Almost a whole month into the new year and only now I'm sat here intensely reflecting on this time last year and the shit show that was 2015. Up until now, or up until this week, I've been shrugging off the year in passing comments and swiftly changing the subject because I was constantly in a state of wishing it to be over already. I didn't care because I didn't want to think about it - I just wanted to get through it. And then the other day I was bored and on Instagram and came across (ok so I might have searched my hashtag name..) a photo of someone's "art wall" that they had posted with my illustration included in it! Like an actual stranger who went out and spent actual money on my illustration! And then framed it!! AND PUT IT ON THEIR WALL!!! It seems like it happened another lifetime ago but actually, it's just under a full year ago that I won the competition for it to be reprinted and sold in the V&A museum shop for the Alexander McQueen exhibition. Which, by the way, is my favourite museum in all the land so sorry to brag but I'm totally bragging because it was kind of a big deal for me. The irony, of course, is that I'm pretty sure Mumma has a couple of prints lying unframed and facedown (to protect it from fading in the sunlight) near the fruit bowl at home. She says she's still looking for a frame..
But it made me properly think about the last year for the first time. I want to say it was the worst year of my life, but in hindsight, of course like everything, it wasn't the worst. It was the hardest. Literally, the hardest year of my life. And perhaps, consequently the most I ever achieved. So I won an illustration competition and I finished my final collection and I created something that I was proud of, I graduated (at last) and landed my first job as a fashion designer, I moved to Spain and my first design was bought for the stores. I guess when it's all written out like that it sounds crazy how much has happened. And it's probably why I need to write it out like that to realise how far I've come. Everything was so up and down the whole year and I was constantly getting stuck in negative ruts; I think it blurred my perspective on a lot of the positive things that happened. I realised a lot and admitted to a lot and struggled with so much. And in turn I kind of just gave up and stopped caring about things too much and I became the most productive I had ever been in 5 years. Is what people mean when they say you turn a negative into a positive?
Even as I write this though, I'm thinking about the other side of the story, the private parts, and still, about all of the issues I had to deal with to get to this point. And how I'm still dealing with some of them and how they still cast a shadow on the light. Perhaps this is what this year will be about. IS about. To learn and to understand and to appreciate. To pay attention. To accept.
TO BE PRESENT.
And to conquer 2016 with hope and healing.
So late late late on this reflecting and resoluting (?) resolving (??) making resolutions (!) business but I'm such a cringe machine these days - it's better late than never, right?