12.31.2016

16 Things I've Learned in 2016 & A 2016 Round Up!

Photo courtesy of Katherine Braun
December 2016
      I know the general public's consensus is that 2016 was an awful year. We had a humiliating election in America and lost many talented artists both on the radio and the screen. I, on the other hand, had the craziest and most impressive year of my life. (Not to be a brag or anything) I've devised this lovely 2016 Round Up for the sole purpose of my audience, (you!), getting to know me a little better. Personal posts are a rare occurrence on Illusions of Elegance due to my unique blogging style (I prefer to talk about things that matter more to the entire world than things that just involve me). But, I'm always up for trying new things, and in the very least, it's beneficial for me to reflect on things that have happened in my life. 


Photo courtesy of Katherine Braun
December 2016

Photo courtesy of Katherine Braun
December 2016

16 Things I learned during 2016

1) Good taste in music attracts good people
2) You can do anything with the right connections
3) What's the worst that can happen? They remember you as that girl who had the guts to ______? Go for it. Your fear of looking stupid is wasting time
4) Having friends younger than you and older than you is priceless
5) Being licensed with a biweekly paycheck is the greatest thing in the entire world for a teenager
6) It doesn't hurt to stand out. 
7) Taking a chance on a show on Netflix can change how you see the world (aka television can be just as powerful as your favorite song)
8) Some people don't want to take a chance on the unique and choose the ordinary. They are losing the opportunity of a splendid adventure. 
9) You need to stop making excuses for why you aren't getting what you want, and go get it
10) Quality attracts quality and hard work pays off tenfold
11) Even God doesn't expect you to be perfect, stop beating yourself up
12) You don't need to please everyone, some people will just never understand. 
13) Getting a good night's sleep is more valuable than staying up late studying. Take care of yourself.
14) Never be ashamed of your ambition
15) You cannot feel bad about doing what's best for you. 
16) People will underestimate you. Let them. Because when you show them how accomplished you actually are, they'll be blown away (and feel like an ass). 

2016 Roundup - Individual Events With an Impact

3 Jobs - 1 Year           

     I'm a self proclaimed workaholic and a huge enthusiast for every job that I have. I think 50% of the photos I take are when I'm at work. Last January I was hired at my local bridal boutique. I am in love with my job and I talk about it constantly. 
    This September I was offered an internship at a local newspaper. I took it and started my repertoire of printed articles. It's tough to pick out topics from the daily grind, but I've had the opportunity to cover some really meaningful topics in my community. 
    A few weeks before Christmas, I was contacted by another local publication and offered a position. I'm really excited to be jumping on board there... it's an online platform which I'm obviously really comfortable with. 
     I also started up the journalism club at my high school and have successfully launched (with the help of many people) an online school newspaper. We are looking at expanding to a print version in 2017. I'm so happy that this brain child became a reality in such a short period of time. 
* names of publications aren't mentioned to protect my privacy, I mean, this IS the internet and I understand that anyone can read this. I just don't really want to be cyber stalked at this time, I hope that's understandable.

Loss of a Dearly Beloved Friend

     On January 27th, 2016 I had to say goodbye to the other half of my longest friendship and the boy I've loved the longest and arguably the most in my life: my cat, Big. He got sick for the first time in his life and it progressed quickly, leaving him too weak to eat or drink. My mom would put an IV with a bag of fluids in him just so he didn't dehydrate. He was in my life since I was in kindergarten, so obviously I felt a hole in my life early into the year. The day we put him down was the day I was hired at the bridal boutique. Funny how when one thing ends, another thing begins...

Ariel Foxman leaves InStyle, bringing in Laura Brown


      Let me tell you, this was huge. As an aspiring fashion news reporter, I've been following InStyle for about three years now and Ariel Foxman has had such an impact on how I view the fashion focused print industry. Ariel Foxman has been my muse, my modern day Anna Wintour (nothing against Anna Wintour, but her rise to fame is an unobtainable story, almost a fairy tale, to tell teens of this generation who aspire to be of her status). Ariel Foxman made InStyle magazine the reader friendly, fashion first magazine that it is today. Point being, the editor in chief makes the magazine what it is. I've had a few months to get used to Ms. Brown. She's a quirky, fun aussie who, I think just interviews celebs for an excuse to hang out with them (#goals). I do like her, but of course, I'm worried that InStyle will be forever changed from Ariel's masterpiece. Sigh. 

Falling in Love with the University of Iowa

      The best journalism school in the country, beautiful midwestern weather, and over active fire flies all enveloped in a quirky college town? Yes please, I'll be having some of that. (And yes, I'm still stuck on those fire flies!) 
     Iowa is a dream come true, and now that the stress of finding the perfect college has dissipated, I can focus on other things. But the real question is, do I actually focus on other things? I mean... I do spend a good amount of time reading up on college things or day dreaming about Iowa... 
     Something I strongly believe in is keeping your goals in sight at all times to stay inspired. For example, the background on my laptop and the lock screen on my phone is this gorgeous and dramatic photo of the old capital in Iowa City. In my locker, I have a bunch of paint chips that I've written different quotes I like on. One paint chip just has "Iowa & InStyle" printed on it. Another example is that on days that I don't have to dress up because I don't have to work after school, I find myself wearing my Iowa merch or hawkeye colors. My friend called me out on it one day! What can I say, I have hawkeye fever. 

Meet Paisley: The Banana Tree Napper

      In late November, I was surprised with the arrival of a new family member, a kitten who I named Paisley. Paisley is an infuriating little gremlin who likes to lay on my back while I'm laying on my stomach. She also likes to sit in the pot where our ancient banana tree resides. I don't know why? She's also a biter and she recently clawed me on the forehead, leaving a red line. I'm filled with scratches and bite marks! She's worse than a puppy!
     I named my kitten Paisley because I saw right away that she was a rambunctious (almost ditzy) kitten. I wanted a name that resembled her lack of maturity. Other names I had in mind were: Audrey, Nora, Daphne, and Mia... but I thought they were all too stately for this new pain in my ass. I do like her, I promise! 

Photo courtesy of Katherine Braun
December 2016
     Now would be the perfect time to wrap up with my new year's resolution. Unfortunately, I'm not a big believer in new year's resolutions. I'm happy with what I'm doing and how I'm living my life. As long as I don't lose steam, 2017 will be even better than 2016. I'm so excited for the new year! Lay it on me, 2017!

Photo courtesy of Katherine Braun
December 2016

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