Looking Back at 2016

Thoughts on Change…

It’s a new year and somehow it’s nearly February! As I sit here with my computer on my lap, trying to think of something clever or useful to share about illustration and the freelance life, I find myself suddenly reflecting on the past year. This is an exercise I should have done on the turn of the new year but life happens – and you can’t force these things really.

It was nearly one year ago, to the day, that I tore my knee. Painful and inconvenient, this was just the tip of the iceberg that was a series of painful and inconvenient changes that followed. Each change carried its own level of gravity, although in their moments, even the little ones felt huge. It’s the nature of the beast, especially when you are fighting it. Change that is.

It was only by fall of last year that I began to embrace change. As my knee slowly healed, I slowly accepted and adjusted (half-heartedly and with much reservation in some cases) to the changes 2016 decided to throw at me. But this acceptance was enough; enough to grow and to become a stronger version of myself with a lot more drive to follow dreams. It was enough to start working towards goals, rather than stare at them longingly as if they were stars in the sky, completely out of reach.

It wasn’t easy and it’s not meant to be. I believe that change (is that word losing all meaning to you too?) and the challenges we face are meant to become our tools to succeed. This was perhaps the biggest discovery I made. I labelled 2016 the Year of Discovery and it certainly lived up to that epithet:

I moved house and my family moved to a new country. I began to discover my main purpose for this website and began working with a creative coach. I travelled to Manila, Madrid, Paris, Beaune and New York. I went on a creative retreat and met new, wonderful people. I learned to make madeleines and viewed original art created by Disney legends. I fell in love with a city that is not my own. I learned what it meant to close chapters and start new ones. Through the incredible highs and the lowest of lows, I discovered more than I can recount here.

Now it’s time to look forward. This is the year to THRIVE, pursue new goals, face new challenges and power through the occasional moments of self doubt.

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