Happy New Year to all my family, friends, and followers! I’m so glad to be heading into 2022 with your engagement with and support for Marina Black Media. While 2021 had its various challenges for us all, I’m proud of starting my blog and seeing my journey mould as a freelance creative over the last few months.
Creativity can be an escape, which is why I’ve been exploring various avenues of creativity through writing and photography. After I graduated, I didn’t know how to stimulate my brain, making it difficult to find a reason to get up in the morning since the meaning of ‘productivity’ changed. Searching for an entry-level marketing job prompted me to create an online portfolio, which gradually evolved into the various components of Marina Black Media. Even when I had no boss to report to, I found a new way to give myself responsibility and hold myself accountable.
Once I was hired, I learned to be flexible with my office priorities and creative pursuits. But things weren’t exactly enjoyable until the fall; most of the year was virtual socialization coupled with physical and mental isolation.
For most of 2021, I was spiritually lost, consumed by the stress of exiting the student world and entering the next phase of life and all its possibilities. Despite the roller coaster of thoughts and emotions, 2021 helped me learn to create purpose when searching for one and embrace the unknown. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and with a background in student journalism, I realized a blog would be a great outlet to tap into my creativity while researching and critically analyzing subjective topics and opinions.
Being accustomed to the pressures of post-secondary education, I started putting more and more pressure on myself to pump out more and more content. I enjoyed seeing my final products, but the process involved a lot of overthinking and stress. Now I can understand that I wasn’t approaching my artistry with a fun, limitless, or carefree mindset.
When I realized I needed to find new ways to approach life, I began experimenting with my media. I got back into writing short fiction, photographed abstract compositions, and found new activities to spark my creative brain. It is never linear, but it was a path towards regaining confidence in my identity and uncovering a new sense of self-purpose.
We’ve all misunderstood ourselves at one point or another, yet the goal should not be to try and understand who we are at all times but to reflect on how we are shaping lives through our direct and indirect behaviours.
It is similar to how one person may look at a painting and not see anything, but the next person who looks is inspired to create their own Mona Lisa. The author of the painting may only consider themselves an artist with this external validation, which is often easier to accept than internal validation. However, the artist is not a fully realized identity until they behave like their own definition of an artist.
You cannot be something (an artist, an advocate, a doctor, etc.) without engaging in the actions and mindset that mould you into such a trait. However, there is a fine line between following the social constructs of society and using your own interpretation to define an identity.
Heading into 2022, it’s important to understand how we act in terms of our identity and whether our identity is developing based on what we find valuable or what society deems appropriate.
We walk into every year believing it is our time to shine, and while that may be great motivation for the first 30 days, it’s not sustainable motivation. Yearly, open-ended goals rarely do much for us in terms of breaking bad habits or starting new endeavours. Sometimes the “new year, new me” mentality isn’t defined by discernable goals, yet we expect to achieve such greatness without a foundation to stand on.
Long-term goals are achievable if there are manageable and actionable short-term goals that act as steps towards the larger goal. Instead of aimlessly trying to grow a successful business, make specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals that will help build your brand.
Make it a goal to talk to one industry professional/leader per month; when you set out to plan your monthly commitments, set aside potential dates to prep and hold a meeting. If you’re unsure which platforms offer networking opportunities, add a new goal to research and experiment with networking sites for an hour on Wednesday.
Approaching these tasks as short-term goals can help you feel like you are making progress towards your long-term goal since you are planning, organizing, and taking action to reach your larger goal.
Our goals will not always be obvious when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, but continuously evaluating and reflecting on our goals, achievements, purpose, and identity can set us up for a path of self-discovery and success.
MY GOALS FOR 2022
- Prioritize personal growth and professional growth as an individual, writer, and photographer
- Write weekly blogs supported by my photography and personal experiences
- Take meaningful breaks from work to have fun and reconnect with my body and mind
- Continue my fitness journey while finding new ways to go further into bodybuilding
- Develop media content that shares my story and insights of fitness
- Network with likeminded individuals to learn more about general health