An Ode to 2018

After months of procrastination, and a severe lack of motivation I’ve finally written another blog post, and this one is an ode to 2018.

Last year was a pretty big year for me, because it was the year I graduated from uni, and left education and start being a real, full-time adult. Post-Uni-Life has felt a little bit like running a race except everyone around me seems to have had a head start and I have no idea where the finish line is. As someone that hates running it’s been pretty hard to watch everyone ahead of me reaching all their big milestones while I feel absolutely exhausted and like I’m going nowhere. On a more positive note there are probably people running the race behind me who feel like I’ve had a head start but it’s not always easy to remind yourself of that.

So with 2018 practically over (and in reality 2019 will probably have begun before I get round to posting this) I decided to remind myself of all the things I did achieve this year.

Some things that happened that were really good in 2018;

polaroids

  • I went to New York and took my portfolio to big scary art directors and travelled around a big scary city and ate a lot of food.
  • I’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of other amazing places that I’ve never been before (and a few places I had been before.)
  • I graduated with a 2:1 and I got a certificate, and a chocolate coin and I shook Dawn French’s hand!
  • I moved in with my boyfriend and my bestfriend (and her boyfriend) and we now live in a really cute house full of plants that overlooks the river and has a view of the most beautiful sunrises that I’ve ever seen (because now I have to get up for work in time to see the sunrise.)
  • after doubting my artistic ability for so long this year I started to actually feel PROUD of the work I was doing, which lead to me doing a lot of work that I was really happy with.
  • I learnt how to do a lot of new things, including making earrings which sold out twice and I reached 100 sales on Etsy, which might not seem like a lot to some people but I was very proud.
  • I got to come home for Christmas and spend the last week of the year with my family and my lovely pup.

sketchbook

 

So all in all it sounds like I had a pretty good year right? Well in the interest in keeping social media “Real”, and not just acting like my life is just endless highlights, I’ll tell you a bit about the things that also weren’t so fab in 2018, but I hope will be different next year.

 

Some things that sucked;

  • sometimes I am just stressed – although instagram, the true highlight reel of our lives, can make it look like everyone is all fine and dandy all the time, it’s 100% because we choose to only share the highlights. I’m certainly guilty of keeping drawings that I’m not happy with, ripped up sketchbook pages, or tears (and trust me there were a lot of those this year) to myself. This probably isn’t something that is ever going to change, but I’m definitely going to start making an effort to remind myself that there is no point comparing my “everyday life” to the “everyday life” that I think everyone else is living.
  • Loneliness – I haven’t made a whole load of friends since leaving uni, and as I spend a lot of time at home making art, I don’t see a lot of people, and in the latter half of the year this is something I felt particularly rubbish about, but definitely something I’m going to put a lot of effort into changing in 2019.
  • I miss my family – 2018 was the 6th (!!!) year of me living away from home, and maybe you’d think after all this time I wouldn’t find it so difficult, and yes, I’m definitely more used to it now, but sometimes I still find it a bit rubbish. I’d love to be able to hop on the train and be at my parents house on the other side but unfortunately a whole load of land and sea has been sitting between us.
  • I thought I could do a lot more than I could – possibly my worst trait is thinking that I can do a lot more than I can. My to-do lists are renowned for being impossible even for a super human to achieve, let alone little old me trying to squeeze everything in after an 8 hour shift at work. This has resulted in countless tearful evenings wondering why I haven’t been able to complete my to-do list that is longer than my entire body.

So in light of all the good things, and the not so good things that made up 2018, I should probably set out some intentions for this year too. I would like to let you all know that sometime in December I sat down to plan what I wanted the coming year to look like, and set myself some goals. After letting myself put up with bucketloads of stress, and pressure from myself to “achieve everything”, the first thing I wrote down was this;

chill out white background

After I wrote this I continued to write a list of about 50 goals that I wanted to achieve, all in the next five minutes of course, so I guess that just goes to show why I think I might need to stop putting so much pressure on myself in the first place. Needless to say I scrapped that overwhelming list and set myself some things that might actually be a bit more achievable.

  • learn to drive (I guess now I’ve written it down I really do have to stop putting it off)
  • take a class in something fun
  • stop overwatering my plants (do you think this counts as an unrealistic goal?)
  • start setting aside time to do things that aren’t work, like maybe read a book or something
  • stop buying so many snacks!!! (my actual goal is to stop buying snacks packaged in plastic and start making snacks instead but it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.)
  • stop biting my nails PLEASE

you might notice that I didn’t put down a whole load of illustration goals. I do have a few; I want to release a collection of stationary, and finish a story book I’ve been working on, and I’d like to actually do some of the projects that have been on my ideas list since the dawn of time. But most importantly I want to stop putting so much pressure on myself to achieve everything all at once. Illustration is a long game and it’s easy to see successful people living their best life and forget that we all started out doing rubbish jobs “for exposure” whilst waiting tables or stacking shelves. (If you’re a successful illustrator who didn’t do this please teach me your ways.)

I’m not really much of a believer in the “New Year, New Me” rubbish, because really a new year is just another day, but there are definitely things I would like to try and do, (or in some cases… not do anymore) and a new year is a good excuse to remind yourself of where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there. Hopefully the things I’ve set out to achieve this year won’t turn out to be “unrealistic goals” but I suppose if they are then that’s ok too, I’ve gotta keep something for my 2020 list of resolutions right?

Lots of Love

Nyassa

 

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