2018 in Review

2018 in Review

Every year it feels like time is moving faster, and 2018 was no exception. After a rather crazy 2017, it seems like 2018 just began, and like that, it’s over! This may have been the faster year yet, but also a really productive one.

Last year, I  laid the foundation to embrace change and vulnerability in 2018 and that’s just what I  did. When I changed my career path at the end of last year, I  had no idea of what that meant for the future. This was by far, the hardest working year I’ve had. (so far) This year, I  really saw that hard work pays off.

Although working weekends, long hours and taking on challenging projects sometimes had their downsides, the rewards were much greater. I’ve gotten to a place where I’m seeing the payoff and being appreciated for it. When you start doing something you love, success will follow. I’ve also adopted a more “work hard, play hard” attitude when it comes to vacations and time away from work. My two trips this year, to Europe and the Caribbean, were chances for me to be completely unplugged. It helped me put life in perspective.

With that being said, I’ve also learned to take certain things less seriously and let go of some of those “triggers” (my favorite 2018 buzzword) that have haunted me in the past. Life is really too short to dwell on things we can’t change and situations out of our control, like social media perceptions for example.

I feel like going into this year, I had an idea of what may have happened, but for 2019, I’m going in a bit more blind, and that’s fine with me! Less expectations means more chances to be surprised with what’s to come.

So cheers to wrapping up a year of hard work, and starting a new one! Happy New Year!

-TW

 

Spring Forward, Fall Back

Spring Forward, Fall Back

As I mentioned earlier this month, spring is all supposed to be all about rebirth and having that awakening that would cure me of that funk February put me in. The month of March is almost over and let’s just say… I’m still in need of that cure.

We recently just experienced Daylight Savings Time and the saying goes “Spring Forward, Fall Back.” I’ve come to realize that’s basically the way I’ve been feeling recently…. falling back while trying to spring forward. I keep asking myself, how can I  stop falling… and the simple answer is… I can’t. Falling is a part of the process.

Embracing this mantra has really come to help me succeed professionally. Over the past year, I “fell” so many times as I struggled to find meaning and purpose in a job that wasn’t working for me. It was finally when I  fell the hardest that I started to spring forward and find a new path.

Now that I’ve gained great professional security, the other component of this is social security of course. (The harder of the two) I  find it so much harder to accept the falls that will come with making new connections, friends and dating. For anyone else who has had difficulties in similar areas, just know that sometimes falling only means you have another chance to get right back up.

Right now I’m feeling a little like I can’t get up, and quite frankly, like I don’t really want to, when it comes to social media. I’ve touched on this topic before but it can never be said enough. I’ve noticed myself withdrawing from posting and viewing Instagram as much because it’s all becoming too much! The constant oversharing, the daily night cream posts, the templates on your favorite things, I’m loosing my mind!

With a place like Instagram, it feels like there’s a lot of noice, but no one’s really talking. I’m working to step back on the daily mind suck of perfection I’m seeing online and focusing on the voice within to spring forward these next few months. I’ve been reminded recently that posts like these are helpful for others just as they are for myself so as always, thanks for reading along!

Life is too short to live in inauthentically, falls are going to happen, it’s about how we get up that helps us spring forward.

-TW

Spring Awakening

Spring Awakening

What a month February was…. the shortest month always feels the longest right? These monthly “check ins” on 2018 are equally rewarding and frustrating at the same time. It’s always a good idea to check in on yourself and your goals, but when they’re not going your way, it’s not so fun.

February was a month full of work, work, and more work. Just like a new semester of college, the first few weeks of a new job are seriously exhausting! I’m thrilled to say that my new job is challenging and creative, something I’ve wanted for a very long time. The balance of work and play is always more difficult for me. With longer hours, I’ve definitely made plenty of excuses when it comes to other lifestyle goals.

In true hibernation fashion, crime shows and carbs have become my new best friends. I’ve told myself that this March, I’ve got to shed some layers, and I’m not just talking about wearing less wool. Refocusing my diet, exercise plan and nightly routine are major chores, but a spring awakening might be just what the doctor ordered to turn that February rut on its head.

Just when I’ve been feeling low and a bit defeated, a close friend recently reminded me of how far I’ve come in work and in life. Support from friends is seriously underrated during times like these. Even though it’s not easy to take a compliment sometimes, it’s necessary to keep everything into perspective, because you’re only seeing one side of the story when you’re the narrator. My advice as we enter a new season (finally) is to listen when you’re being praised, whether big or small! It can be that little light you need at the end of the tunnel when it’s feeling pretty dark.

Spring is going to be about taking those positive affirmations and turning them into inspiration for new goals! Let’s hope as the season changes, our outlooks do too!

Happy March,

TW

Social Studies

Social Studies

School is session today here on Witt&Style, and the lesson: Social Studies 101. I’m not talking about the blend of history, geography and sociology, I’m talking about that necessary evil little friend of ours, Social Media.

I use that phrase “necessary evil” with the best intentions, because let’s face it, the chances you got to this page is because I’ve shared it on a social media platform are extremely high. I think that I can speak for most of us when I  say social media has been both a blessing and a curse since it’s entered our lives.

For me, I’m starting to build a career out off primarily social media work, and that’s largely because for the most part, I  love its power to remain personal and creative at its core. Instagram will always be an evolving canvas that I  can curate while interacting with new friends and followers on a daily basis. But what about when I’m not “working” with social media? Sometimes, it can feel like it’s working against me.

