I remember the sweet and sometimes spicy notes of jazz that would permeate the house as I walked down the stairs weekend mornings during my childhood. My parents dancing in the kitchen, my sister wearing her concert t-shirts, and the amazing thrill of seeing someone sing live for the first time.
Music is a part of me. Music inspires me with the notes, rhythms, and the words. The way it comes together has always been art to me.
With the first week of 2018 almost behind us, I figured I would take this opportunity to offer all of you a little part of me. Heck, a BIG, LOUD part of me. Rather than do the same old review of 2017 like most photographers I figured I would tell you about my goals for 2018. Instead of just telling you that I want to do x or y, I want you to be able to hear and feel my goals. It's more impactful that way.
So here are my goals and the songs that make me feel like it's all possible. Maybe you will listen to these songs and not hear what I hear, but that's the beauty of music, like art. What A is to me could be Z to you. It's the magic of interpretation.
P.S. Be prepared for a ton of different kinds of music. I'm a music chameleon.
1. Take time to be thankful for where I've come from and what I've been through.
Change scares me to my core, and 2018 is going to be a big year of change for my personal life and for my business (more on that soon!) Naturally when change comes along I tend to push away the nostalgia and emotions that come with moving on to a new part of my life and having priorities change. In 2018 I want to feel this nostalgia and not be afraid to reminisce about good times even if they aren't a part of the stage of my life I'm in now.
2. Radically accept the future for its unknowns, it's inevitable stumbles, and the possibility for good times.
Just like #1, this goal is a mental one. Changes of mentality are usually the scariest and this one will be hard because it's something I've pushed away for so long. I want to be present, and to remind myself that shortcomings, disappointing situations, unknowns, and obstacles are part of being human. In the past I have resented this fact and it's left me unable to be present and leave the door open to opportunities for positive realizations and good times.
3. Practice Self-Compassion and Self-Care
I love giving advice to the people in my advice and I am always one to put aside whatever personal thing I'm working on to support those in my life. Unfortunately I don't take my own advice all that often and the concept of self-compassion is something I suffer with. However, this year I am going to try my best to put self care time aside for myself and little reminders that life is unknown and scary, but that I'm human and I can't always be perfect. This is especially important for moments when I get ahead of myself or stuck in my head due to stress. It's okay to be imperfect and to need help. It's okay to be selfish every once in a while because I can't be the best me for other people without being a better me for myself.
4. Remember and remind others that who we are and how we act is more important than the things going on around us.
It's easy to get caught up in the ugliness of the world around us today. It's easy for things to seem near impossible when we forget to look at the good things within us and the in the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Remember that everything that happens around us started with one person, and that we can work up to making things better the exact same way: by starting with one person. This is the reason I try my hardest to smile at the people I pass, compliment someone when I chat with them, and check in with the important people in my life when things get crazy. You never know what action or word might change someone's day from bad to good. This also leads into my goal #5.
5. Empower those around me whenever possible.
That ugliness that we're faced with everyday? It's easy to forget that that can be tenfold for any person you pass on the street. So my goal is to do whatever I can to empower those around me whenever possible.
6. Be present and appreciate the small things.
I often resent technology for setting the pace of my life. It's easy to feel naked without your phone, or to feel out of touch with the world without Facebook. But I miss the moments curled up on the couch with a good hardcover group like I did growing up. I miss doing the crossword with my dad listening to the aforementioned Jazz on weekend mornings before breakfast. Or what about movie nights with the family without everyone connected to a device? So for 2018 I want to go back to my roots and take time to be present with the people around me and enjoying the simple things.
7. Let go of the notion that there's a set or expected path for life to follow.
This ties back in to goal #2, but I grew up in a high pressure academic community and somehow the idea that there are a few acceptable paths that life is supposed to follow became engrained in my brain. But enough of that! They say love comes at the most unexpected moments and when you're not looking for it? So why should anything else come when you expect it? It's okay for your path to look different than the next person and I need to remember that.
8. Have fun and be uncomfortable.
Being in an uncomfortable situation, like one that's new and unknown (like change) is one we should avoid. So it's not unexpected that some may shy away from great possibilities because it's scary! I know I have! Something can sound so enticing and fun but I often shy away from it because I don't know what to expect. So I want to head towards those new and sometimes uncomfortable situations (we're talking discomfort, not danger!) and see what happens. I mean those once and a lifetime opportunities? They don't come from taking the safe route constantly or from living behind a curtain of fear. So take chances and who knows what great experiences it might lead me to.
9. Remember that goals are not written in stone.
As a huge self critic who avoids goals because of the fear of not fulfilling them, I HOPE to fulfill these goals and the world will not end if I don't. I'm human and plans go awry.
So what are your goals for 2018, and what reminds you of them?