It’s that time of year again, time for the year-in-review post. I feel like I just wrote one of these, but alas another year has actually gone by. I can’t help but think that this year will overwhelmingly be remembered for the fact that this was the view out of my bedroom window for a good chunk of it:

That whole portion of the year still feels surreal, as if another me stepped into another continuum while the rest of time stood still. As much as I love to talk about Italy and how it forced me to step away from reality and evaluate myself as a person and an artist (read more here), a lot of other cool stuff happened this year. I got to spend an arctic and somehow still extremely enjoyable spring break with my two best friends touring Germany, Austria and The Czech Republic and causing general mayhem in our wake. I showed graphic design works in the Museum of Design Atlanta and in our Mostra show in Cortona, Italy. I made a stop motion movie I’m pretty proud of. I joined a new Bible study group and Mama T has truly been a blessing, I’ve met some awesome people and enjoyed many an awesome Monday night dinner. I got a job designing party invites and stationary, and it has allowed me to see the more commercial applications and possibilities of what my education can do for me. I was afforded the opportunity this past semester to spend more time at home with my family and Jordan, and this has given me some sense of sanity amidst all the chaos of my Monday through Friday life. I attended and shot a bunch of weddings, the exact number of which I have currently lost count. I lost my gusto, broke down, made this movie, and launched the Reclaimed Project.

2010 was a pretty good year, but now it’s time to look and move forward. I can’t help but feel a strong sense of trepidation. I’ve got a lot of scary things coming up, a crazy semester culminating in a an exit show which is basically everything I’ve learned over the past five years splattered all over a wall, graduating, and then that part that goes like ??? ???? ???? 2010 felt a lot like fighting with a wall. I poured a lot of my energy into my business and the more I poured the more frustrated I became. I was more concerned about the business than the person running it, and everyone suffered in the fallout. So, it’s time to make changes. The Reclaimed Project is just a thought bubble until I make it something more, and even so, it’s just one step in a process of growing and changing in the coming year. I was fortunate enough to have Lily come out and volunteer to help me with my first experimental shoot, and I have to say, for the first time in a long time taking pictures wasn’t easy. I’m having to teach myself to think in a whole different way and to break out of the formula I’ve created for myself and that’s hard. But when I sit back and think about it, I’d rather something be frustrating because I’m trying new things than be frustrating because I’m stuck doing the same things.

Apparently, quality is better than quantity, but 2010 was the year of me pushing quantity in my life. I overloaded my self with stuff to the point where nothing was really enjoyable anymore. Yesterday I spent the day with Jordan, we went to lunch and then we sat, all day, we didn’t do work and we didn’t go anywhere and we didn’t really accomplish anything notable, but it felt so strange and almost uncomfortable for me to not be running from place to place or jumping from thing to thing. But I need to take a break, we all do, and it’s time to stop killing ourselves for unimportant things all the time. In a world where perfection is the norm and multitasking is required I’m realizing the importance of taking time to myself and cutting myself some slack every once in a while. I’m guilty of measuring myself by the things I’ve done wrong, and perhaps it’s time to allow myself to recognize what I’m doing right.

What are you doing in 2011?

My dad always told me that people should be placed in roles doing what they’re good at. Not only will they be happier in these roles, but everything will come more naturally to them because they are doing what they are meant to do. Fighting this only brings strife. I think it’s time to stop formulating my life in spreadsheets (yes this happens) and just let me be. I think that while I’m just living my life and doing my thing, the future might sneak up on me and just happen, sight unseen. No spreadsheets, no late nights, no mental anguish. At this point, that is the most I could ask for, blind direction.

A quote from the always brilliant Lara Casey: “Truth: when you know the core of your passion, what makes you whole, what makes you most ALIVE… that work is pure joy. The work of living, giving and creating from an AUTHENTIC place does not push you away from rest or family – it is a gigantic magnet for it. When you are doing the work you know at your core is your mission, it infuses what is most important. It takes getting real. It takes truth. It takes owning where you are – flawed, broken, unsure, fearful… whatever it is. Bring it to the surface. Feel it. Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

I hope that in 2011 I figure myself out. I don’t have to know everything, in fact knowing less might really be the rub, but just to be still and know.

So no resolutions about drinking water or hitting the gym or reading more books this year, just praying for peace, wisdom and understanding and raising my glass of Prosecco to another fabulous trip around the sun.

Ciao bellas e felice anno nuovo!