2020 Overview

2020 Overview

There's no denying that this past year was crazy and unexpected, but it was also such a huge year of growth and transition. Words can't even begin to capture the sadness and grief I felt, the grace I experienced, and the confusion of facing a new normal and a deeply broken world head on.

I'm not the same person I was at this time last year.

As we grow, and change, parts of our old self fade away, and new parts we didn't know existed begin to emerge. It can be challenging and scary, yet also exciting. Life is a continuous process of living in the in between.

Some things I learned in 2020:

  • Asking for help when needed is a strength, not a weakness
  • Failure is a necessary part of growth and is essential to being creative and becoming who we were meant to become
  • We can't predict what will happen next
  • Communication without clarity still results in chaos
  • It takes courage to feel our feelings, and not everyone is willing to be brave.
  • It's okay to just be

Change is inevitable. Do we handle it with grace, or do we recoil in fear?

I'm not saying we need to navigate everything perfectly, or that it's not okay to struggle. Struggling is important, it MATTERS. It's in the wrestling that we're refined.

What I've learned is, hard things happen to everyone. We're all going to struggle in one way or another. Pain is unavoidable. But there's beauty and purpose in pain. Are we able to see that in the midst of it? Sometimes we can't. But there is still hope.

Do we bravely feel our feelings, all of our feelings, even when it's difficult and we'd rather pretend they're not there? Allowing our feelings to be acknowledged as they are, feeling them fully, and surrendering them to God, this is how we move forward with grace.

Creative milestones:

  • Made my first cinemagraphs
  • Screen recording and sharing YouTube videos
  • Watercolor basics
  • Mixed media composites
  • Evolving a new art style

During the pandemic and lockdowns, I created, as I tend to do, to work through my tangled thoughts and feelings. Below I'm sharing a few of those images and some thoughts on what they symbolize.

January last year was ROUGH. So much uncertainty and unknown. Breaking on new depths and levels. And yet... Walking on eggshells transformed and cracked open a new life and new possibilities.

I began my watercolor world series. I played through Gris in Dec 2019 - Jan 2020, and that heavily inspired the series. Watercolors also became a new form of creative experimentation for me, particularly at the beginning of the year and in the beginning of quarantine.

Quarantine. All of us everywhere had to deal with this in one way or another. There were times I felt relieved, times I felt inspired, times I felt lonely and isolated, and times I appreciated the time to myself. No one expected this. I realized also an intense fear of entrapment (different than claustrophobia). And throughout the year had so many thoughts and realizations on the concepts and ideas of belonging and home.

So many doors. So many possibilities. This was in April, and I decided to go out into our neighborhood and take photos of doors to make it. Each day we get to decide which door we walk through. Are we making the most of the life we've been given?

One of my favorites and the start of a new art/editing style. This was created during my image-a-day challenge in June-July.

Oh the hope and possibilities, yet unknown mystery. The feeling of freedom, of exhilaration, of standing on the edge, not knowing if it's time to jump to our deaths or time to fly.

It was a year of bold prayers, asking for the impossible, and taking big chances. It paid off in a big way. Sometimes we have to choose to take the chances presented to us.

Finally edited a Mask image. Feeling weary from the battles inside myself, behind the masks. Imposter syndrome. Dealt with a lot of imposter syndrome and feeling on the outside. Or, trapped in my own little world and so separated from others. Unsure if I even know myself.

This was my first (and only) time shooting outside in 2020, which in itself is strange considering I've previously done most of my work outside. This image was borne from nostalgia and thinking of old friends. I filmed the process too, though I have yet to edit the video or share it online.

2020 was a strange and unexpected year. I'm very curious to find what 2021 will bring.