I hope this email finds you hydrated.
There’s really no other way to say this without being corny, but this year was w i l d. I’m very thankful for my health, a job, a safe place to live.
I was admittedly scrolling through my old Tumblr from high school (yikes!) to find the above image, and I came across this one post that I totally remember was my new year’s resolution, probably when I was around a junior or senior in high school.
The post said something like “say thank you instead of I’m sorry.”
It resonated with me, not only because of polite Midwest tendencies (haha “ope!”), but because I was constantly worrying about inconveniencing people, annoying people, etc. etc.
This is still something I’m working on! Last year, my therapist emailed me a WORKSHEET on Assertiveness. If you know me well, you know “it’s fine” is one of my Top 10 Sayings. But sometimes things aren’t “just fine!” But oftentimes it feels easier to not disturb the peace and take the blow.
I’m not a very fussy person (except if I HAD to choose, I don’t really like carrots or dark liquor), so it’s usually actually fine. But this tendency manifests itself in other parts of my life that aren’t so fine. Never saying no at work, overbooking myself, having my willingness to help be taken advantage of, looking out for others before myself, holding back to please as many people as I can. Oof.
Last New Year’s Eve I crammed in a photobooth with one of my good friends. He said something like “To be corny for a second, do you have a New Year’s resolution?” I told him it was to do whatever I wanted (obviously within reason lol) and not care what other people think. “Not to be corny back, but to be unapologetically myself!”
This newsletter was kind of a practice in that. It doesn’t really seem that deep, just dropping links here and there, but it was kinda scary to start! To think anyone would care about my opinion (on even the smallest things), to read something I put together, fear of people thinking “Why does Elise think she can do this?” or “She thinks she’s soooo cool with her annoying newsletter!” or “it’s not even that good.” I still think these things sometimes.
But here we are, 19 newsletters later! 19 times I’ve clicked publish with my heart beating super fast. 13 incredible artists/small businesses I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing. Probably ~5 times I’ve stayed up until 3am because I had procrastinated.
It’s all thanks to all of you, who have sent me such kind words about this lil thing I do. To celebrate, here is a Fave Moments of twenty three tabs 2020 (unranked).
10. everyone sending me every “close your tabs” meme and every checkered or cow print item (brand recognition much???)
9. $50 strawberries
8. that time Four Pins retweeted me and I had a surge of straight men follow me lmfao my best PR, I guess!
7. every single interview I got to do! so cool to learn more about all of these people that I so admire! check them out in my archive.
6. the artists/Substack/blog-adjacent people I’ve met along the way! S/O my interviewees I’ve befriended, Tyler/Alex/Serey of Perfectly Imperfect, Will from Wild Thoughts, the JTTB gals and guys. Follow/read/sub them all!
5. finally being able to claim a “hobby” I guess??? is this a hobby???
4. random fucking people from high school and college subscribing and reaching out….both pleasant and confusing……anyway thanks! hope you’re well and enjoying this lol!
3. truly, every piece of constructive criticism!
2. raising $470 for various causes/organizations! thanks to everyone who has ever made a donation. I started this as a small step towards keeping myself and others accountable in fighting injustice every day, past the height of the protests and social reckoning over the summer.
1. any time someone has sent me a nice message about my newsletter :) thank you so much! my biggest cheerleaders! you keep me going! I know I always say this, but seriously!! it makes me so happy!!!
Have a safe and happy new year. And from the bottom of my heart, thank you so so much for reading! I’ll see you next year ❤️