In the beginning of this month, I told myself I needed to find something to track my progress, track my habits, track my activities. The little details of my progress were the breadcrumbs I wanted to leave a trace of, as I improved… yet, I struggled with trusting myself to commit because I had no clue as to where to start and what to try.
One time, I had tried using different journals for each goal category. But different journals work if you can remember what you actually put in them and where you last left them. Also, the added task of reminding yourself to keep updating them. It felt chaotic and messy, making the task of tracking uninspiring and burdensome.
After watching a few Youtubers like Amy Landino and Tasha from one big happy family, I started to feel more prepared to tackle this new journal journey! i decided to reuse a simple Mead spiral notebook, along with different colored sharpies and a few sigma micron pens. I gave it my best artistic typographical attempt for each page heading. Being able to inject a bit of creativity feels refreshing and new, almost therapeutic. I added a section for my long term goals, (micro) February goals and, most importantly, my daughters goals. Other important sections included habits to maintain my health and one dedicated page just for brainstorming content. Lastly, a page dedicated to reminding me of the most mundane tasks needed for the household.
Its never to late to start talking about goals and the different ways that one can use to prepare and tackle them. The small steps completed daily contribute to strengthening those bigger goals. With that being said, I hope you are ready to tackle 2019 because we’ve still got eleven more months to go to make a real difference
Thank you for taking the time to check out this blog post. I hope you find this kind of content inspirational or insightful. What are your goals like for 2019? What are you doing to keep track of them?
Probably not, but neither am I really sure and currently to focused on finishing this post to stop writing just to google it. I still consider this time as Fall because the trees still have leaves on them. Albeit, not as much but non the less, they are still hanging on. I find it inspiring to see how many different colors the leaves turn into. Then how the ground is littered with these multicolored shades of yellow, brown and reds with a tiny streak of green. Sometimes I ask myself if these leaves would be a good source of material for creating art pieces. I wonder if someone has already been so bold to ask themselves the same thing and actually make something beautiful out of them. I’ve picked one up just to examine it; to observe the array of colors, to feel the texture and to admire its irregular shape. To bad it’ll be gone soon before I take the time to make something beautiful out of them myself.
Just like seeing how pretty the burgundy hue of the leaves were, I was equally pleased to see how nicely this thrifted Topshop burgundy wool coat fit on me. The arms were not to long or tight around the armhole. The material was in good condition, minus the signature thrift shop scent. The lining was in decent condition, shiny and smooth and the pockets had no holes. It had a detachable black faux fur Peter Pan collar that looked like it had seen better days. I was impressed. The pros were greater then the cons and that made me happy, so I took it home.
No, no, and nope. I am not going to be cheesy and start to list all the things that I’m thankful or grateful for because, truth be told, there are too many things to list!
I am not a pessimist, neither am I an optimist. I linger somewhere in the middle because that’s my safe zone. In the past, I’ve had to manage a laundry list of mental health issues and would bounce from one extreme to another. Never feeling mentally strong or stable to understand myself and what I needed verses what I believed I wanted. When I was overly optimistic, I would only focus on the activities that were going “well” and that was it. I would miss the bigger picture or the long term goal because I’d try so hard to stay positive about the present or current situation. Then the opposite happened when my attitude become more pessimistic.
As I was clearing data from my laptop, I stumbled on the picture above. I quickly started to reminisce to that moment in time. I was in the middle of the feeding routine, a mundane task that typically last about hour from start to finish. But a crucial one for my daughters development. This picture was part of a series of shots, each seemingly doing something subtly different; Bella facing out the window or me looking down. As my iPhone was mounted on a tripod in the middle of my kitchen, I set up the self timer to capture us during the routine. Although I didn’t feel very confident wearing such a bold floral quarter sleeve t-shirt, I thought I still looked nice and put together. My hair was tied back into a high ponytail and in my mind, it had bounce, shape and length. Just to see the pictures afterwards and realize the only cute one was sitting still in her high chair wondering what the heck was that black thing doing in the middle of our kitchen.
During my postpartum year, it was unsteady but I kept reminding myself that the moment wouldn’t last. I planned to take it easy on myself for the sake of my mental health, but also wanted to find a way to document what was happening in the moment so I can compare my progress. My biggest fear was to somehow permanently impair my sense of rationality. It was a shakeup year and praying to God for an answer taught me what resiliency really meant.
