December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016 (I'll miss you, and I won't.)

Twenty sixteen has been a ridiculous year. It blows my mind to reflect on how much happened in 365 days, and it is hard to wrap my head around where I was at the start and where I am now; where the world was, and where the world is now.

In my life, 2016 has been a remarkable year. I did have some significant lows at the start; I was an insecure, recent graduate, freaking out about not finding full-time employment, doing my best to freelance as a designer/artist while also working 3 part time jobs. Now, at the end of 2016, I am a full-swing student again, working towards my Master's which I never in a million years thought I would be doing (cue flashbacks of my teenage self telling Dad: no way, I'm going to be an ~artist~). I moved to a new city, started working as a TA, kept my once-a-week job in Toronto, met some amazing fellow students, and started learning a whole new language of academics and Recreation and Leisure.

Even before school started again, 2016 made a turn for the better. I worked on two murals, which was the most fun, and I produced two of the pieces I'm most proud of now. I also worked on some really exciting logos with amazing clients and designed numerous posters for some Toronto bands. In 2016 I also started my own business, selling my artwork on t-shirts, greeting cards, calendars, prints, etc. in some stores in Toronto and at markets and fairs. I met so many other creatives and really enjoyed putting myself out there like that. I also got so much closer with so many people around me, and I have been so thankful this year to enjoy the company, kindness, and loyalty of some beautiful individuals.

That being said, I am so, so angry about the plethora of awful things that happened in the world this year. Certainly not a surprising or unique statement, as I know I'm not alone. I want so much to say that 2016 was amazing - but it just was not. From Syria, to Trump, to the too-long battle for DAPL, to the deaths of many childhood/adulthood celebrity heroes, to the attacks around the world too numerous to list... to be entirely honest I don't actually want to think about it all, even though I know it's important.

For me, this New Years Eve is a time for reflection, a time to remember that it's not all about me. We are individuals and we are constantly encouraged to follow our own dreams, take responsibility for our own lives and get ourselves to where we want to be. But we also exist in a bigger picture, and this picture needs some serious attention and TLC in 2017. So in this sense, with as much humility as I can muster, I say a very bittersweet farewell to 2016, and I prudently hope for a better 2017. Cheers to the potential of better things in the new year, for you, for me, and for the world!


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