Learning from 2018 – & What to Expect in 2019!

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Y’all, I love the end of the year. I revel in looking back at how the year went. Successes. F*ck ups. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been, so I’d like to share a few thoughts!

#1: Letting My Friends Support Me

2018 was really the year where I started to let folks show up for *me*, in the way that I showed up for them. I shared that I was afraid to be vulnerable or the “one in need” with my close friends, who responded so incredibly well. People stopped letting me deflect all conversations to THEM and THEIR problems, and waited on the line while I struggled to share what’s going on with *me*.

Thank you for holding that space for me, friends.

Additionally, almost all of the traveling/creative work I’ve been able to do in 2018 happened because folks were willing to let me crash on their couches. I owe you one. <3

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After running around all of Wednesday for a photoshoot (yippee! Fashion!!), my back really started to hurt. . It felt like all my muscles were cramping at once, and hurt. I drove with the crew from Bayville (like a hour outside of Brooklyn), with the pain getting worse. . Fast forward to finally getting to @femmenightmare’s apartment, and I knew I had a pinched nerve. This has happened to me once before, but it lasted about 20 minutes. I tried a hot bath and over the counter meds, but I found myself rocking back and forth on Elisabeth’s bed. I didn’t want to go to the ER. I’m on Obamacare (woo self-employment), and my deductible is $6,000. FML. . Karine ended up trying to take me to Instacare, and they told me since I was screaming so loudly I clearly needed to go to the ER. Karine was a bit busy updating folks on what was happening, so she asked for the address to the nearest ER. . Y’all. They gave us the wrong address to the ER. After vomiting outside of an AMBULANCE TRAINING CENTER, Karine called 911. AND SHE WAS TRANSFERRED TO A CALL CENTER. I felt… so abandoned in that moment. Like, I needed a fucking ambulance. It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you need help, you call 911, get an ambulance pronto and get the help you need. . Right? Right? . Wrong. . Jesus Christ on a cross. . The ambulance finally came and I was loaded in, where they proceeded to interview me – PARKED – instead of taking me to the ER. . Y’all. . The night ended with me being taken care of in a multitude of ways by my queer friends. Who advocated for me, and conferred with nurses, yelled at EMTs and got shit done. . Being in so much pain was so scary, but what was especially scary was not having the capacity to advocate for myself, ya know?

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#2: Energy Management

In 2018, I learned to stop flinging my energy all over the goddamn internet.
Lol, it probably doesn’t look that way to some of y’all, but it’s true!

In 2018, I learned to pull that energy back into myself, and invest it where folks saw it and RECIPROCATED IT. I’ve learned to set up a sort of barrier, and tests to see if folks should gain access to greater levels of my energy.

I’m still figuring out a balance between making and vetting new friends, because I’m just such an extrovert who will talk to anyone long enough for them to sit still. ????????

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#3: Blog First – Social Media Later

In 2018, I learned to focus on creating content on my blog, first. I love social media (like, REALLY FREAKING LOVE IT), but I’m treating my blog like it’s the destination – instead of a nice-to-have. As the Instagram/Facebook/etc algorithms do whatever they want, my content may show up in your feed – but it likely won’t. My goal is to set folks up with the expectation that they can come to my website and read new/fun things.

From editorial photoshoots, to discussions of politics to movie reviews to fashion roundups. We’re WRITING in 2019!

I’ll be posting here at least 3x a week, a goal that’s doable because I’ve been doing it the last 2 months!! MWHAHA.

I’m a writer. I’d much rather write a 2,000 word post than film a YouTube video. So, I’m playing to my strengths. I’ll be writing a lot more in 2019. Of course I’ll still post YouTube videos, and create content for social media. But if Mark Z decides to shut down Facebook and Instagram tomorrow – I want us to be hanging out elsewhere. <3

#4: Content I want to create.

A few months ago, I looked at my Instagram feed and realized I wanted to get WEIRD. Okay, real talk, I looked through my Instagram and had a wee bit of crying jag, because I hated everything. Apparently, this is how creative work looks. You look back on your work, and you feel you missed the mark.

