Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Year in Review 2015

I have been answering these same questions about the new year for 19 years now. Ya, some of the questions sound like something a teen would ask... I considered looking for a new list, but my love of tradition and consistency won out and voila, this year's year in review:


1.     What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?

I had so many new experiences in 2015 both big and small.  I wish I had kept a running tally of them this year because I am sure I am forgetting some. But I will try to list them now, dancing in big girl heels, performing a solo in showcase, learning how to photograph underwater, learning to photograph boudoir images, visiting Las Vegas, Guelph adventures (times three).


2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year I resolved to listen to the messages the universe is sending me and to be open in both mind and heart. I did achieve that goal, and I gained so very much from it that I am now going to keep that as a lifelong habit. I feel so much more in tune with myself after 12 months of this practice.  This year I do have a goal but I have decided to not publish it.  I can keep myself accountable without sharing it.


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope, I guess everyone I know is done with babies, thankfully I get to snuggle new born babies and new arrivals all the time when I photograph them.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

No one close to me but we did spend the last day of 2015 at a funeral, and any funeral can really make you think about life.  That is the hidden blessing of death, it makes you value life.


5. What countries did you visit?

We were in the states this year for our annual trip to KV and also Las Vegas for the first time and I surprised myself when I discovered I loved it there.

Photo Credit: Tim Salaz


6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

2015 may have been my best year ever so it is hard to think that any other year could be an improvement on this one.  2015 lacked absolutely nothing.


7. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Performing at showcase.  It was strange, I have never had stage fright before.  I have been on stages my whole life.  For whatever reason this experience shook me up like nothing ever has before.  I think I hit rock bottom about a week before the show, I was a disaster zone, but on the studio couch I had this moment of lunacy with my Belles and then we held each other up.  We could barely stand for ourselves but we could hold each other up and we did it.  I was so proud of them, and I was so proud of myself.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

 My biggest achievement of the year was saying yes.

 9. What was your biggest failure?

 I suppose I have failed at things, but in the end those things are irrelevant.  You know what I know now, failure is sometimes uncomfortable and painful but on the other side of it you can find beautiful things.  Risk of failure is now a big shinning beacon to me, calling to me, telling me that I should say yes and see where that failure brings me.  Failing is really just like washing yourself clean of things you no longer need.

 10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

 It was a very healthy year.  I am constantly having muscle aches and bruises but they are just badges of honor that show off my hard work.

 11. What was the best thing you bought?

 The underwater housing for my camera!!!


12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

 I would have to say the owner of my dance studio.  She has been such an inspiring person to come to know.  Her honesty, warmth and vision have been a great source of comfort and motivation to me this year.  She is sort of like my Oprah.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Obviously the Trumpster is the top of everyone’s list in this category right???

 14. Where did most of your money go?

Pole shorts :P  LOL no just kidding, I think it likely went to our exciting 2016 travel plans and a couch, finally we have a couch!!

 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My birthday week.  It was so so so epic.  In 7 days I was a real and true mermaid, a Nashville dancing queen, a published photographer and sleep over party hostess, online dating guru in the making, and overall just swamped with love and support.

 16. What song will always remind you of 2015?

Music was an incredibly big part of 2015.  My shuffle just tripled in size, I discovered so many new songs and artists that I just loved, so this is hard to choose.  Music has been incredibly inspiring to me this year as well, I have done personal photography projects based on songs this year and I am planning more for 2016 as well. Although this is not my most played song, or my favorite melody or the one that was an earworm or the one I could not stop dancing to it is somehow still the song that best encapsulates my year.  (Special shout-out to Maria for pointing me towards this song at one really great night at wine and vision)

Crystals – Or Monsters and Men

I know I'll wither so peel away the bark
Because nothing grows when it is dark
In spite of all my fears, I can see it all so clear
I see it all so clear

Whoa-o-o-o, Cover your crystal eyes
And feel the tones that tremble down your spine
Whoa-o-o-o, Cover your crystal eyes
And let your colours bleed and blend with mine


17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

 i. happier or sadder? Happier

 ii. thinner or fatter? Thinner, but stronger too

 iii. richer or poorer? Richer


18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
This was an incredibly full year, I don’t think I had a single moment of time for anything more.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

I wish I had worried less.  I worried quite a bit at the start of 2015, but I think I kicked the habit by the end of the year.  Now that for the first time in my life I have learned how to stop worrying I wish I could have learned it ages ago.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

 With family it was a mixture of fun and sadness.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015?
I fell in love with myself.  It’s a cliché thing to say, but it’s true.  I’ve never felt more confident or proud of myself.

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Peaky Blinders is still my all-time favorite and I re-watched it with Cali in 2015 so it still counts, but I also enjoyed the Moaning of Life and Reign this year.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No, hate is so worthless.


26. What was the best book you read?

Reading really took a back seat this year, I am two thirds of the way done one book, it has taken me all year.  I know!! Shame, Shame, my 20 year old self would never believe that I read so little anymore.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

My musical muse this year is Nicole Dollanganger, I discovered her via 8tracks and I love that site for new musical inspirations.  It is the main reason my shuffle exploded this year.


28. What did you want and get?

A pole for my home studio!!!! Amazing!! And a couch for the great room.  I am so spoiled this year.

29. What did you want and not get?


30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Nightcrawler, it was really well done and I also loved the photographer element of the plot.


31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

This year I celebrated birthday week with many adventures, I turned 36.  See 15.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably satisfying?

This year was immeasurably satisfying. Wow that is four great years in a row, I am on a roll!


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

I am still proudly rocking the spanks pants and onsies! And now I also have quite the collection of pole shorts (who needs pants!?!).


34. What kept you sane?

Brass Belles!


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Cillian Murphy aka Tommy Shelby.  Here enjoy this! (my crush is still going strong)




36. What political issue stirred you the most?


I was sort of tuned out of the media, again my 20 year old self would be appalled.  I am sorry youthful me, I will find brain space for serious things like books and politics again soon.  My brain needed a vacation into the visual in auditory stimuli land.

37. Who did you miss?

My dad, I thought about him a lot this year as I explored the artist within me.  I thought about what it means to be the daughter of an artist, the choices he made, the choices I made.  What it would be like if I only had 21 more years on this planet.  I thought about what he got done in 57 years and what I could accomplish, what I have accomplished, what knowing you have an early expiry date can do to a person’s choices and motivation.

I guess you'll always be a mystery to me
But you taught me how to value life
And what else do I need
I have a dad who watches over me

38. Who was the best new person you met?

I met so many great new people this year I could not possibly choose just one!!! All of my Belles!!! But I guess notably Mel, who I met last New Year’s Eve, Angie, Stacey, and Jen who are all on my emergency contact list now, it’s sort of crazy that at this time last year I didn’t know any of you because you are all my sisters and the very best part of 2015. 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015:


The sweet is never as sweet without the sour, good and evil are two sides of the same coin, pain and uncomfort brings beauty, strong is the best goal but you can only become strong by learning to accept your vulnerabilities and embrace your weakness. When you are brave and true life will open up possibilities. Always say yes, you can do it on your own terms, but be open to yes.



Happy New Year!!!



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