so for that reason (along with the whole, I have to market myself and my work and social media and all those lovely spider webs) I'm certainly not going to quit. Just no more silly outfit posts. Unless I'm feeling especially creative with my outfit. I am not going to limit myself by saying I won't do something ever again. I sort of alluded to this change a couple months ago with a blog redesign, and perhaps you've noticed it with the slowing of outfit posts.

Personal style blogging is a wonderful thing and it helped me discover a lot about myself, and now that I've discovered it, there's no need to stay in a place that's now vacant. Take it like a cave explorer. I've found the diamonds, and now there's no use hanging around in an empty cave. It's time to find some more diamonds. One of my favorite blogs, the tone which I hope to emulate in my own blog--in the raw love for life and family--is The Road is Home. It is such a lovely story written by a beautiful woman who I only know through the small glimpses she shares to the world. I don't think I could ever write quite like her, nor do I want to--simply because that would not be fair to her nor would it be genuine to myself--but I just feel the need to tell you about her blog as it is beautiful and everyone needs more beautiful things in their life. I'm sorry this post is so haphazard, but I have been writing it over the course of several days, over the course of several different emotions and states of being (I've been sick so some paragraphs were written while I had drugs in me and while I felt too gross to do anything else), and perhaps this is also just part of my resolution to write something, anything, but I just feel like my fingers have to keep moving, moving, moving, and I haven't written anything in a state-of-consciousness sort of way for a long time and I fear that if I stop now it will never start up again.

That reminds me of the notorious writer's block, a vicious lie that lazy people like to throw about and those less lazy tend to believe. It was several years ago that someone told me that this was just an excuse, and while a lot of the time I haven't been able to overcome it, I do tend to believe it. Similarly to what I said in last year's resolution post, I've been reading a lot about things, the chief being about generating ideas, and while the term "writer's block" doesn't occur in this article, that's exactly what it's talking about. Instead of calling it writer's block, I would like to label it as life block, and let 2014 be the year I overcome it. I want to be more creative and proactive, more self-motivated and self-fulfilled. I want to seek happiness within myself and within creation and within those I love (though I am well aware that those I love will disappoint me), and not within people on a computer screen, be it those who pay attention to me or don't know that I exist or who are better along than me.

I want to overcome this literal writer's block, this photographic writer's block, this self-motivation writer's block, this general need to be accepted and successful by a certain age writer's block. Because seriously, why should I care about how much more successful people my age are than me? They aren't me and they don't know my life. I don't know theirs and in the big scheme of life, the only thing that will matter is how I impacted the world, not how much I worried about impacting it more or less than someone else. It's taking me too long to actively think this way, and I hope to overcome that writer's block as well.

Life is just a strange thing, and even though millions and billions of people have survived it before me, no one still knows what they're doing and no one has experienced life quite like me. We all have our own story to tell. I guess I just want to spend 2014 telling my side of the story, and hoping that it will help someone else tell theirs.

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