2016 Highlights // 2017 Resolutions

Happy 2017 everyone!

This past year has been an interesting one for sure – ups, downs, challenges and victories. I’m so grateful for all the things that were thrown my way this past year. I thought I would compile a list of highlights from 2016 & talk about some of my resolutions for this upcoming year. I’m not sure where 2017 will take me, but I am looking forward to what’s in store!

Just me & my camera ready to take 2017 by storm

2016 HIGHLIGHTS

  • senior portfolio class – pulled together my graphic design portfolio and worked on a bunch of projects I was passionate about including creating branded materials for a wedding photographer and nonprofit organization as well as working on my hand lettering. We had a really great group of people in our class too, which made it all the more fun putting our senior show together. Our show ended up being one of the best the department has ever put on!
  • graduating college – this was a huge milestone. While I took a semester off in fall 2013, I was still able to graduate on time which I’m really proud of. I had a really awesome senior year, and I would say it was probably my favorite year of college, but it was 100% the most stressful one. I took on way too much (too many classes, being a full time student, and working 30+ hours a week while still trying to have a social life). But I wouldn’t have changed anything – it taught me time management skills for sure. And pretty much half of the materials I used in my portfolio class I bought from work (saved so much money but I never added up the final cost of everything…don’t really want to…) I am also the first grandchild in my family to graduate college so I felt a sense of pride when I received my diploma 🙂
  • graduation gift – as a grad gift, my parents bought me a plane ticket to go visit my freshman year friends in Nashville, TN. It was such a sweet trip: spending time with some really great friends, visiting all the places we used to hang out (new places too!), and reminiscing about our freshman days was such a sweet ending to this chapter in my life.
  • theclarissab’s business picked up a bit – I am very proud of all the progress I’ve made with theclarissab this year:
    • launched my official website
    • switched my blog over to it’s own domain
    • created branded materials for myself (business cards, marketing, etc)
    • started my official business instagram account
    • shot my first 2 weddings which was a HUGE accomplishment in my book!!
    • held more sessions this year than I ever have before, and many of them ranged in content: weddings, bloggers, headshots, families, newborns, etc.
    • a lot of my business has been through word of mouth, so I am so grateful for my friends, family and clients that have recommended me!
    • I launched a new service for theclarissab during the holiday season – gift wrapping! This was my first year doing this, so there are some things I need to tweak, but I loved doing it and hope to continue it next year as well.
    • I participated in another craft fair where I sold hand lettered journals, state string pallets, and hand lettered canvases and wall hangings. I had so much fun creating these pieces. The string pallets were a huge hit and I made a few custom orders! This aspect of theclarissab will be an ongoing project…more information to come!
  • started a new job(s) – no more retail for me! While I was applying for jobs in my field, I came across an opportunity to do graphic design work for a local church. I was able to create branded materials that I could add to my portfolio and I made some new connections as their intern while still working at the craft store that I worked at during my senior year of college. But I was very ready to get out of retail. Through a friend, I found a job as a decorator at a tableware company. I had the opportunity to learn a new skill, explore product photography, be in charge of social media posts, and learn different aspects of how a small business works. I met some really great people too 🙂 There was a little bit of a hiccup in the job department around the time of my birthday, and I had to start looking for a new job due to the fact that I needed to be working full time hours. There was a brief period of time during this transitional phase that definitely tested my faith and personal life, but as always, God provided me with a great new opportunity to work with a nonprofit based in Boston, where I am working currently.
  • some great memories with great friends – thinking back on the year as a whole, I had some really fun times hanging with new and old friends, visiting them at school, going to concerts, traveling, etc. I am so thankful for the group of individuals that I get to call my friends. We ended the year with another annual Christmas party that I have been doing since I was in 5th grade, and although many couldn’t make it, it made me really realize how blessed I am by each and every friendship that I have acquired over the years.

2017 RESOLUTIONS

I’m still making my list of resolutions, but I figured I’d share some of them with you 🙂

  • invest more time and energy into my business – I want to really plan and create goals for myself to grow theclarissab!
  • save money (per usual) – I would like to invest my money in order to buy a new camera and eventually move closer to the city.
  • become more culturally and socially aware – basically, I live under a rock. So I want to make more of an effort to watch the news, andddddd also Netflix (just got it last month…I’m a late bloomer clearly).
  • this goes along with the previous resolution, but I want to make it a goal to watch as many classics or academy award winning movies this year as I can. I’m in the process of making a list of movies that I have not seen that I feel fall under the category of “classic” (like Grease, Forrest Gump, The Godfather movies….) any suggestions?! Leave them in the comments and I’ll add them to my list!
  • invest more time and effort into my relationships with people. Time management is something that I feel I can work on, and I find it negatively impacts my relationships sometimes. So I want to work on spending more time with family and friends and investing my time in people. I tend to jam pack my schedule, but I want to do so more effectively this year.

Overall, 2016 was a good year personally, despite all the crap that happened in the world. I’m grateful for God giving me the life I live, even though I’m at a very weird point in my life. But hey, it’s all about perspective isn’t it? It’s all about #redefining23 for me. Here’s to 2017!

intro // redefining23

Today, I turn 23.

I don’t know how I feel about this to be completely honest. On one hand, I’m excited because I can call myself an adult all while still being considered young. But on the other hand, I feel so OLD. I am an adult doing somewhat adult things…it’s a very strange feeling.

As we all know, no one likes turning 23. In case you were unaware of this little known fact, check out this buzzfeed article. Maybe look up that Blink 182 song…

Side note: That buzzfeed article though. Every. Single. One. They all apply to how I am feeling!!

So this got me thinking. I reflected back on what life has thrown my way in the past 5 years or so:

  • Going off to college far away from home
  • Working through college
  • Transferring schools (at the time reluctantly)
  • Taking a semester off
  • Commuting from home
  • My family’s adoption process coming to a close when Rosie came home
  • Making new friends
  • Starting a freelance business
  • Leaving my first job that I had for 5.5 years
  • Graduating college

The list could go on, but these were some of the big ones. These past few years have challenged, taught, blessed and shaped me to who I am today. And all throughout, I’ve strived to have a positive attitude. I definitely didn’t always succeed at that, but that’s always been the goal. Every year has it’s own challenges and victories.

So then what about 23? What will this year hold for me? Only God knows that. But this year, I want to prove that being 23 doesn’t have to suck. I am determined to make this my best year yet.

How you ask? By starting #redefining23

I want this year to be a year of firsts, progress and a time to look back on and remember as a good, successful year – whatever that may entail. I’ll be sharing throughout the next 365 days what #redefining23 means to me – traveling, freelance endeavors, my faith journey, learning, etc. I want to break the stigma that surrounds us 23 year olds by recording all the exciting moments and lessons that life has to offer during this transitional phase. Think of it as a process journal – keeping track of year 23!

I look forward to finding out what #redefining23 holds for me! If this is something that you’d be interested in – join me! Did something awesome happen? Land that dream job? Start a business? Move to a new city? Whatever it may be, post about it and use #redefining23 and tag me in it so I can follow along with you!

Now time to celebrate being a one year older!