Hello lovelies,

As 2018 is around the corner, I thought it would be nice to take a moment to reflect and ruminate about the year's happenings and goals for the new year.

mousey ju forever

With 2017, as with every year, came many new adventures and learnings. And as I was studying abroad, there was also a great deal of meaningful traveling. I tried new things and broadened my perspectives as I challenged myself to do what was out of my comfort zone. This year was also about introspection and learning the importance of self-respect and assertiveness, but I am still working on a balance.

the sky is thinking

yayoi kusama infinity mirrors @ the broad

I was reading another newsletter and came across this lovely ode to Fred Rogers and his custom of opening speeches with a moment of silence to recognize people that have "helped you become who you are." Take a few seconds to do so for yourself. In general, I think it is important for us to check our privilege, but also to think about the people in our lives that care and support us. We become who we are through the experiences we have, and without the relationships and interactions with these people, nothing would be possible. I think in every moment and aspect in our world right now, we could learn from Fred Roger's ideals of compassion and solicitude.

I don't usually make fixed resolutions at the start of the year, but instead, I set periodic goals throughout -- here are some that I have been thinking of as of late.

In the effort to become a more conscious human in all aspects of my life, I am always thinking about mindfulness and awareness, not just of my surroundings, but also of the body and soul. It may be cheesy, but I do find that being present and clear-headed is beneficial for creativity and productivity. In the world of the internet alone, we live in an age of distraction and so to hone in on our emotional happiness, it is good practice to be able to rehearse mindfulness. This next year, even if only for several minutes or once a week, I would like to dedicate time to pursue these things.

klimt's ode of joy @ the legion of honor klimtxrodin exhibit

Another thing that has been on my mind is sacrifice and compromise. I have always been more of the pushover type, so finding my way to say no to things was really difficult, but as mentioned before, reaching a balance is also proving to be tough -- I guess there is no perfect answer. We all will encounter a multitude of misalignments in our lives, so making room for middle ground and settlements in a way is also key to happiness and symmetry in relationships. There's a phrase that says you win some and you lose some, but maybe instead of interpreting that compromise as as loss, maybe we should be positioning it as growth with someone and positive progress towards understanding.

Lastly, something I always gravitate to is the impact and effectiveness of how I can convince people to be more conscious of their behavior in a social and environmental aspect. Where is the line and when can it be crossed? Yes, this all pertains to different circumstances, but we truly need change. At the same time, however, everyone has different priorities and it is extremely hard to change one's mindset. I feel hopeless and impatient at times, wondering why people are so resistant and closed-minded, but I try to resituate myself and remember that the little things do count. It will take an amalgam of gentle and more forceful tactics, but it is the effort and energy that is put in that matters.

me & my "the kiss" klimt socks with a matching plate

I hope everyone has been enjoying the holiday season and to celebrate and groove into the new year, I leave you all with one of my favorite jazz sessions...