My 2016 in (Unspecific) Review

So.. About that 2016, huh?

Here’s a basic, completely honest guide to what was inside my head during 2013 as categorized by five(ish) values that I chose before the end of 2015.

(Writing an annual review was inspired by James Clear, an author whose works help make me better)

I didn’t go into very much detail about “things” and “stuff” as it’s meant to be more of a general overview. During 2017, I’ve already got it down as a goal to document these things specifically ;)

Note: This post pertains only to myself and not much outside of that.

Wellp, here goes!

Life in General

The things that happened and feelings I had in 2016 were pretty unfortunate towards the first half of the year, yet have seen improvements in just about all areas throughout the second half.

The main events that have had the biggest effect on me, in no particular order, are:

  • Family
  • Relationship
  • Work
  • Creativity and its drive

I’ve only really spoken friends about the hardships my family has gone through this year and my reactions to it, the impact of my relationship on me as a human being, and my own internal hardships. All of which I’m really hesitant to post on the internet, even on my fairly private Facebook, as opposed to a public blog. These will stay in my personal journal for now.

Overall, I’m glad for the upward swing of the last few months of 2016. My desire is to take hold and make flourish these good feelings. It’s refreshing after years of… Not.

Happy 2017!

Learning/growth

What went well?

My mind has started to break down the tight walls I’ve subconsciously built over the few years prior. I’m talking about in the realm of learning new job skills, new For a good while, “no idea” really meant “I don’t have any ideas and I’m so numb that I don’t care to find any.” Now, “no idea” has become “I have so many ideas and don’t know how to narrow them down to just choose and/or focus on one right now”. This an immense improvement!

As the year progressed, the stationary, lack of knowledge flow finally started to get to me and things that I’d been interested in learning before had begun to surface.

I’ve taken a few one-day courses and read up on a few fields. It’s been fun.

What didn’t go well?

For the first third of the year, I had little desire to add anything big to my brain. I’d learn new sewing, knit and crochet techniques when I needed them, but that was the extent of it.

I learned that the community colleges here have a much higher per-unit cost than I had imagined, and I am not in a position to go into debt. Investing in education pays itself off? Maybe. I still haven’t used my Bachelors degree. I also cannot justify the dollars and debt for something I’m not head over heels passionate about.

The one-day courses and reading for knowledge that I mentioned above was really great, but I still haven’t wrapped my heart around anything to further professionally pursue yet.

What are you working towards?

Overall, my learning focal point has been on career skills. I’m really great at my current job, I’m glad that my skills are of a great use and more than anyone had expected, that my work is valuable to the company and most individuals. However, the nature of the work doesn’t lend itself well to fulfilling my need to be creative.

I’m working towards skills I can use in side work, and if I love them enough, maybe make an entire career pivot.

Creativity

What went well?

I’ve made a lot of stuff this year. Learned new techniques, made wearable clothing, sold some stuff, and have ideas for more things I want to make.

I’ve started implementing thumbnail sketching for digital designs. Okay, one design. But it’s worked out well, and I intend to keep doing this!

What didn’t go well?

I usually only make things when I need something, and then figure out what to make to fill that gap. I still don’t really make anything that doesn’t have an immediate purpose. This is something I should do, but, as I’ve always said, I’m not good at making something from nothing, including ideas. I should, though, just to practice and get experience. Knowing myself, making a thing will trigger more ways to manipulate the pattern and give it new meaning and generate more idea for me to play with.

There were a couple of things that I had picked up supplies for but haven’t begun..

What are you working on?

Working on fixing what didn’t go well.. I’d like to start making things that I don’t necessarily need to fill a gap in order to hone in on whichever crafting skill, and then put them up on Etsy so they can get some use (and not clutter up my apartment!) more info on this later :)

Wholeheartedness/Authenticity

What went well?

Looking around the internet these days, we find encouragement to just be our own selves and not conform to whatever standards. There are still limitations I put on myself, but that’s just me.

In a staying true to myself and feelings, I’ve made it a point to express myself more thoroughly. When something makes me happy, when something makes me unhappy. There’s something liberating about it, but…

What didn’t go well?

People are generally happy to hear what good they bring, but less so when they’ve brought something less than that. For the less made me feel like I’m turning into a complainer, I feel like I sound whiny and/or bitchy, and I don’t always feel like I’m being taken seriously.

What are you working on?

Probably just not expecting to be listened to. It’s either that or keep my mouth shut..

This is a tough one.

Optimism/positivity

What went well?

I’m pretty good at looking on the bright side of things :) I feel like I give people the benefit of the doubt and allow myself to trust what they say. Even if I have a little skepticism, it helps to keep this in mind, and face the fears of being let down by either myself or others.

What didn’t go well?

Being let down a few times. But that’s my fault for attaching expectation to optimism.

What are you working on?

Separating that expectation from general optimism. 

Compassion/gratitude

What went well?

I feel like I’ve done well expressing my gratitude for the people in my life and the things they do for me.

Showing compassion and gratitude towards the people around me is something that never fails to fill my heart, so I make it a point to let them know how much they mean to me.

What didn’t go well?

I’ve been having trouble balancing the gratitude I have for something, even when it’s not exactly what I want it to be.

For instance, work. I’m really happy knowing that I’m great at my job and that my work is important, and I’m definitely grateful for having my job and the people I’m lucky enough to work with. At the same time, the work isn’t as fulfilling as I want it to be, I don’t feel like I’m contributing to the greater good and my position certainly doesn’t lend itself well to the creativity I want to bring to my working life.

What are you working towards?

I’m working on being happy and grateful for what I have, as well as telling myself IT’S OKAY to want more, without feeling guilty, greedy or ungrateful.

I’m still continuing to come up with more and more ways to remind people that I am grateful for them <3

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