What do I mean by that? To put it frankly, at times social media makes me feel straight up insecure. Words like lonely, ugly, fat, failure, not good enough, and unworthy all come to mind. I  know that sounds harsh but the first step in addressing a monster is to call it right out into the open. But how did it get that way?

While watching the world present its “best self”, it’s incredibly difficult to not feel like what you’ve got going on just simply isn’t enough. By associating a number of followers or likes as a measurement of validation is only making the problem worse. I’ll admit that I  too can get wrapped up in the “game of likes” as I say, and it’s because validation from others and strangers is often the best medicine for a perfectionist like me.

If I’ve learned anything from working in social media, I’ve realized that the best way to handle all of those feelings is to remember one simple fact, IT’S JUST INSTAGRAM! As much as it may seem all consuming, it’s only a small part of my life. My friend and I  always joke that Instagram could be gone tomorrow; every selfie, brunch photo and moment you’ve captured and all those likes that you’ve bent over backwards to get could vanish, and then what? Life goes on!

It’s just a photo, it’s just another male model with <7% body fat (which is fantastic for them, I just like french fries too much), and it’s just someone else’s experience, so what? I’m not any less of a person because I don’t have the same things someone on my Instagram feed has. Going out and making my own experiences, and sharing them, (or not) is completely my choice. Knowing this and remembering all the reasons why I love it are why I  stick around. It’s so important to be self aware with social media, because I    can control what I’m looking at and how I react.

I’m also going to mention one fact to keep in mind with social media, Instagram in particular. The next time you’re feeling down because of likes and followers, know that a lot of it is out of your control. The algorithm keeps changing, making it harder to get as many eyeballs on your content than ever before. As someone who has worked with influencers both big and small through work, a lot of people purchase followers. You’re not any less of a creator or user than they are because they have the “swipe up” feature. Looks and numbers can be deceiving.

Because I work in the industry and also maintain my personal accounts, it can be A LOT, so making sure I  balance screen time with real time is something I’m working on this year, and if you’re in a similar boat, I’d advise the same. Writing this blog and tapping into other creative avenues has helped me realize that those insecurities from social media are fast and fleeting. Literally, they’re as fast as it takes me two swipe down to the next photo on my feed. 😉 So let’s remember that social media is a tool, an outlet and doesn’t define ourselves or our worth. Instagram shouldn’t scare us from living our own lives out of fear that we’re not good enough, because we are!

Thanks for reading,

TW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Year Ahead

The Year Ahead

Oh My My My, (seriously, cannot get enough of this Troye Sivan song) how is it already the last full week of January?! Is time ever going to slow down… guess not? I figured with this first month of 2018 coming to a close, it’d be nice to check in on how those resolutions I made for myself are going.

Those resolutions included living in the present, vulnerability and thinking about my career. They’re bigger picture resolutions but so far so good I’d say. This month has been busy, filling my work and social calendar and trying to get on even footing with the new year ahead.

Vulnerability and being present can be really difficult for me, as a perfectionist. It’s hard to not think big picture, or how one decision can lead to many more down the road, but I’m doing my absolute best to throw out that self written rule book. Especially in my relationships, both old and new. Everyone needs to let themselves off the hook every once and while, including myself. This goes for everyone out there dating too, considering that’s a whole other story for another day, but vulnerability is key with that too!

In work, I’ve been able to contribute to new projects and ideas that luckily have been implemented. Communication in your career is key and I’m learning that being your biggest advocate is the only way to succeed. Stand up for yourself, ask questions and make your voice heard.

In lighter resolutions, I’m still easing back into that “healthy lifestyle” I’m always saying I’ll start in the new year. *fingers crossed* I’ll be announcing a trip or two soon, my itch to travel is basically a rash at this point. (sorry for that visual)

2018 is looking pretty good so far! How are your resolutions going? Sticking to them or having a hard time keeping on track?

Here’s to the year ahead,

TW

Staying Merry

Staying Merry

As I mentioned last week, the holidays are fast approaching. It seems like they near closer and closer each year. As the holiday rush gets even crazier, I think it’s important to think about how to maintain sanity in perhaps the most stressful time of year.

This year I’m staying as level headed as possible because the season in inevitably stressful and complex. For most of us, there seems to be some innate sense to provide and give out the best Christmas we can. Bending over backwards to find the right gift, suffocating our calendars with seeing each and every person we know before the clock strikes December 31st and lastly, leaving no room to just relax.

I was determined to not fall into that pattern this year, and it’s definitely made things a bit easier. In truth, it’s inevitable that you’ll be busy. Work and projects alone are going to come up, so will social functions, but it’s important to not take everything on. I was extra nice this year (hear that Santa?) and got all my big gifts purchased before entering December. It’s definitely helped slow the wallet from bleeding out like it usually does this time of year. Planning ahead and keeping your eyes open for the best deals is crucial.

Holiday gatherings and parties are the best, but usually that means your schedule is packed and now you’re looking for an ugly sweater to wear while also needing a quick bottle of wine to bring to the festivities. Remember that everyone is in the same boat, if you miss one gathering, no one’s holding it against you. It’s okay to say “sorry, I  can’t make it.” Sometimes the best gift is company, so make time in the new year to make it up to them.

Devote yourself to some downtime this season! I’ve really hit my stride in the bad Christmas movie viewing this year. It astounds me how horrible holiday movies are but it’s a blast to watch and commentate on every plot hole. You can thank Hallmark, Lifetime and Netflix for such gems. Christmas Prince anyone?

In the end, Christmas is just one day of the year, so enjoy it. Your friends and family just want to see you and enjoy your company. Hoping everyone is treating the holiday as just that, a holiday from your normal schedule.

-TW