2016 In Photo Booth Strips
I wrote a version of this post the other day, realized it was super glum. I think looking back on 2016 for both of has been frustrating. I had a job change twice, lost some important people in my life, Jade felt overworked and under appreciated, and I can’t say that I didn’t either. It was a tough year, but it did have a lot of highs, with plenty of lows.
We took twenty five photo booth strips in 2016. Our tradition is one a month, a few on our favorite holidays, and birthdays. I love our photo booth tradition. Last years review was particularly awesome, and our first collection is pretty hilarious. In an age where the majority of images taken remain digital and in an intangible state and may be deleted and forgotten permanently some day (much like many of our Myspace selfies from yesteryear), these photo booth strips help document the stages of our life and I get to hold them in my hand. I know what was happening when I got a certain sweater or tie in them. I can remember what trip we were on when Jade is wearing her shoulderless dress and the feelings I was feeling that day. I cannot tell you why I lost my shirt by the end of one of the strips however.
I finished up my Masters degree earlier in the year. I was thankful to have it done with, not because it has aided me in knowledge and career advancement, but because it has felt like I’ve been in school fooorever, and I pretty much have. I’ve only taken 6 month breaks between my degrees so I’ve pretty much been in school since kindergarten. All through my 20’s, finally finishing up at the tender age of 29. Education has always been very important to me, but I was burnt out by the end. Not saying that I wont ever go back to school, but I’m at least done for a while.
We traveled more in 2016 than we ever have in previous years, not all together though. I went to San Francisco a few times on work and to Las Vegas for a conference. We went to the Beach for our anniversary, and got rained out. We also went on a lodge stay in Washington wine-country, and toured Seattle. Jade got to go to Los Angeles to be in a commercial for LG, which was awesome. She was hired as one of LG’s brand Ambassadors last year, which was an immense opportunity. Jade had more consistent project work for her photography, illustration and social media work than in prior years too, which was incredible. The work wasn’t always ideal, but she made the most of it. We both got to go to Palm Springs on a project shoot later in the year, and we took trip to New York at the end of the year around my birthday.
I turned 30 this year, which was awesome. Jade took me out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Kens Artisan Pizza, and we went and saw a talk with Anna Kendrick for the release of her new book, Scrappy Little Nobody. I’ve always known my 30s were going to be the best decade for us. I think because it marks the point where the struggle of your 2o’s, not having a solid direction, can be shaken off and true adulthood can start. I don’t know how true that is, but I know I am doing everything I can to make that the case. My 29th year was a tough one, much like my 19th year. Both years were full of not-so-positive change, lots of introspection, worry, remorse, and eventually trying to cope with whatever life was like at that point in time. I lost a friend to suicide when I was 19, and last year when I was 29 as well. The similarities between the two years have been eerie, and I am glad that 2016 and my 29th year has concluded.
Instead of looking back at 2016 with regret though, thinking about the good, the bad, the growth, the ruts and the many hours spent working, I’m looking forward to the future. 2016 was a year I realized that, without it, I wouldn’t be looking toward the future like I am now. I’m in a much better head space than I ever have been, thinking about what I actually want in life more than ever, and Jade and I have stepped into what w both know is the best chapter of our relationship yet. So, maybe some good things came from having a frustrating and confusing year. On the whole, I’m ready to move on. My mantra for 2017 is going to be ‘look for positive solutions, before jumping to negative conclusions’. I worried a lot last year. I didn’t think about what I wanted enough. I’m done with both.
2017 is a year to not only think about the things we want, but actually begin doing things, no matter how small, to make those the things we want happen. We both want to follow our hearts. I want to move into a home with more room, space for an office, a studio, and maybe a garage. I want to start writing short stories, poems and songs again so we can make a book of some sort happen within the next year or two. I started writing in my notebook again. Its been a long time since I’ve done that. I want to play music more. We both want to take more photos; take more photos that we want to take and that don’t have to be taken for work. I want to take more trips and have more adventures. I’m already destined to head back to New York for work next week, and then we both will be going to LA for Jade’s birthday. I know there is a lot to look forward to because I’m not going to put any roadblocks in our way like I may have in the past. This is our year. It all starts here.