Hello friends! 2019 has been quite a year. Let's talk about it.
This year has been filled with both tragedies and milestones, accomplishments and current goals. It's certainly been all over the place, and I'm ready to talk about it. All of it. Even the stuff that has felt impossible to open up about. I want to put all of this out here, and then leave it in twenty nineteen. I think I'm going to just dive in, in the order they took place.
Besides starting the year off living in Tipp City and working two jobs, I was busy working on my photography and design portfolio for school. In an effort to spice up my portfolio, I tried my hand at boudoir photography for the first time. This was both a challenge and an exciting experience!
I was also perfecting the digital design portion of my portfolio by discovering my love for standards manuals--creating the outline for how a business would be designed to stay consistent and cohesive. I made a fake business called "WellNest", and my portfolio was taking off.
In March, I took it upon myself to get my first tattoo. This was a half-sleeve on my forearm of my family's birth flowers. After the struggles my family went through in late 2018, I wanted to celebrate those I love with a tattoo on my arm. And now, I'm ending 2019 with my half-sleeve, and then two more flash sale tattoos on my arm and ankle. And I'll be starting off the first week of 2020 with a colored tattoo.
In May, not only did I graduate with a design degree, but I also spent loads of time with my best pals in the entire world. The start to summer looked promising, and I was enjoying every moment. I even faced a huge fear of mine--going to a concert. It might sound irrational or confusing, but I had always been afraid of going to a concert because of the volume, overwhelming lights, amount of people, large venue, etc. But in May, I saw my favorite boys ever--MGMT. In the coming weeks, I'd be preparing to move to Fairborn.
Okay, so before I get into the happenings of this month, I want to preface this by saying that this was probably the hardest month of my life, mentally. It felt like one thing after the other was falling apart. And most of what consumed me this month wasn't something I wrote about on the blog because of a few reasons. The first is that, I didn't know how to go about it without triggering anyone or reminding anyone of this time. I also didn't know how to talk about such a heavy subject correctly. And thirdly, I feel weird and selfish for discussing that night's events, for my own anxious reasons. What I'm referring to is the Oregon District Shooting.
I don't know how in-detail I want to discuss that night since it is such a touchy subject, but the Oregon District used to be a place I visited nearly weekly. That night, the air was calm, the atmosphere was quiet, and there was just something that felt extra soothing and beautiful, just moments before the shots were fired. For weeks after the event, I hadn't been able to be on social media as much, and I hadn't been able to sleep alone in the apartment--let alone sleep at all. Any sporadic and loud noises, even today, still make me feel uneasy. I'm super fortunate to have gotten home that night, but sometimes I still get in my head about how unfair it is that I was able to live, while other innocent lives were taken that night. That's something that still trips me up.
I tried to go back about a week after, to honor the lives that were taken, but even then it was extremely hard. Please remember these names: Lois L. Oglesby, Megan K. Betts, Saeed Saleh, Derrick R. Fudge, Logan M. Turner, Nicholas P. Cumer, Thomas J. McNichols, Beatrice N. Warren-Curtis, Monica N. Brickhouse.
I still hadn't slept, but I saw letters on the mirror at Blind Bobs when I was anxiously sneaking off into the restroom that spelled "Joy" (besides the fact that it didn't originally say that). But after that night, I've truly appreciated the strength of the Dayton community and the Dayton PD. I have so much love for my community, and it just keeps growing.
Another difficult situation that happened around the end of August was the loss of my best feline friend, Ace. He got me through so much in the eleven years I had with him. Whenever times were rough, I knew I could go home and he would be there, waiting for me by my door.
Overall, I felt like the month of August ripped a giant hole in my heart. I felt like, not only did I lose my best friend, but overall, with the chaos in my mind post-shooting, I felt like I lost my absolute will to live. So I want to take a moment to thank my family and friends for checking on me in that time and for staying with me on nights when I couldn't be alone. I love you all.
October was a lighter month. I started taking my photography and design more seriously, trying out more couples photography and fall sessions. I also started working with Gem City Vet on their branding campaign, so they can open their doors in 2020. Keeping busy this month helped cleanse my mind of the stresses from the previous months, and I've been proud of my creative energy.
Also in October, I started putting my energy into bettering my physical and mental health through exercising. I got a gym membership and have been exercising regularly since then. It's been a super fun, challenging, and rewarding. It's definitely kept me feeling so much better and in touch with my health and mindset.
~ending the year~
For the past few months, I've been focusing more on work, family, and my health (like I mentioned). I've even felt wild enough to re-enter the dating world. I feel like I've gotten to know myself so much through the challenges of this year, and I hoping for a beautiful and rewarding 2020, where I can continue to grow and improve my fitness and anxiety coping-skills.