That's a wrap on 2019 - Liz Degen
Liz Degen Design & Photography
design, art, illustration, photography
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That’s a wrap on 2019

I didn’t think I’d have the energy to come up with a 2019 Reflection post since I couldn’t seem to find the meaningful words for my 34th Birthday, but the words finally started to knock on my brain door conveniently while I was busy trying to get my life back together upon my return from California last week. I started writing and realized I should probably just recap my year and save the deep thoughts reminiscent of someone’s messy journal entry during an acid trip for another time. So here’s my year, in a somewhat condensed list.

1. Ordered brand new business cards.

2. Dealt with a lot of bad anxiety.

3. Went to California. Saw some cool people, spent time with friends and family, did some fun things, and internally/stupidly fixated on the people I reached out to that I didn’t see.

4. Saw Winnetka Bowling League a bunch of times resulting in multiple exciting Seaford reunions. (Go Vikings!)

5. Celebrated my 5-year anniversary of moving to #longbeachnynotcalifornia

6. Reunited with friends from F.I.T.

7. Saw a lot of sunsets. “A lot” is an understatement.

8. Helped organize a few really cool and successful community art events with the LBNY Arts Council.

9. Started another season of Volleyball (while feeling extremely grateful to actually be included in some form of athletic activity..since I’m…me.)

10. Reunited, practiced, and played a show with my former band after not playing a full set on the drums in about 7 years.

11. Traveled to Florida with my family (and didn’t come back with horror stories) to spend time with our extended family and celebrate the marriage (#Floridaparty) of my sister Sam and her new husband Young.

12. Started to become comfortable with sad emotions and telling people (the right people..mostly old friends) what’s really going on instead of blurting out “OMG GOOOD HOW R U!?” which often times was clearly a complete fucking lie.
(Note: I would not advise doing this with work superiors or cool people you are trying to impress for whatever reason.) This also led me to asking others how they’re *really* doing even when everything seems fine, which resulted in the deepest and most comforting conversations I never thought I’d get to have.

13. Got some new plants, and accidentally killed a few. (R.I.P Biscus and Biscus 2)

14. Lost some friends to life changes. (Code for “everyone got married and had babies.”)

15. Cultivated and carefully nurtured some unexpected new friendships, some of which happened spontaneously and completely naturally without even making plans.

16. Did awesome lifestyle photoshoots for brands with Jillian’s Circus (On a boat, and at the TWA Hotel to name a few)

17. Finished a few huge website projects, and survived another year of being my own boss.

18. Found the “Mother Clickers” and got motivated again to go out and shoot for fun, even when my couch seems like a much better option.

19. Took some of my favorite photos of Long Beach and finally got them printed.

20. Photographed some engagements and new babies.

21. Got a mini-feature in a Long Island Living article about Coworking.

22. Saw some good friends get married.

23. Lost the will to diligently keep up with my Instagram accounts with the exception of the occasional stories.

24. Truly embraced the art of spending time alone, eating alone, getting drinks alone. In the summertime, happiness in the form of a taco truck is always just a bike ride away.

25. I “babysat” my friend’s pre-teen for an entire week, giving me a brand new perspective on motherhood. *Note: One week of waking up before 6 am every day to get your temporary child up and ready for school is not enough time to form the habit of waking up before 6 am.*

26. I formed an even stronger bond in friendship and business with my friend Stephanie Marino, who has been there to lift me up and help me evolve since I met her 3 years ago.

27. Successfully crafted and thrifted my Mrs. Maisel costume I had been planning since 2018.

28. Spent quality time with my twins Elizabeth Savanella and Victoria Savenella (Who are evidently still not ready to get rid of me yet.)

29. Organized, curated, and hosted my first ever Charity + Gallery event featuring some of my photos (and the Mother Clickers). The attendance was incredible and we got 4 full boxes of food donated to Long Islanders in need.

30. Celebrated my 34th Birthday with the people who brought me into this psychotic world – Gail Degen & Les Degen, didn’t have a huge over-the-top themed party, and felt great about that.

31. Lizzo reminded me that “I’m my own soulmate.”

32. Realized I had somehow gained control of my anxiety, and started feeling neutral about any roadblocks that came my way; mostly because I had removed 90% of my expectations of most people in my life. For a while, I actually thought my emotions had completely abandoned me until I watched the last episode of “This is Us.”

33. Went to California again. Saw the people I didn’t get to see in January and listened to their stories. I saw everything in a whole new light and treasured even the small amount of time I got spend with each friend I saw. Then I got to watch my friend Matthew marry the love of his life (who also happened to be my teenage idol) alongside his family who feels like my own.

34. Had an extremely organized meltdown upon my return, and figured out how to put out the fire quicker than I’ve ever done it before. The rain, the rainbow, the ice, the heat, the crippling depression, the “I’m the king of the world” Titanic moments. (speaking of ice.) It’s all part of the balance and for some strange reason, I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

I’m sure I left out some important moments and I obviously have a lot more words left to say (haha. lucky you.), but again, I will save them for tomorrow or another day since y’all probably have things to do and parties to attend. So to all of my friends and family: have a happy, healthy and fun-filled New Year’s Eve. I’ll see you in the next decade, next year, or simply just tomorrow for all of you “woke” mother fuckers. I love you all! ❤ Cheers to 2020. ?

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