Thanks to some self-compassion and loving artsy friends, I’m ready for 2019. Expect more editorial and artistic stuff, fewer OOTD photos with a colorful backdrop.

I feel like I’ve graduated, in a sense. My old classroom was learning how to pose for OOTD pics and scout fun places to stand in front of. In 2019. I’m ready for editorial collaborations – and to involve more HUMANS in the shots.

I’ve set up an editorial shoot a month, with January-March almost done with the planning stages.

#5. Coaching & Consulting

Something I’ve been putting off for YEARS has been creating courses and ebooks that folks can use without my oversight. This helps folks work on themselves at their own pace (not everyone is down for 100% of my attention, because I’m an intense person to work with) AND makes my work more accessible.

I’ve put off creating courses, because filming myself and editing takes so MUCH FREAKING TIME – so we’re going with ebooks to start off. I’ve written one (woohoo!) and the next two drop tomorrow (January 1st).

#6. Income and/or My Fashion Collection

Figuring out a way to work for the funds to pay for my fashion collection/life, while STILL having time for my collection has been tough. I’m the kind of person who wants to do 150% for every client/job. This year, I really got bit in the ass by trying to do too much for clients who were paying too little. I’ve assessed the work, winced at my mistakes and been ticked at other folks – but I’m going into 2019 with 100% ownership of communicating my boundaries and STICKING TO THE DANG CONTRACT I SIGNED.

I’m gonna knock the services/projects out of the park that I’ve been hired for, and stay in my fucking lane when it comes to taking on additional work (ie, I won’t just take on new things, I will share the additional amount of $$ required).

In 2019, I’ll be focusing my time on “clients with commas,” offering fewer one-off spots for coaching calls and smaller projects.

I’ve learned that no matter how big the project, each client takes up the same amount of brain space//cognitive load. So, I’m focusing on fewer clients with higher invoices.

7. WTF? I’m a model???

I was paid to model for 3 brands in 2018, which felt like it came out of fucking left field. Actually, the parking lot. I’m pretty stoked about this, and I’ll be pitching new brands in 2019. I modeled in NYC, Seattle and Salt Lake City!

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I’m coming for everything I want and more. ???? ✨ . Y’all, long ass days in the studio have me wondering if I’ll EVER get my fashion collection finished. I’m trying to creatively find solutions to speed things up. . So I hire a few “stitchers” Or seamstresses? Go on a sort of hermitage? Kickstart this shit? I still have to pay my bills and work. I love what I do (consulting ftw), but it’s not my *calling*, ya know? . My luxury collection will be sized 8 to 30, and I feel like I’ve been talking about it for so long that folks no longer believe it’s coming. . I’m doing the work. Everyday. But my designs require a metric ton of work, each piece taking approximately 50 hours to complete. . And I’m one person. . I remind myself that I can do this. The middle is always the hardest. No one has really done what I’m doing. There are gonna be setbacks. . Chose this photo because I look fierce and certain. I can see the future, and I’m coming out swinging. Look out, because here I come. This photo is how i WANT to feel today. . Today, I feel discouraged. Crying in my car discouraged. So if you have a story about slogging away solo for your dream, and getting what you worked for, tell this bitch about it in the comments. . Photo by Shena Lee from my photoshoot with @tomboyx. . #EmergingDesigner #Qwear #plussizefashiondesigner #Goaldigger #TigerStripes #stretchmarks #slcpunk

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8. Health… stuff. (& Body Positivity)

This year, I realized I had let a sort of militant “body positive” theoretical framework take over my relationship with my body. I resisted any conversation around how my weight has impacted my health, and I’ve found myself mentally attacking people who lost weight. Espousing views and vitriol that I don’t actually believe.

It’s fucking weird.

I’ve moved more into a space of “Body autonomy,” the belief that folks can do whatever they want with their bodies.

No, this isn’t me announcing that I’ll be joining Weight Watchers in the New Year (fuck that). Rather, that I’m going to be changing my eating for hormonal issues, and I’ve started working out. Because I haven’t been to the gym in 2 years, you’re going to notice some changes in my body. Or not! Who knows. If that makes you mad, there’s the door. <3

If you’d like to see more posts on fashion, being a professional creative, and adulting in 2019, etc be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.