It has become increasingly difficult for me to sit down in this space and crank out my thoughts like I used to. I open the page, read some posts and then exit out as if I was never a writer at all. I'm beginning to wonder if that means I should shut down or if I should launch a new space, one that's different and fresh and blank. One that isn't full of memories and stories already, an empty book with blank lines. It'll even smell crisp, like a new notebook purchased in the fall for the impending start of the school year.
Or maybe perhaps that will be too much work and here, I already have my friends. All three of you that read my blog. (Hi Dad!)
So who knows. I just know that 2015 was a terrible year for the blog! Sorry guys! It wasn't as if I had bad intentions here...my follow through this year was just focused on other things. I mean, it has been a wild ride I think.
I started out the year working for the juice bar. I worked what felt like a billion hours a week (which is just a slight exaggeration) and it just started to burn me out on the job. I started as a barista when I was 17 years old, and even though I worked in a school for two years post college, moving back to the juice bar (while fun) still felt like a giant step backwards as much as I tried to convince myself it was just sideways.
And then in the summer I made a remark that I shouldn't have, it got blown way out of proportion, and so I had to walk away. Actually it was a huge blessing in disguise. Sure, I worried about how I was going to pay my bills and buy my groceries, but it also helped me realize the incredible support system that I have here in my little Idaho.
In late August, just before I turned 25, I started working for a photographer. He's a photographer that I've admired for years and years and meeting him was a little unreal for me. He had only lived in my head and on my computer/phone screen for so long that you kind of forget that he's a real person. But honestly, the shock only lasted for a couple days and then we were into the real stuff. Especially because my backup left me after three and half days on the new job and I felt like a complete idiot 90% of the time.
Transitioning from juice bar barista to photography studio manager was a much steeper learning curve than I had anticipated. Plus the lack of training and the being right at the tail end of the busy season left me in a kind of "sink or swim" situation - which I feel like is my whole life. But it got better. It didn't get easier, I just figured out how to do more stuff. And my relationship with my boss started to develop away from him being upset that I didn't know what I was doing, to him being appreciative of all the things I do there now. It's been a little bit of a roller coaster, if I'm being completely honest.
I would tell myself that I just had to get through today. I just had to make it until five o'clock and then I could breathe a sigh of relief. Or I just had to get through the next hour. I just had to get through this phone call. I had to set up little goals for myself or else I think I would have lost it.
But looking back at how far I've come in just a matter of months, and even though there are things that still terrify about this job, I'm mostly just excited about it. It shows on my face. My dad says this is the happiest he's seen me in a job in a while. And it's true, I am happy. I'm even, get this, joyful.
I'm joyful for a multitude of reasons, all of which were made that much sweeter having gone through the juice bar battle and the photography manager goal setting.
I'm joyful because I have a family that loves me and is willing to back me in any I want to pursue. I started making custom gifts this holiday season, and I got a way higher response than I had anticipated I would. I made quite a few gifts this year and I hope to just continue on with that. I would like to ship things across the country, not just the state, you know? And my dad has expressed an interest in helping me do that. I can't thank him enough for just how incredible he's been to me.
I'm joyful because I have developed an interest in designing fabrics, which was helped along by the love of my oma. She has been such a source of encouragement and even sent me Christmas presents made out of the fabric I designed!
I'm joyful because I have a great relationship with my boyfriend which just keeps growing and growing. He's such a rock of support for me and he pushes me to make tough decisions. He's smart and ambitious and I don't know what I'd do without him.
There are a few other important people in my life that have helped to finish this year out nicely for me. It's amazing after how tumultuous my summer felt, to be this happy at the end of the year. But you know what? I'm glad. I'm glad there's snow and skiing and family surrounding me this December. I'm usually such a grinch this time of year, and I expected to feel annoyed all month. But then it started with a windstorm in November and then it's snowed practically all of December and maybe I'll be really tired of the snow in February just like every year, wishing it was summer time, but also maybe I'll just like it because that's how it is.
I've learned a lot this year. I've grown a lot this year. And I honestly am just excited to see what the new year brings. Happy 2016 kids. May it be exactly the year you need.