Another Year of Happy

Yesterday was my 27th birthday. I spent Friday evening celebrating with friends at my favorite restaurant, Wok in the Park. After that, we saw Ender's Game for opening night. With over 20 people that came to dinner, I was blown away with the amount of love and awesomeness I have surrounded myself with over the past few years. I think birthdays are a great chance to remind me of the people that have come together to make my life amazing. 

Como Lake

Como Lake

Live your Legend

On Saturday, my actual birthday, I went to an event called "Live your Legend: Twin Cities" . The best way I can describe it is that it was a meetup of like-minded individuals who wanted to pursue their passions. It was based on some of the theories and practices of Scott Dinsmore (check out his TEDx talk). Having a group that can support, encourage and keep each other accountable seems like a great approach for entrepreneurial thinking.

I got some great feedback on my questions and struggles, along with some books, online resources, and activities that I can use to create goals for my professional development and potentially turn hobbies into something more. When I got home, I created a mind-map of where I am today to help visualize my current priorities. This might become a new tradition for each birthday to capture a snapshot in time every year. The next step is to identify what my priorities are, think about how I spend my time, and create a plan for advancing my goals. The idea of a personal renaissance intrigues me, I can't wait to see where this goes. 

Life at 27 Mind Map

Life at 27 Mind Map

October Progress Video

And with the beginning of a new month, that means one has just ended. Here is my progress video for October. This video is pretty much all vaults and momentum transfers because I was only able to go to 3 or 4 classes this month thanks to an angry ankle. Fortunately the ankle is better now, so it's time to beat it up again!  

This video really brings my knee issues to my attention. I'm favoring my knees by using my back to absorb landings...which is dumb and useless. Definitely have to work on healing/strengthening my knees.  

Graduation Come and Gone

The ceremony was lovely yesterday. It was exciting to see so much talent walk across the stage to receive the recognition that they've worked so hard for. The student speakers did a fabulous job of delivering words of wisdom that didn't sound too cliche.

The guest speaker was Stephen Lundin, author of "Fish", "Cats" and "Ubuntu". I just looked him up and it turns out he actually went to the same High School as I did...not that that really means a whole lot, but it's kinda cool all the same. My favorite quote that I was able to remember long enough to get a whole of pen and paper was, "Life is too precious to just be passing through." It struck me because I've found myself getting swept up in the motions of life, getting overwhelmed by the to do list, the planning, all the things I say I have to do. He said something to the effect of when you see your life planned out on paper, it's no longer your life, it's someone else's expectations. Because not only can you not really plan your life, but your expectations of yourself change over time. You can't turn down possibilities just because they aren't part of your plan. He also said that when you start to feel the edge of change, don't resist it because change will come no matter what. But if you move with it and work with it, you'll have the advantage over the ones that resisted the change.

So my BS: Viz degree is officially completed, soon I will have my piece of paper that says I know stuff. I don't feel terribly different or considerably more valuable but it does feel pretty awesome to have achieved a huge goal in my life. I've been looking back on my college career, wishing I had done more with it, pushed myself harder, focused less on relationships that ended up failing anyway, and gotten more involved with campus activities...but I can't change what I did. I'm the person I am today because of what I did (and didn't do) and that will guide what I chose to do in the future, what I place value in.

So, congratulations MCAD class of 2010!

Jerry Allen and I
Jerry Allen, Myself and Abbi Allen

Paintings...quite a few of them (in various states of completion)

Last week I went to the new Blick store in Edina and spent entirely too much on new painting supplies to celebrate my new free time. Since then, I've painted every night at least...practically all day when I can. I'm having so much fun experimenting and playing again, I don't really care if it isn't good, I'm just enjoying the journey. so here's a sampling of what I've been doing, in various states of completion and goodness... sorry about the crappy light and camera...not much I can do about it. I would say that most of these aren't done yet. but I was too excited not to post something and share what I've been working on. Feedback welcome! [gallery order="DESC" columns="2"]

Apron Project Progress

Got my goal accomplished for tonight...albeit at 3am...(Hey, gimme a break, I was watching Lost Season 1, I was distracted) Got the front of the apron totally cut out and assembled. I think it looks pretty snazzy so far.

So that's that, I'm quite pleased with it. The other one I make will be the reds and purples of the group. can't wait to see how this looks when it's done. I'll have to cook more now though...you know, to justify having a crazy awesome apron...mmm cooking. I'm hungry...we'll it's been quite a while since dinner time so I guess that makes sense...I forget to eat when I focus on projects...*shrug* Morning will come soon enough.

Not sure if I'll get to work on this more tomorrow or not, but that's alright, after 8 hours of working on it tonight, I could use a break.

The New Year: Some Goals for 2010

I hate the idea of making New Years Resolutions. The stat that I found said that 78% of people who make New Years Resolutions fail to follow through with them. The quarter that do, use tools like journaling their progress, asking their friends for support, rewarding milestones and focusing on all the benefits of achieving their goals. (Resource Link) But regardless, the idea of making goals for the upcoming year is very appealing. A new year feels like a fresh start, the chance to make changes for the betterment of your life.

With that in mind, I have made goals for this year. And I'm asking any readers I have out there for help and support. Comments, ideas, recommendations and whatever else you feel like offering, heck, just showing me numbers on Google Analytics is enough to make me happy. :p

The First goal is to start doing a drawing a day. A concept made known to me by a lovely blogger named Daisy. I attempted this last year and made it about 30 days in before I let life get the better of me. I'm hoping that by making it slightly more official, making daily updates here and getting feedback from readers, I will start making art more a part of my daily life. Currently, I'm working on covering up a journal I wrote in a year or so ago, some therapy for covering up past demons. The journal itself is beautiful with a deep dark blue slip cover and heavy cold-pressed watercolor paper. It was a joy to write in but now I think I can make something more beautiful out of it.

See! Darn Purdy!

Some Extra Credit, pages I did about a month ago:

This is the one I did today:

The Second goal is to follow the concepts in the book I'm reading at the moment called "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz (full book review to come when I finish it). I think Ruiz makes very valid points in this book, providing ways to destress and improve your own life, creating your own heaven. The four agreements you choose to make with yourself are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don't take anything personally
  3. Don't make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

Sounds so simple when it's just those four ideas written on paper but already today I have felt myself stress out about things I took personally and I made assumptions that put someone in a negative light (I asked for clarity and my assumption was wrong, I felt silly, but was really glad I made the effort to get clarification.) If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.

Third big goal is to reconnect, get together with friends more often and build stronger friendships based on trust and good experiences. I lost touch with a lot of people over the course of the years I've been in college and it's proven to be a great disservice to me.

And last but not least, the Fourth goal is to really start working on my career. I start my new job on Monday and it's going to be amazing. The doors that it will open and the experience I will gain will be limitless. It's time to put all that hard work done at MCAD to work and start building on it.

Life is good... very good. I'm blessed with a close family that's helped me through a lot of hard times and a core group of friends that has stuck by me, I also met some amazing people last year that have welcomed me into their lives with so much joy. 2009 was a really hard year that taught me a lot about myself. I am determined to grow more this year and learn more about what I'm capable of achieving.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2010 bring you great happiness and success in all your endeavors!