I could talk about this past year thinking about 2017 just like everyone else, but it wasn’t this year that was important. It was the age, the mindset, and the decisions were important – 19.
19 was a lot of things for me. Firstly, it was transformative. There were many firsts that changed me as a person; my comfort level, perspective, and willingness to put my goals into action. One of those things was traveling. It’s also the one thing that I felt had the most impact on me last year. At the very beginning of 2017, on JANUARY 14, to be exact, I traveled for the first time completely alone. Casually so, to the largest city in the US – New York. I was traveling to execute the first interview for my book Street Collected, and also for myself in a way.
During that simple three hour journey, I changed as a person. I broke out of what I knew as my bubble; both in what my world consisted of and that of my own ability. I gave myself the ability to tackle any destination alone, relying on myself. If you’re a single avid world traveler globetrotting the world that doesn’t say much to you. However, If you’re me – the then 18 year old fresh out of high school and trying to conquer the world – it’s everything.
This is to reflect on last year and also look forward to what’s coming – 20.
In 19, I felt trapped. During that time, for most people I feel, there are so many outside forces that push at you. All those voices are trying to tell you who to be, and what to do with your life. I also found though, that those _‘voices’ _ tend to all use the same tools: Fear, Judgment, & Expectations of what is acceptable for you to be. Often they’re hidden until you’re looking for them. Then, you’ll find them right under your nose, trying to disguise themselves as you.
Taking those forces out of your life leaves a lot of scary space to fill. Everything now is up to you. I think that’s why most people choose to leave those forces in their lives. It’s an excuse not to live, and I didn’t want that excuse. Instead, I’ve come up with 5 dedications or pledges for 20.
1. Surround myself with people who accept me, and push me on to do better.
As I looked back at 19 I realized that what really changed was my relationship with myself. So, 20 will be focused on those with others. Firstly growing the right ones and chopping off the rest. 20/90 rule, eh?
2. Take yourself and your goals and dreams seriously.
It’s so easy to let go of your own goals and aspirations and write them off as ridiculous or unrealistic. This year I’m not doing that. I think 19 was enough of a testament that anything is possible.
3. Take care of my body.
Your body is your temple. Take care of it. In 19 I feel like my health really got away from me. In 20 I want to be in love with my body.
4. Create More.
In 19 I did so many crazy amazing things. Looking back though, I was probably behind my camera less than every other photographer on earth. That’s not okay. In 20, I’m dedicated to creating out of my passion for doing just that, and nothing else.
5. Action, not hot air.
The last thing I felt really applied to me in 19, was that I’m always a ball of ideas. Sometimes I allowed that to even overwhelm myself and ended up not really taking action on anything out of fear. This year I’m going to follow through on everything that comes out of my mouth — even if that means letting out less.
I hope you guys can really connect with my dedications for the year and find them insightful into your own life.