It’s nearly the end of the year and as per tradition, I like to do a review of the year that has gone by, as well as stating goals and plans for the coming year. Taking a quick moment to think about 2016 so far, all I can say is, I have had a very up and down year. Thankfully the ups have been the majority. Looking back at my 2015 review here, it is scary to think that another year has gone by so quick. On the more positive side, at least I have been able to tick off some goals.
Goal 1: To survive my final year of Masters, to get good grades, to write out a thesis and find a job
- This goal gets half a tick. I remember at the beginning of this year I was absolutely freaking out about having to do a research project and write a thesis of the findings. Believe me, this was something I was dreading. In a blink of an eye, participant recruitment, participant testing, data collection, data analysis and thesis writing was all done! I can’t believe it actually went by that quick. Yes, there were days where I was swearing at my computer, wishing the research project would end sooner rather than later. Looking back at it in retrospect, the thesis actually wasn’t that bad. I think the hardest part was analyzing over 2000 data points and doing graphs. Aside from that, hey, I wrote a mini thesis and I got a good mark for it. YAY!
- Despite the successes of my thesis, I did have some bumps throughout the academic year. So this goal only gets half a tick because I did not come out of Masters completely unscarred.
Goal 2: To develop this blog and to grow “Flabnbone”
- This goal probably gets half a tick as well. In terms of the positives, I feel like this blog is evolving. I have posted a lot about my travels, food reviews, and my rambles about life (such as today’s post). I even have been told by friends and fellow followers that my blog appears in the google search engine now (eg. some notable posts recognized by Google’s SEO have included my Canola Field post, and my Flatlay Photography post).
- When I first created Flabnbone Photography, it was only meant to be a space on the internet for me to share my thoughts about life through words, but mostly, through photos. Maybe it is still now. Overtime, I started to get photography features on deviantArt. I was so happy. I was practically talking about it for ages. Then I wanted to aim higher. I wanted to share my photography to even more people, so I created various social media channels such as my Instagram account, my Facebook page and this blog: The Car-The Camera-and- The World. Not long after, I found my photos appearing on various websites and I was interviewed in some DeviatnArt Groups too! My ambition continued to rise, so I started to apply for photography competitions, seeing where that would take me. I was invited to have four of my photos exhibited this year. You betcha I was excited (may a bit too much).
- In retrospect, I think the photo exhibition was a highlight of 2016. Ideally, I would have like the exhibition to have been a launching station for my potential business but I guess it was still a good learning curve. It uncovered my determination where I went full-out and created DIY business cards and flyers. And you know what? I actually had lots of fun doing it. I feel like this is a small step towards a greater scheme of things (maybe…)
- Looking back at my photography journey, I feel like I have achieved a lot, but I also feel like I could do much more. Ideally, I would like a small business that is somehow related to photography because that’s the only thing I am good at. The thought of a small business has been with me for a very long time now. I thought 2016 would be the year where I would be hit with the light-bulb moment, where I would be like “This is what I want my small business to be. This is what I want to sell. This is how I will do it”. Unfortunately, I have the slightest clue what I want my product or service to be. Selling my photos framed isn’t the most unique idea. Being an event photography isn’t on my radar either because I have never done or been that keen on portraiture. I am thinking more along the lines of DIY or home decor, but that market is pretty saturated so who knows…. Thinking ahead, will 2017 be another year of hitting the sketchbook, or will it be a year of action, where I will finally know what I want to sell? I hope it is the latter because time is ticking, and time that is lost is lost forever.
Goal 3: To keep fit, eat healthy and enjoy life
- This goal definitely gets a full tick. I think my passion for healthy eating, sport and its effects on the body have soared this year. From cooking up random Buddha Bowls, to indulging in super-foods like Kale leaves, Chia Seeds, Quinoa salads, and a sudden love for chick-peas and Mexican beans. Why didn’t I ever consider studying nutrition and sport science. Maybe that will be another aim for later down the track.
- In terms of fitness, this year, I started investigating my gym a bit more. I went to the back area where the big looking gym junkies go with their protein shakes in hand to weight lift and tone. Usually I don’t go to that area because I feel like I am too “un-pro” to be using those muscle toning machines. Fast forward a year and I stride into the area with confidence now. HAHA, okay, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point, I feel more confident now.
- I also started doing Body Pump classes this year and really enjoy them 😀
Goal 4: To continue writing my fantasy story and get somewhere with it.
- Looking back at this goal makes me feel sad. I got nowhere with this so it gets no tick at all. 2007 was the year I began FlabnBone Photography but it was also the year I began writing my fantasy story purely out of fun. But as things are, it got serious and I kept writing and wring, and it ended up being this 400 page manuscript. In 2011, I officially finished writing the actual story. From 2012-2013 I showed a few friends, got some feedback, began editing the story until the daylights came out of it. Somewhere in 2015 to now, life got too busy with Masters beginning, photography and travel taking a huge amount of time, and realizing the story itself was a bit linear and flat. So for nearly two years, I avoided it. Ignorance is definitely not bliss because the story has been itching at the back of my mind like a constant headache. I make it sound like it is a real pain. That’s not it. It is more to do with the fact that I invested nearly 10 years into this story, I don’t want it just to sit inside my computer.
- I really think 2017 (the official 10 year anniversary of my story) should be the year where I open up the document again. Edit, change, delete, and add. For now, the plan will be to polish the story until I see no flaws. The next step (the hard step) would be deciding what to do with it.Will I hit another dead-end, just as I have with photography. I have all these photos, I have this book, what do I do with it? How do I sell it? What will I sell it for? Do I need an agent? Do I self-publish? What are the copy-right rules? Ahrg -there’s so many things to think about and I have no idea where to start :O
- Side note: I can’t believe I was 15 years old when I first began writing the story. I wanted my characters to be a few years older than me. Fast forward a decade, and I will be 25 years old, and my characters will be around 26-28 years old (OMG!).
Goal 5: To meet more people, learn more things, and see the world.
- This goal gets the tick 100%. I would not say I have met a lot of new people this year, but from the limited amount I did meet, it has been about the quality of the relationship, the shared experiences, and the lasting memories that count.
- The latter part of this goal was to see the world. Technically I didn’t go overseas, but I definitely saw more of Melbourne. Having spent most of last year and this year exploring the Yarra Valley, I feel like it is time to move on to exploring the next region. This year, I got to see a 5-day glimpse of the La Trobe Valley in Gippsland during my summer vacation school.The goal for next year would be to explore more of Gippsland and the magical Victorian High Country.
Goals for 2017:
To explore more of Melbourne (in particular Gippsland and High Country, Great Alpine Road area)
To continue leading a healthy, active lifestyle with occasional cheat days where I get to treat myself to hot-cakes or apple pie with ice-cream haha!
To have 365 days of productivity, whereby each day leads me closer to realizing my ultimate goal of starting a small business, developing this blog and “Flabnbone”, graduating and finding a job.
To edit my fantasy story because two years of avoiding it has been too long.