Maybe you've heard the trend of choosing a word to embody for the new year. A word to focus on in your life. Yes, I know we are three and a half months into the new year, but back in January, I chose the word REACH. This word came to me as I sat and thought about my small business, about my life, and about what I wanted to accomplish in the next 12 months. This is the first time I'm sharing my word publicly because I actually feel that I have begun to fully embody that word in so many different ways in 2016.
REACH with raindrop paperie: I knew I wanted to grow my business in 2016, through carrying my cards in new stores and by creating new designs and patterns. So far I have started carrying my cards in two new shops (and a few more in the works!) I have branched out creating different styles and designs and am working on new themes to carry throughout my cards as well. In addition to the product side of raindrop paperie, I am also working to create blog posts, share about creative activities and events I participate in around the Twin Cities, and connect with more creatives (more on that below).
REACH with my personal self: I'm an introvert to the core, so reaching out to others is not always the easiest thing for me (yup, would definitely rather stay in at home with a good movie than head out to a party or social function). I wanted to push myself to become more comfortable in social settings and relaxed when meeting new people. I attended my first Rising Tide Society Tuesdays Together Minneapolis Chapter meet-up in January and knew from the start that this was a group of individuals that I could connect with. Scheduling difficulties made it hard to attend another one until April, but again I was assured that yes, this is a group of people I would be able to connect with and share with. The last meet-up at 514 Studios was full of energized, passionate women who I look forward to seeing again next month! It's true everyone - community and collaboration over competition - words to live by.
REACH with connections and relationships: Friendships change and people change, and I think that this has been a really hard thing for me to wrap my mind around over the last few years. However, despite the distance, I have learned this year that reconnecting with people can be so rich and so fulfilling. People make mistakes, life can get in the way and make things messy, relationships shift, fade, grow back. Everyone is human, and I've learned that sometimes reaching out, as hard as it might seem in the beginning, can be a wonderful thing. I'm blessed with those that I am able to call friends in my life and I am blessed with some very vibrant, lovely memories with friends over the years. Being a friend takes dedication and compassion, and acknowledgement sometimes that you messed up. But let's laugh and smile together, because sharing joy such a beautiful thing!
I encourage each of you to reach out in some area of your life. Maybe it's small, maybe it's big. No one needs to know what it is - but something you can hold yourself accountable to, maybe it's something you've been avoiding but just need that little extra push. Take a chance, take a risk. It might not be easy, and it might make you cry, but I promise you, reaching out can hold big, big rewards!