Yes. I know the 2018 recap ship has sailed yet I'm not typing this to remind you of what you already know but more so to share some personal lessons I've learned from what I've coined
(as humbly as I can)--- an incredible year.
What I represent, create and share has tapped into an audience that understands the narrative I'm writing, allowing me to find a new sense of gratification that goes unmatched.
Throughout the year I wore many hats, struggled with balance, joined forces with a 5'2 giant who I'm sure could connect the dots in her sleep, became a boss (literally) and landed a campaign with Nike NYC . Like, really now?
All that to note 2018 was all the proof I needed to realize the impact COVL made.
Okay now back to these lessons:
KNOWING WHEN IT'S NOT FOR ME
I'm sharing this with you because it's a habit many of us have formed, a habit that has stolen a lot of joy and confidence. Questioning why certain opportunities didn't come my way or why so-and-so was chosen. This allowed doubt to get comfortable and resurface any anxiety.
It's exhausting, especially being a generation that's only shown the highlight reel of someones life, we're consuming low self worth, jealousy and doubt as if it's a part of our balanced diet.
With a shit ton of self reflecting and I mean a years worth, I began to welcome in the reality of it all. I conditioned my mind to shift its focus to what's in front of me instead of what's beyond me which led me to getting reacquainted with the D'ana who is and breaking up with the D'ana who isn't. In layman's terms, I had to remind myself of my worth, hard work and purpose and that anything outside of those realities was irrelevant and unconducive to my growth.
I'M ONLY FOUR YEARS INTO THIS
This sort of piggybacks the first lesson yet breaking down the realities of our craft and business. COVL has been in the trenches for a little over four years--- it wasn't until last year I teamed up with a manager. I constantly battle this urge to rush things because some times it feels like I need to catch up. I still struggle with this yet I've adopted a new level of ease only because I am actively working towards new goals and checkpoints on my business and personal life.
And in this instance, that's all you can do to move forward.
SAYING NO AND BEING HAPPY WITH IT
I have a confession to make: I am a workaholic but please note, I don't encourage this kind of lifestyle. Over time I have learned to be happy with saying no to some opportunities because putting myself first was not up for debate. Yes, saying no to some projects were hurtful, having to overcome the fear of thinking that declining a project would hurt me more than do good.
I worried too much about the wrong things last year and that took a toll on my mental health and body. This year I feel extremely at peace with the option of saying no, I'm ready for when it'll happen only because this year is dedicated to making room for the blessings and growth.
I know I've made progress in this department when every weekend so far I've done nothing, stayed off social and loved every minute of it.
These lessons might seem very minor to some and that's okay, maybe there's some lessons you can share with me. Eager to know the progress we're all making because working for yourself is no easy feat!
Featured image from my artwork for Issue 8 of UNDO Magazine