Hello January | 2021 Issue No. 1.1

Happy New Year everyone! Aren't you glad we can finally leave 2020 behind us? What a year that was!

I feel like resolutions are almost feared in this new year just because of how unfortunate 2020 was, but I want to encourage you with something. This past year, yes, was absolutely insane on a general public level. But honestly, I have to tell you, it was probably one of the best years I've had in a while. It was better than 2019, it was even better than 2018, better than 2017, and definitely better than 2016. A lot of things happened in those four years than I have disclosed with you all, and that's plenty fine.

This year, so many good things happened. For one thing, I was with my family. Now, let me tell you, it was not always easy, and I most certainly did not always LIKE my family, but we took this opportunity to actually sit down, prioritize the family unit, and work on a lot of the unspoken miscommunications and hurts and fears we had been dealing with. I also started a podcast called BOSS CHATS with my mom, which was so much fun to do and also such an incredible blessing to me personally. I learned so, so much about finances, wise business practices, and how to become an all around better leader. I also started working with my Dad this year as well, and it turned out to be so good for the both of us.

I was also lucky enough to have (what I like to call) my quarantine bubble, made up of my best friends who I saw on a regular basis. We had a system going to make sure we were safe and making wise choices based on the Covid-19 situation that we were faced with. Unlike most people, I was not alone. This was probably the most social I have ever been in my life, between work, friends, family, etc. Over the past year, I got to spend quality time with friends and learned who my best friends are.

On a business front, I am so blessed to have had so many clients this year that I was able to have more than enough for me to live off of (of course while staying with my parents). I was able to buy a new car (after my old one got totaled out), and I was able to go back to dance after a 9 month break. I taught for Kern Dance Alliance and for UCLA Ballet Company, spoke on panels surrounding mental health awareness for dancers, and was able to take up something I love doing: teaching ballet for Mallory Academy of Dance.

I was so blessed this year, but what I haven't mentioned are the challenges. I did face many of them- depression, anxiety, recovery from an eating disorder and body image issues, I had a falling out with one of my best friends, and I suffered badly from stress to the point my hair was coming out in clumps in the shower. I experienced loss, fear, and sadness. I was not in a great place all throughout the year.

And yet in the darkness, I found myself in a place where I found joy in the midst of pain, I found freedom in the midst of being trapped, I found peace where there was chaos, and I found wisdom when it felt like no one was making rash decisions. I found a contentment within myself that I'd never felt before. And though it's work to keep it, I know that it's there, and all I need to do is continue the work I've done to keep it that way. Thanks to God, I've learned so much from this year that I probably would have never learned had I not gone through something such as 2020.

For January, let's do as my ballet master once told me: "If it's a bad day, throw it away." If it was a bad year, throw it away. Leave the past in the past. No one can go, try as they might, erase history, and no one can change their past. It is what it is. And once you learn how to move on, learn from the lessons 2020 provided, and not stay stuck in the past, you will move forward and succeed.

Don't get stuck in 2020. There's no longer anything for you there. Focus on your dreams, your aspirations, and the person you want to be. And keep it moving. Remember: if you can make it through 2020, you can probably make it through anything.

You got this!

Xx, Ellie

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