Thanks for 2019!

So long to this decade! I guess the 2020’s have been impending for a while now (like when freshmen in 2016 suddenly became the “class of 2020”—yikes! What kind of a graduating class year is that?), but we are finally on the very cusp of another decade, careening right into this new era.

Who’s to say what’s in store for us? 2019 was nuts, if I do say so myself. But I also really enjoyed it. And I think the key to enjoying our year is to have no expectations for what’s to come. Just wake up every morning, and say, “Here I am, I’m going to truly live this day,” and then just do whatever we feel in our heart we need to do that day, no excuses. If it’s a day where we feel ill, then unapologetically rest up. If it’s a day where we have a project we want to work on, just sit down and work on the project. If it’s a day where there are a lot of errands, do the errands and feel good about taking care of these tasks. Whatever we do, live in our very actions.

And then move on.

Slanted Spines noteworthy events in 2019:

  • At the beginning of this year, I invested in a button-making machine and began making Slanted Spines pins! This was a big purchase, and admittedly I have not even come close to making my money back on this one, but I’m glad to have another way to promote and wear the Slanted Spines brand. (Side note: anyone want to buy a pin?)
  • I created a G suite for slantedspines.com, so you can officially email me at bcole@slantedspines.com!
  • Also towards the beginning of this year, I promoted a few Slanted Spines posts on Instagram and Facebook, which was a learning experience. While I got a ton of “likes” on the Instagram post I promoted, I only gained a handful of followers and I’m sure that only few of them visited the website; the Facebook ad was more successful and generated a lot of page likes for the Slanted Spines Facebook page, and I think if I were to invest money in promoting again, I would focus my energy on strategically boosting Facebook posts. I have yet to find my niche followership on Instagram.
  • I added a “Categories” page to my website which features the most popular blog post categories.
  • Book reviews started happening on Slanted Spines! I had never posted book reviews before, so I added this new category to Slanted Spines.
  • The “Slanted Sightings” page has had many additions! This year, so many people supported my blog and sported Slanted Spines shirts—and I’ve got photographic evidence! I love to scroll through that page and feel the love and gratitude I have for all my readers~
  • There were two different multiple-part series on Slanted Spines this year: N.T. Ed and the Encyclopedia of Dreams and I Fuel the Great Machine! I loved having ongoing stories over the weeks and working on longer projects, engaging with my readers each week as they waited for the story to unfold… Stay tuned to see what comes next!
  • Now that I understand how Facebook and Instagram “stories” work, I’ve made efforts to keep up with that aspect of my social media accounts. Check out Slanted Spines on Instagram and look through the “stories” on the profile page!
  • My art appeared on the cover of Biggz From Da Kidds Summertime in Tree City and Zotorious’s Beach House.
  • I began posting “Lessons” on social media and on the Lessons blog page, which I have temporarily taken a break from, but I plan to resume these in the new year! Visit the page here.
  • I participated in Inktober this year, which was a first for me and Slanted Spines! (You can review the drawings from it here and here!)
  • My poem appeared in dona nobis pacem, a poetry collection that my colleague Max Nobis curated. It’s available for purchase on Amazon!
  • I coined the name “B. C. Spines” for myself.
  • Slanted Spines turned 4 years old!
  • The Shop page on my website launched, featuring the first ever Slanted Spines canvas tote bags! (Check them out!)
  • New designs! This year, I created new brand imaging for Slanted Spines, such as the stack of slanted books that I now feature on my newest business cards and bookmarks!

It has been a year of learning, doing, and learning more! I’m hoping to do even more with Slanted Spines in 2020, and some of my goals include engaging the Slanted Spines community more, expanding the sales of my Slanted Spines merch, and doing more grassroots projects where I spread the word about Slanted Spines within my local community.

Last year in my Thanks for 2018 post, I focused solely on Slanted Spines achievements, but since a lot has happened in my personal life as well this year, I’d like to take a moment to help you get to know me by sharing my own personal developments this year.

Brittany’s Year of 2019:

  • I shifted from server to manager at Wild Goats, and last January I officially became a full-time, salaried manager for the first time in my life. It has probably been the most physically and emotionally demanding experience I’ve ever had, but I’ve learned so much about myself, how to work with and lead others, and what I’m capable of. There have been many times this year when I’ve felt, “There’s no way I can do this; it’s too much; I can’t handle this; I hate this,” but because of the challenges I faced, I feel stronger and better equipped to handle adversity. I can absolutely do this.
  • It’s been almost a year since I became vegetarian! Most of my life, food has been an inconvenience and point of contention for me, but my diet has been a large focus for me this year—not only have I cut out poultry, beef, and pork, but I’ve limited my dairy consumption and focused on eating more vegetables and fruit in my meals. I’ve learned a lot about cooking and now I find it hard to eat something without considering a.) what’s in my food and b.) how my food was prepared. Being mindful and intentional about what I put in my body has helped with my overall self-love journey and being a conscious consumer.
  • Bryant and I moved in together, which has been an awesome experience. Living together has brought us closer together and I feel more confident in our relationship than ever before.
  • I’ve read a lot of literature on Buddhism and Taoism, which has helped immensely with my perspective and attitude about myself and life.
  • I still have bad days and bad moments, but I’ve noticed a huge, yet gradual and subtle, shift in how I view myself. My whole life, I’ve been so hard on myself; I’ve held myself to these ridiculous standards and abused myself for not meeting them, but this year I’ve gotten better at practicing self-compassion. Bryant has been a wonderful support in this journey, talking through my thought processes with me when I start to feel astray, and somehow, I’m at a point where I can look at myself most mornings and feel genuinely happy and thankful to be who I am and look exactly the way I do. Zits and all.
  • I began regularly practicing yoga, which has become one of my favorite activities. Through doing yoga, I’ve learned to love my body even more and how it enables me to express my soul.

Each year is another cycle and this has been a beautiful phase for me. I’m proud of myself and my loved ones for all the work we’ve done this year. Not only is this the end of 2019, but it’s the conclusion of this decade, and to reflect on my overall path from 2010 to 2019 is an indescribable feeling. So much has changed and transformed in me; especially as a Scorpio, I identify with the cycle of the Phoenix, constantly rebirthing itself. My soul is ready for the challenges of this next decade and I am open to all the hard lessons, tough challenges, and unfathomable joy to come.

Thank you so much for spending 2019 with me and Slanted Spines, and I wish you amazing prosperity of the soul this next year.

See you in 2020!

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