I try not to get hyped about New Years, but it’s as good a time as any to reflect. 2018 was full of firsts, mostly revolving around photography work, but otherwise felt pretty steady as I traversed the peaks & valleys of life in London.
Travelled to new places: Croatia, Northern Spain, Cologne & Zermatt.
Revisited favourites like Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Munich and New Zealand.
Had a blast living with two my of best friends.
Sold my first zine.
Started learning to skate.
Saw 16 movies in cinemas. Surprising favourite: Hereditary.
Read 20 new books. Book that’s had the most impact: Factfulness by Dr Hans Rosling.
Began genuinely enjoying red wine (!)
Kept up journalling & meditation habits.
Turned strangers into friends. Being brave and reaching out online pays off.
Went to 8 gigs. Most ridiculous: Diskopunk.
Sat in the front row to see Ian McKellen perform King Lear.
Had a really productive year as a freelance photographer, including international travel for multiple opportunities. This year was my first time doing many kinds of shoots - portrait, family, couple, event etc, and I grew via the necessity of learning on the job.
Bonus: Had an IMDb made, ha (my teen self would be estatic).
I should’ve been wiser with budgeting when the photo jobs started piling up. While the extra income helped in (expensive) London, had I been more careful with money I’d have more to show for it. I also need to stop spending so much money on food and put more energy into cooking at home.
Even with the highlights, as 2018 wraps I admit to wrestling with a creative slump. Leaving London meant saying goodbye to a job I loved, a solid client base and many dear friends, and transitioning to full-time freelance work in Sydney has me in a bit of a professional crisis. In 2019 I need to reassess what I enjoy doing, what needs work, what comes next and where I envision my career going.
I’m not strict about resolutions or monitoring them, but to begin my journalling habit in January I made a rough list which is refreshing to look back on.
Exercise daily - wasn’t overly disciplined but most days did try to make time for a run or skate around the park.
Travel to new places - Yeah!
Put effort into friendships, actively listen - Hopefully, relationships are always a work in progress.
Make the most out of London - For sure.
Less screen time - Needs work.
Publish writing once a week - Definitely not. Aiming to be more regular in 2019.
Get paid photography jobs - YEAH.
Read more books - 20! A decent start, aiming for 30 in 2019.
Learn to skate - ish…
Learn five new songs on piano - No.
Journal & meditate - Most days.
Create meaningful work - Photos taken for clients surely have meaning to them, but I’m not sure that’s what I meant when writing this. Hard to define ‘meaningful’ work, let alone label your own.
Peak physical condition - There were a few months over summer I was attentive to what I was eating and how active I was, but I haven’t returned to the fittest I've been.
Master myself - haha, as if you can do that in a year. Or ever.
The short term pain of waking up early is far outweighed by the benefit of being up early. Start the day proactive.
You don’t find the time, you make it. If you really want to do it, you will.
Ticking menial tasks & errands off a list is not ‘work’. Do the hard work first, then the chores.
Stop being frustrated that things aren’t happening fast enough / the way you want them to. Be patient.
Having negative emotions & strong feelings doesn’t make me a bad person.
Most of the things we think are a big deal are not a big deal.
The people we look up to are just people.
You don’t need to have an opinion on everything. It’s okay to admit you don’t know (or don’t care).
Mindset affects everything. Lower expectations, enjoy the moment. Read good books, listen to engaging podcasts and have good conversations.
Everything is temporary.
I’m incredibly appreciative of everything that’s happened this year, but so many of the best memories are of things that have always made me happy: nourishing conversations with friends, walking around cities alone, creating things because I enjoy the process, swimming in oceans and journalling in cafes, to name a few.
In 2019 I want to focus less on metrics and more on personal joy. I plan to stop feeling rushed by comparing myself to others, have more fun by making time for things that bring satisfaction, get off my stupid phone and focus on connecting with the present moment rather than constantly inclining towards the next one. I have no idea what to expect from the coming year - and that has me nervous but full of hopeful excitement. Onwards.
Wishing you all the happiness in 2019! x