Showing posts with label resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label resolutions. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

goodbye 2014, hello 2015

the year of adventure

New Years is my favorite holiday and this year it snuck up on me. It caught me at a strange transition in between barely grasping for the things I want and letting go (or being let go of) those things I thought I did. It's found me stretched pretty thin and tired and ever hopeful that things will get better. It's found me listening to those same songs I did in summer of 2010. It's found me feeling incredibly grateful for such an amazing year behind me, a year that tested my limits and grew me in ways I didn't think were possible and in ways I didn't think I needed. It's found me shaking for excitement and for fear of the future, and mounting my feet hard with the ground because the world spins madly on, no matter how badly I want it to stop. I'm just trying to enjoy the ride.

I don't to this every year, but sometimes I have strange feelings about things and they always come true. 2015 has that feeling about it, it's whispering to me that really ridiculous and crazy and scary and amazing things are going to happen.

Therefore I promise in 2015:

1. I will say "eff it" and go on adventures with people I know and with people I don't.
2. I will live for the moment and not worry about replies or what I think people think of me.
3. I will not allow anything I feel to stop me from living life normally.
4. I will make art.
5. I will remember that my life is my own and not anyone else's, and therefore I will not compare my life to anyone.
6. I will find the beauty in everything, even the destitute reaches of my own mind.
7. I will project beauty into the world through the things I do and create.
8. I will not take myself so seriously, and have a little bit of fun.
9. I will explore creation as much as I can, and then some.
10. I will love with my whole heart.

I will also be mindful of my time, be kind and generous to others, and be thankful. I think 2015 will be one of the scariest years. It's the year I become a senior in college and *actually* kind of figure out the rest of my life. It's kind of the year I become an adult. It will be the year I buy my first apartment (with my housemates helping me, of course), the year I travel outside of the country alone, the year I go into junior portfolio review to become a senior in the art department (aka the review that all juniors freak out about). There are a lot of transitions/decisions that will occur.

2014 was fantastic though. Some highlights:

Turned 20 and had a beautiful birthday on the beach.
Created The Student Collective (our yearbook) with some insanely creative people.
Played with (and then purchased) real lighting equipment for the first time.
Started making the conscious decision to change my personal style.
Finished sophomore year of college with the Triple "S" Award (photography award).
Published my origami photo series.
Went camping at some really gorgeous places.
Did my first boudoir photo shoot and loved it.
Fell in love with Aces hockey!
Flew back to Oregon to photograph the most perfect wedding and felt wonderful and independent.
Flew back to Alaska and photographed the Emma Hill band for their newest album.
Modeled a little bit for my boss.
Photographed a comedian.
Did a huge collaboration with a model and makeup artist and discovered the second most beautiful place in the entire world.
Then the very next day went on a photo workshop with my boss and discovered the first most beautiful place.
Hung up my first coffee shop show.
Photographed more super talented musicians.
Flew back to Oregon and jumped in the Willamette river.
Became the Creative Director of The Student Collective.
Became the blogger for the Art & Design Department blog.
Took the plunge and bleached my hair and grew out my bangs.
Went camping with my housemates.
Did my first night photo shoot at the craziest Art Retreat ever.
Went to Seattle for the first time.
Won a tablet from instagram.
Fell pretty hopelessly in love with drawing, thanks to my Drawing II professor.
Went to a Relient K concert with my housemates.
Learned more about art than ever before, and started exploring other mediums from photography.
Put up my first installation piece.
Attempted photorealistic drawing. (And succeeded!)
Got off the waitlist for New Zealand (not really my doing, but still exciting).
Continued to fall deeper in love with my friends, with Matt, and with the life I am blessed to live.

One reason why I love New Year's is because it is so fleeting. Everyone prepares for a moment, a brief point in time between 11:59pm and 12:00am that only lasts for a breath. I don't have the words to explain why I love that, but it's one of the most beautiful things. I think I would like to live my entire life in that breath.

2015, let's do this.

(2013 in review // 2013 resolutions)

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.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

my new years resolutions

A lot of people are against new years resolutions, and for good reason. They get so excited about changing their life and then after about a month or so the excitement fizzles out and they forget their lofty goals that they set up at the beginning of the year. I'm no different, and I've definitely had my share of unresolved resolutions. But I am a firm believer in improvement, and I think every person can improve and learn and become better in some way, so no matter how many years I fail, I'll probably always make new years resolutions.

But this year I've been reading a lot about setting goals and have learned a few tricks that will help me actually stay on track with the things I want to do. I highly suggest you read this article (with a link to another article that you should also read) about setting goals and sticking with them. I certainly will be utilizing some of the suggestions to make this year fantastic.

Here are my tentative resolutions for 2013 (I may or may not get rid of some in a couple months after seeing if I can handle so many goals):

1. Write one page a week in my novel.
2. Produce two photos a month.
3. Do one blog diy a month.
4. Do 8 outfit posts a month.
5. Take one college street style photo a week.
6. Read 12 books a year.
7. Draw one sketch a week.
8. Set aside $5 a week for savings.

And some dreams that I have for 2013 (as opposed to resolutions because there are other factors that could play into these things actually occurring):

1. Get my work "out there." (whatever that means, haha)
2. Get a photo on a book cover.
3. Gain more clients.
4. Go to a photo gathering.
5. Gain 100 more readers on Introvert's Introduction.
6. Gain 300 more likes on facebook.
7. Gain 25,000 more views on flickr.

(I want to pause here to say that numbers 5-7 aren't dreams because of gaining views on their own, but because I want to be able to share my photos and blog posts with as many people as possible. I love every single one of my readers a lot and would never turn them into a number or take them for granted. You make my day so much brighter just by me knowing that the things I post have the ability to make an impact on your life.)

I do realize this is a lot of stuff to take on, but I think it can be done as long as I purposely set aside time to do each thing. I can't become lazy and I need constant reminders, which is partly why I'm writing about them here, so you guys can keep me accountable. You'll actually be able to see if I'm keeping up with them based on what things I post. I love blogging, but I know if I don't set a goal for myself, there won't be any structure and I'll feel a bit lost. I'm also writing them here so you will hopefully stick with your own resolutions. I had never even thought about some of the steps to take to stick with my goals, and it will be exciting to see what becomes of them. Already I've been working hard on fulfilling some of these resolutions. In particular, the "getting my work out there resolution" has been going good so far. I've submitted my work to several places and am beginning the process to sell my images through a company that businesses and authors go to (hello book cover!). It's really nerve wracking because I'm not one who really likes to self advertise all that much because I don't want people to think that I think I'm the coolest thing since sliced bread (which I'm not), but I just wanted to give you guys a bit of encouragement that I've found to be helpful. You never ever know what will become of something if you don't try. The worst thing anyone can do is say no, and if you're too scared of the "no," then you'll never know what will happen if they say "yes." That's helped me press the 'send' button on multiple emails and I hope it will help you too!

So what are your resolutions? Let me know so that we can keep each other accountable!