Thirty-One.

I’m thirty-one, today.

This year, in many ways, felt like finally catching my breath. There is no mistaking it: twenty-twenty dealt the world an unprecedented hand and there were many uncertain, often times scary moments.

True color moments.

Moments of pandemic, chaos, and poor leadership. Moments of shock, shame, and sadness. Moments of loss, heartbreak, and plenty of resource scarcity.

But there were positive, brighter moments too.

Moments of support and togetherness. Moments of compassion and understanding. Moments of listening, consolation, and slow (very slow) yet steady reform. 

These true color moments are moments of awakening, growth, and change.

True color accentuate our priorities, principals, and purpose—making them clearer than ever. It’s here, in the thick of it, that we’re shaken, disrupted, and even grounded in ways nothing else ever possibly could. And, if you’re a good and decent person: you put on your shit kickers; get down in the dirt; open your heart and mind to the concept and possibilities for change; and get about doing the good work

I’m proud of The Work we’ve done throughout the studio this year – pivoting and prioritizing our support for small businesses in the wake of pandemic and donating more than 200 hours to well-deserving for- and non-profit endeavors. We saw exponential growth in new- and recurring clients, completed more projects, and signed more new Associates this year than ever before. We expanded our reach into real estate, pharma, and clinical health and tightened our grip across tech, lifestyle, and, of course, cannabis and holistic wellness.

But, arguably, the best work I’ve done all year has been the work I’ve done on myself:

I started this year on a springboard, with the intention to take longer, deeper strides to protect myself and safeguard the light that burns within. And, I promised myself to walk decisively on that journey. And I did.

The side effect of social distance, hindsight, made way for awesome personal discovery while economic uncertainty served as an anchor for what’s important. I, like many people, found gateway to free myself from erroneous commitments and make more space for what truly serves me.

I greeted and explored my issues with abandonment and co-dependency. Opening my eyes to the effects each has had on my personal life (and career!) over the years. And, naturally, gave myself the space and grace to begin the healing journey of furthering my understanding and coping with each.

Truth be told, I’m usually more excited for the professional projects and opportunities that await me moving into a new year. Truth be told, during these “last few weeks,” I hardly ever set a resolute intention on Self; thinking that, if I can just keep the lives around me afloat, clients and family and friends, my life will stay afloat as well. But, *real* truth be told, for the first time (ever), I see that is neither true or in proper service of anyone—let alone sustainable.

I am excited to be moving into 2021 supported by the experiences, opportunities, progress, and connections that this year has brought me. I have never felt so supported. Or, free. And, empowered by that freedom, I am hungry to continue my journeys of healing, building my home, fostering positive and supportive relationships, community, and, of course, entrepreneurial pursuit.

Still, there is a way to go, individually and together, in accepting, understanding, and navigating all of this and all that exists in our truly unimaginable new normal.

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A photo of Eric Michael underneath a fiddle leaf fig, indoor plant
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