As my family was walking home after visiting our local Salvation Army, we stumbled on a pretty simple wall. It was simple, at least, compared to the other abstract and intricate street art walls surrounding this simple one. The wall was painted black with different brush strokes scattered over the black paint. In the center, what I’m assuming, was the artist’s graffiti signature drawn in a goldish brown hue. It was extravagantly minimalistic but with a pop because of the contrasting colors. It caught my attention from afar and drew me closer to observe the work, very much like an art gallery. I liked that it wasn’t overly conceptualized but neither was it a “wall flower”. The work had a balance while adding balance to the collection of street art surrounding it.
Naturally, I felt it would make an interesting backdrop. I didn’t notice the artists credentials or maybe I just overlooked it. But if you ever find yourself in Brooklyn, take the J train to Brooklyn and get off on a stop called Myrtle ave. Walk a few blocks south and you’ll spot it by making a left in the corner of the Papa Johns pizzeria.
I know I should have taken a picture of the street art by itself. I apologize. I only hope that it won’t distract you from being inspired by my very casual outfit of the day. My rain coat is from Nike. The black fleece pullover, a gift from a family member who traveled to Colombia. The black leggings from Pink by Victoria secret (although a size too big on my petite frame). The navy blue faux leather sack bag was thrifted from a Salvation Army across town. It’s been my favorite go to bag and it’s in great condition. I only wish I knew the brand. Yet again, do I really want to know? Lol
Over the weekend, my family and I ventured out to another part of town in Brooklyn called Greenpoint. We went out to celebrate my in-laws anniversary and to have some quality family time. We hadn’t set aside time to catch up since I started my first semester back for my bachelors degree and since my mother-in-law works as a professor at a local college, her work schedule has been more demanding. My in-laws have been married for 27 years and were in the mood to try something different. Since they hadn’t tried Thai food, we all went to try a Thai restaurant once in Greenpoint.
As we were walking towards the restaurant after parking the car in a dark residential street, we noticed the brightly lite corner of the residential block we had just parked on. The facade was painted white, with windows wide enough to barely make out what exactly was inside. The more we peered, the sooner we realized it was a cafe, but maybe a bakery? As we walked away, we were left wondering what could be inside.
Once inside, what stood out to me the most was how beautifully delicate yet calming the layout was. The big cooling refrigerator case of macaroons were lined up with multicolored cookies and on top were cakes of different flavors. The back walls listed the menu in chalk, as well as positive messages on other walls also written in chalk. Everything available looked appetizing and minimal decor was inspirational.
I could envision myself leisurely catching up on my reading while sipping a cup of cocoa on a cold winter day, if I lived close by that is. I was mesmerized & enjoyed those extra lingering minutes just sitting on that white painted chair after we had finished our melted marshmallow chocolate dipped desert.
A plain white t shirt is an essential basic top in my closet. It’s like a blank canvas and (mostly) everything in my closet compliments well with it. For this look I was inspired by fashionista I stumbled on in Instagram. I paired my white t-shirt with a pair of thrifted straight leg palazo trousers, which are slightly to long and oversized for my frame. What’s interesting about The trousers is that they are made out of silk with a chevron kind of print. Silk trousers? That was new, so felt like they needed to come home with me.
I intended to wear the trousers for casual days but Ive been told that it actually makes me look very formal. When I looked in the mirror that’s not what I saw and I kept wondering as to why would these trousers would look formal. Could it be the permanent crease in the front? I couldn’t answer that question, until I saw myself in them through pictures. Now I knew why my husband kept referring to them as my business casual pants. I might wear them with kitty heals next time lol
This was it, the sum of all my classes and lessons of the fashion design associates degree program. From draping classes, to pattern making and figure drawing sessions with nude models. By the time I got to this stage in the program, I was wiped out and had mentally checked out from designing. I was more eager to finish, rather than embracing and learning from the challenging process. I had no vision as to how I was going to turn my whole experience into a career and questioned if I wanted to pursue this for the rest of my life.
But this summer, I decided to take up the challenge to redo my fashion design portfolio. Deep down, I have a desire to figure out a way to turn my skills into a career. I took the summer to reflect on all the lessons that I had learned while in the degree program and started to develop a more positive perspective compared to when I was still in it. School is just one of those experiences where I don’t know how good it is until it’s gone.
Over the summer, I jumped into the process of designing again and this time I followed my own instincts as to what feels right. I’ve changed my idea behind my portfolio by actually thinking of a customer, a women who would be drawn to my looks. I’ve changed the layout of how it’s presented by emphasizing the small details compared to the previous layout. Nothing was left by accident, everything is purposeful because one day soon I’m going to have to explain my thought process of what I’m displaying. The last thing I want to feel is embarrassed for what I am showing.
I’m still spending time making changes and adding more details to every look. I’m not half way done yet but when it is, the sense of accomplishment will make my guilt go away… hopefully lol