2017 Word of The Year: Grit

We've entered the new year—hello there 2017! During the last few months of 2016 I was reflecting on my personal growth as well as the studio. My path has taken lots of turns. There have been bumps and tough hikes as well as clear meaningful roads to journey down. While I strongly believe that any time of the year is a good time to reflect, adjust, and remind ourselves how to be our best versions, I also love that bringing in the new year is a huge smack in the face to do so. It is so important that we do whatever feels right for our souls. If having resolutions, words, ideas, lists for the new year aligns with that—then good! If not, that is totally fine too. We all have our own way of building upon ourselves.

While reading my old 2015 reflection, it was clear how much our move from Boston to London had changed me. That one decision has been such a focus during my journey these past few years. It took every part of my life and challenged it as we started a new one practically from scratch. Now we're happily settled in just about two years later and it's still teaching me lessons and giving me tools to grow further. Living in such a large city has pushed me so far outside my comfort zone. I grew up in a town with a population of roughly 11,000—just moving to Boston (~650,000) was scary to me—now I'm in a city of just over 8.6 million. If that isn't a jump and push, I don't know what is.

London has shown me that I am stronger and smarter than I give myself credit for which makes me take that reflection to other parts of my life. This brings me to the word I have settled on to define 2017 for me—gritGrit is defined as courage and resolve; strength of character. It instantly came to me as I was working on my goals for the new year and now has stuck in my head with a powerful meaning. As I reflected on the past year—on my business, on who I am, my relationships, my art—I realized how much deeper I wanted to dig into each. I want to strengthen and bolden my life and who I am. Surface level has never worked for me and while I am confident I am beyond that in most aspects of my life, I know that there is another level that I haven't yet reached. I've always been someone who wanted to work hard, give meaning to things, and have strong relationships. My soul is craving to push myself even further than that. I want to be fully immersed in life—to truly give it my all.

Grit will mean diving into each aspect of my life and pushing myself to make it deeper, to connect further, and to keep gaining ground past my comfort zone. It means clearing out the parts that hold me back and strengthening the ones that help me grow. I will no longer give my time to any thought, thing, or person who tries to stand in the way of my path. This year is about taking the realization that we are only guaranteed this one life to give our all to and making sure that I do nothing but that. I want to continue to define who I am while also fostering a community of people who believe in one another—who understand that we each have a dream we are after and what it takes to pursue it.

I believe that we all have this inner part of us that if we let out, we can't be stopped. When I started my company, I believe I let mine out but now this year is about pushing it further with every ounce of strength that I have. I can only hope at the end of the year when I look back on 2017, I can say I had grit.