Even though the new year is already well on its way, I still want to take the time to do a little wrap-up of 2018. It’s been quite the year and I am noticing that reflecting on past successes and failures is a nice practice before looking forward. Besides that, it is also a bit of an exercise to train my memory as I’m prone to lose sight of what happened at what time. Not forgetting, but more so as a result of being focused on what’s coming next and by doing so sometimes neglecting the past and present.

Around this time last year, I was close to being ready to share the theme of the issue that I eventually launched in September. I am not in the same spot at this time, but I do know what the theme will be and I am in the process of writing my short essay about it.

The 2018 Perseverance issue has proven to be a very special issue in the current series of three issues. Not better or worse than the previous ones, but definitely one that has influenced both the course of the magazine as well as my vision regarding storytelling the most. And by doing so, it will affect future issues of my passion project and perhaps even my creative career in general.

The magazine will always be about the contributing storytellers and especially about the themed stories they share. But with the current issue, there was a significant shift in the types of contributed stories. In a way, it seemed like a fair selection of the submissions had a more – for a lack of a better description – larger-than-life subject matter. The stories have become more socially conscious and discuss issues that impact communities, countries and in some cases our planet as a whole.

Always learning
Being both curious and an avid traveller (these go hand in hand if you’d ask me), I can’t help but get inspired by what I come across when exploring a multitude of countries across the globe. I taste delicious new food, learn from inspiring people & cultures and experience the power of mother nature. I take these experiences back home with me, try to implement them in my day to day life and starting with issue 00, try to let my magazine grow with what I learn from my travels and the realisations I have after returning back home.

This year hasn’t been any different and backpacking in Sri Lanka & Morocco and participating in a yoga retreat on Lanzarote had a profound impact on me. I’m still slowly rewriting my travel logs into Instagram “journal”-posts to make sense out of everything that came on my path in 2018. But the travel-log practice alone is something new for me and the enjoyment I found in writing planted a seed in me to perhaps pursue this further. The seed grew and during the yoga retreat, I found confirmation that this is something that I should explore further and I will. The yoga retreat experience deserves an entry/feature of its own, so stay tuned for that.

Coming out of my cocoon
So, how will this translate into my intentions for 2019? It seems that I’m looking for a more in-depth approach to what I’m doing…with the magazine as well as with my life. The past couple of years have been a bit of a challenge – to say the least – in which I knew I was looking for a change. But, I didn’t know exactly what, how and in what way. More importantly, I lacked the focus I needed to do anything significant about my “situation”. I was able to focus my ever-existing curiosity towards starting up my magazine though and I’m insanely proud of where I currently stand with this passion project. And to be clear: collaborating with the all the contributors, making a magazine of my own, without any influences from outside and being able to explore my passion for storytelling without restrictions has taught me more about what I believe is important in life than I could ever have imagined.

So here I am, again, with this gut feeling that I’m at a point where I’m feeling a change is happening. I do have a more clear vision this time around but I’m also open to wherever this may lead me. Staying curious as always 🙂

What’s next
First up is the magazine. I will be keeping my eyes open for more socially conscious stories and trying to use my means to get those stories out there…because they matter! This doesn’t mean that I’m shying away from more private/smaller stories though. In the end, the aim with every issue is still to explore a theme from as many angles as possible. Presenting the world with an inspiring collection of interpretations, providing food for thought on multiple levels…because all stories matter!

This will also, hopefully, find its way into my personal life and career path. Part of the reason I’m looking for more depth with my magazine is that I feel there is a real opportunity to do even more good with the publication. I’m finding it easier to connect with people around the globe and the reach of the magazine is slowly but surely expanding. So using my platform sounds like a logical step.
Over the past years, I have been very fortunate to be able to travel a lot and it has shown me how privileged my life is. Simultaneously experiencing how askew and divided it can be. So not only am I looking into ways of doing more good with my magazine, but I’m also trying to find a more meaningful and purposeful way of living and working.

I changed my office hours to 4 days of 9 hours, leaving me with a full day of free time each week. Besides my usual evening and weekend hours of course 🙂 I want to spend that time offering my design and storytelling skills to help organisations who try to make a difference (e.g. NGO’s, fair food/travel agencies) to get their story out. Initially, I thought this would mean I would have to switch careers. But I soon realised I’m just re-appropriating the skills I’ve made my own over the past 15 years in a slightly different way. And I’m taking this slow. Firstly freelancing besides my full-time job but hey, who knows.

So, if you happen to know people, companies or organisations who could benefit from my help in shaping and sharing their story, please let me (and them) know, in order for us to make a difference.

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