2018 completely flew by us, quick. Even with the rocky start and a few lows that we’ve had to deal with in the beginning, 2018 was an incredible year for us! Everything we had to navigate through in the beginning is what led us to where we’re at now. And, where we’re FINALLY at now is a complete breath of fresh air. My prayer and intention is for us to continue on this good wave that we’re on into this next year. There’s always room for more improvement. For more growth, more learning, more transitioning, more creativity, more possibility and that’s why I get so excited for the start of a new year. On New Year’s Day morning, still in bed, I asked Jonathon what his hopes and goals are for this year and without even talking about it beforehand, what he said was so perfectly aligned with what I had already written down in my journal of my hopes and goals for 2019. Excitedly, I also told him that this year, I ACTUALLY have a few words in my heart for 2019 which is what I’d like to share in this post.
This is my year of Restoration.
This is an important one for me. Restoration in my love and faith in Jesus. Restoration in certain areas in our personal life and in areas that are broken. Restoration in my perspective and heart for the church. Restoration in community and friendships. Maybe it’s the growing up as an only child syndrome but I’m the type of person that is perfectly content with the very small amount of friends that I have. But I also recognize how important it is, not just for me but for Jonathon, to be part of a community and that I can’t be closed off to it forever. I can’t be closed off to church forever, either. Like many, I’ve been reflecting a lot about 2018 and it started right before my 30th birthday. I came to terms that I really have been holding onto a lot of offense in my heart regarding the church. I won’t get into any details because I’m not here to bash it or anyone. And, I know deep in my heart that I miss it and still crave it. It’s a major thing missing in my life. However, I am thankful that I know I found a church that is no pressure and some of our closest friends are already attending (and pastors that I love and admire who planted it) but I’m also taking my time with it. I’m allowing that time and space to restore this certain area in our lives.
This is my year of Intention.
In 2018, I started thrifting for outfits and home goods way more than I ever have in the past. It’s become a favorite pass time hobby of mine. I’ve been having so much great luck at thrift stores lately that it’s now hard for me to justify paying full price. However, because everything is so “cheap” and secondhand, it’s easy to let items in my closet just pile up. Because of that, I’m planning on doing a purge and donating or offering up clothing that I no longer wear anymore but holding on to for the sake of “just in case”. Thrifting has been teaching me to be way more intentional with something so simple as to what’s actually necessary in my closet. I can’t help but think what else can I be intentional in my daily life? To live intentionally is something I really want to put into practice in 2019. To be more intentional with my time and what’s important/valuable to me and what I’m working towards. To be more intentional with what I’m placing all of my energy in. Is it benefitting my well-being and helping others? More importantly, intentionally being more kind to myself. I may go off on a little tangent here but it’s so, so, so easy for me to get lost in my own head. To fall into this cycle of comparison and being so damn hard on myself and hard to not feel discouraged on social media sometimes. I may not have all the followers, the audience, the likes and shares that could help grow my small business but I have to intentionally remind myself that I’m doing the very best that I can and THAT’S OKAY. As long as I keep producing art that speaks to me and I’m being as authentic to myself as I can be in this age, that’s all that really matters. Also, I know that its not the “likes” that’s actually what’s important but because of the current algorithm, small business really depend on them to gain the exposure which could help their business. I know it’s so silly and so simple but I’ve also been making it a point to intentionally like other’s posts and be genuinely engaging to still show and give support even if I can’t always personally buy from them.
This is my year of OhHeySiff.
Despite the whole feeling discouraged on social media every now and then, I honestly couldn’t be more proud of the progress I’ve made regarding this tiny business of mine! 2018 was such a great year for me creatively. I feel like I’m finally starting to see my own style develop and I’m creating the type of illustrations that I want to create (hello new iPad!). I finally reopened my Etsy shop in November and the response has been incredible! I’ve made a couple big milestones in sales, new clients and sending out illustrations to other cities/states for the first time! I’m definitely planning on buying a U.S. map so that I can track every place I send artwork to. Since opening my shop, these last few weeks is the first time my orders list has been cleared and I can finally RELAX. Which I totally have been doing and soaking up the downtime because now I’m ready to hit the ground running in 2019. I’m determined to keep this good pace that I’m at and focus on growing my small business even more. I just turned 30 and I’m finally working towards what I want to do with my life and I’m ready to work my ass off for it. This year, I’m getting my business license. Until I can invest in a good printer, I’m going to be ordering more and more prints of my artwork to create an inventory. I’m NOT going to let my social anxiety dictate my life and I will be doing my first pop up shops and markets. (I mean, come on... I went to a Friendsgiving before Thanksgiving not sure if I would know anyone and I ended up meeting new friends and walking out with an Etsy sale! That wasn’t my goal of course but it happened all because I said, “yes” despite my anxiety. I CAN DO THIS.) I’m also going to be looking up online classes and research about marketing, being a freelance illustrator, owning a small business, etc. I definitely have a few long terms goals of where I want to see OhHeySiff within the next five years or so but before I can share any of that, I need to build this foundation from the ground up. I’m declaring that this year, as I pursue my dream, that it will come into even more fruition. I know I’ve said it a dozen times on Instagram but I’m truly so thankful for everyone that has supported me in this endeavor. Thankful for every like, comment, shares, and sales. Because of you guys, I can pursue what I love. I can’t wait to see how much more my small business will grow this year and I’m excited to take you guys along!