2016: Year in Review

Photos by Simon Ng

Photos by Simon Ng

I've been struggling to come up with positive things that have happened this past year. Truth is, I'm not really that proud.

I'd say this year was a transition year. I'm at that stage in life where I'm metaphorically standing at the edge of the water, watching it flow into the unknown, and waiting...hesitating...before I jump in.

The work I did this year wasn't the most satisfying. I put my life on pause to make other people and my bank account happy. My sense of independence wavered. My anxiety escalated. And I feel like I've lost more friends than I've made. 

But despite everything, I have learned to cut the BS out of my life, and focus on making a life more meaningful than a bubble of empty dreams and superficial things. I learned to define my art and decided I want to specialize in editorial and commercial fashion and portrait photography. (Hence the website makeover, yay!) It's been a long year coming, but it's been so fun working with friends.

I'm thankful for everyone I got the chance to work with this year, and others who have encouraged me on. I'm looking forward to a 2017 full of even greater photoshoots and making dreams happen. But first, resolutions.

1. Be positive.

I really think my negativity is messing me up in all sorts of ways. So I'm going to change that — adapt instead of complain, embrace instead of fear.

2. Remember what's real.

Here's a quote from a designer I admire:

Especially with social media now inevitably playing some role in our self-perception, it’s easy to accomplish likes before accomplishing anything real…which is a bearable reality if we stay conscious of which of these has true longevity.
— Jennet Liaw

I'm going to create to please myself, not others. Real accomplishments are for you yourself to recognize and take pride in, not others. Sometimes we start thinking our social media presence is our reality — it's not. Here's to making our reality a beautiful one, and a truthful one.

3. Just do it.

Pro-tip: Don’t let the toxic mixture of fear and laziness fuck with your goals, ambition and productivity.
— Katya Zamolodchikova
Photo by  Luis Descanzo .

Photo by Luis Descanzo.

Cheers to 2017 — I'm gonna be proud of this one.