read this before you celebrate new year's eve tonight

this was a silly selfie I took in april and has since been reiterated by several friends plus I have a tattoo that looks like it now so I felt it was an appropriate image to sum up my 2016 // april 2016

this was a silly selfie I took in april and has since been reiterated by several friends plus I have a tattoo that looks like it now so I felt it was an appropriate image to sum up my 2016 // april 2016

ever make a new years resolution, stick with it through january, trip up in february, and give up by march?  yeeeeahhhh.  new years resolutions are often ineffective because they usually don't address a core problem, instead they try to put a bandaid on a symptom of the problem.

anyone who has been w me on new years eve for the past eight or so years has endured three questions I make them answer and reflect on, and this year I'm sharing them on my blog (I posted them on my instagram last year).  I don't know what compelled me to make these up as a teen, but over the years I've become really thankful for the time I've taken to reflect on progress and personal growth.

big sur // january 2016

big sur // january 2016

1. where were you this time last year? 

this is a question meant to be taken both literally and abstractly.  this time last new year's eve my boyfriend and I went to windup space for a soul dance party for midnight and then trekked to a warehouse party for the rest of the night.  it's fun to remember what I was wearing and who all I ran into.  I really get thinking about it and remember that last year was the third time my now boyfriend and I spent new year's eve together and that kind of continuity is pretty cool and worth celebrating!

in life, aforementioned boyfriend and I were about to embark on a two month (one month for him) trip across the country.  meanwhile, I was dealing w figuring out how to handle a newly diagnosed genetic disorder called ehlers-danlos.  I was mostly unemployed at this point, living off of money I had made on huge freelancing projects, side gigs, and print sales.

since then, I have endlessly recounted and reflected on said trip, which really helped me grow as a person and provided a couple well paying freelance gigs, my boyfriend and I broke up for a couple months, got back together, I made the friends I desperately needed, and then got a full time job.  look at how far I've come!  I feel I have grown tremendously this year and that I've settled into full blown adulthood.

chicago // march 2016

chicago // march 2016

2. what is something you accomplished this year that you are proud of?

last year I feeling a little disillusioned by baltimore and didn't feel like I had found my place, my people, or any long term purpose.  my goal I made last year was to change that.  I thought I would find a new place to live on my road trip, and while I did discover a few cities I see myself in, a move across the country to an expensive west coast city was too unrealistic to make happen.

when I returned from my trip, (temporarily) single, I resolved to just put myself out there and try as many new things as I could to make friends and find hobbies.  a few were busts but a few were quite successful and I have ended up making several friends whom I truly cherish and see being lifelong.

if I had made a resolution to move to a new city instead of a broader goal of what I truly wanted (to find my place), I would have been discouraged and given up, making zero progress.

charles village // october 2016

charles village // october 2016

3. what do you want to accomplish this time next year?

I'm going to have to reflect a bit more tonight about what I want 2017 to look like (which is a part of the fun of this experiment), but let me come up with an example: make sure to keep your intention and true desires in mind when you make your goals.  instead of "lose 50 pounds," think, how do you think you are going to feel if reached that specific goal?  "more confident" "healthier" "more in control"

ok, make a goal out of those feelings that you want.  "by the end of next year, I want to feel confident and in control of my own body by leading a healthier lifestyle." if you don't lose 50 pounds by december 2017, it's still possible to reach that goal and feel happy and proud of yourself instead of defeated by not losing an arbitrary amount of weight :)

maryland // september 2016

maryland // september 2016

finally, if you'd like, comment below your answers to some or all of the three questions.  did others that you spent new years eve with like the questions too?  what were some of the themes your conversation seemed to revolve around?

happy new year!!