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WHAT I LEARNED IN 2018

by jenellewitty@gmail.com
R-13 floral maxi dress and Chloe Rylee cut out boots worn by fashion blogger Jenelle Witty of inspiring wit

The lessons I have learned this year. The good, the bad and the things that tested me in 2018.

R-13 floral maxi dress and Chloe Rylee cut out boots worn by fashion blogger Jenelle Witty of inspiring wit in the blog post 'What I learned in 2018'

WHAT I LEARNED IN 2018

This year has definitely been a lighter one for me. If 2018 will be remembered for anything, it’ll be for refinement and smaller experiences. I focused on clearing out the physical items that weren’t serving me (something I feel like I’d mentally done in the years prior). I cleared out my closet and apartment all the way through. The process was one that made me recognise what I really need and what I can leave well alone.

All year I have been reading more which has helped me switch off from my digital life and sleep better. If I found myself having a breakdown or hearing sad news, I shared it with friends, who helped me stay strong and not get overwhelmed.

Those little lessons have led to a steady but strong year. More of these are below.

R-13 floral maxi dress and Chloe Rylee cut out boots worn by fashion blogger Jenelle Witty of inspiring wit in the blog post 'What I learned in 2018'

THE NEXT STEPS WITH GRIEF

I shared back here that in 2017 I lost my Nana. I found myself going through the many stages of grief as I came to terms with life without this delightful woman. In 2018, my family and I met up and scattered both her and my Popa’s ashes in their favourite spot. It was a bittersweet moment, both sad and joyous. One that I shared here. And it definitely acted as a chapter closing in a way, as I was ready to move on from a deeper level of grief.

It encouraged me to work with more focus and set out to achieve more control in my business. Furthermore, taking that time out to spend with my cousin and her family made me realise that I felt like I had an older sister figure in my life. Growing closer to her and her daughters has been an unexpected but happy outcome.

R-13 floral maxi dress and Chloe Rylee cut out boots worn by fashion blogger Jenelle Witty of inspiring wit in the blog post 'What I learned in 2018'

HOW I GOT OVER TEARING UP IN PUBLIC

There was only really one thing that had been coming up repeatedly. As you can imagine, I tend to shop online and personally avoid shopping malls. This is mostly because I worked in retail early on. However, I also associated them with my Nana, who loved to wander around a shopping mall, talking to people, observing people and sit down for a meal or coffee (or, both).

On the odd occasion that I’d find myself visiting a shopping mall, I’d see elderly women walking around and find myself in tears. IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSY MALL!!

This was not on. So, when I was contacted mid-year for a partnership with a shopping centre chain I took on working with them as a way to break this cycle. Facing it head-on, I shared Instagram stories with a series of ‘come shopping with me’.

It worked. I was able to find approachable, affordable fashion and beauty options to recommend (as, to be fair, I know I like to invest and often wear a lot of designer clothing). But more than that, it acted as a bit of therapy for me. As I found myself overcoming that instant reaction pang of sadness I’d feel noticing older ladies walking around with their daughters and granddaughters.

R-13 floral maxi dress and Chloe Rylee cut out boots worn by fashion blogger Jenelle Witty of inspiring wit in the blog post 'What I learned in 2018'

PLANNING AND COMMUNICATION ARE KEY

While this is a pretty obvious one, I have dedicated more time this year to spending time planning, working out my schedules and making sure I keep up with them.

After one instance where I accidentally mixed up a brief this year, I felt awful. I’d completely missed something and it reinforced that I really need to stick to a schedule and make sure that all of my briefs are cross-referenced, added to my calendar and spreadsheets. I do not want to have the same situation arise again as it is easily avoided.

REPLY TO EMAILS AS SWIFTLY AS POSSIBLE

Further to this, making sure I email or pick up the phone and call is key. I often work with people across multiple timezones nationally and internationally. It can mean that we just miss each other, as their workday can be over while it’s only 2 pm for my workday. Projects can get pushed back, usually compromising the creative time allocated to executing them.

At times I have learned that it really is easier just to call and avoid multiple back and forth emails. Getting back to people as soon as possible makes a huge difference. It can open up further projects and strengthen your working relationship.

R-13 floral maxi dress and Chloe Rylee cut out boots worn by fashion blogger Jenelle Witty of inspiring wit in the blog post 'What I learned in 2018'

SAYING THANK YOU IS EASY TO DO

This year I decided to dedicate a morning to handwriting thank you cards to send out to the people I’ve enjoyed working with over the course of the year. It can at times feel pretty isolated working as a freelance creative. It’s those little efforts that show my gratitude and strengthen those working relationships. A little thanks can go a long way.

WEAR LESS BUT MORE OFTEN

In 2018 I cleared out my wardrobe and made sure to only keep what I wear often. It meant I now have a lot less but I wear the pieces more often. When I add anything new to my wardrobe I consider carefully how often I will wear it.

I hate that stigma of not being able to wear the same thing more than once. It’s actually just ridiculous! It’s okay to repeat wear things, guys! If something is beautiful and you love it, wear it. Again and again. Love it and don’t throw fashion away quickly.

END OF SEASON

This segues me into my outfit pictured above. An investment dress, this one from uber cool brand R-13 caught my eye months ago but I took my time before investing. It wasn’t cheap either, though I did score it on sale at the end of the season. And I am smitten. Same goes with these amazing cut out Rylee boots from Chloe. Both were Black Friday sale purchases and will be with me for years to come.

Speaking of sales, the end of year sale is on right now at Shopbop (with up to 70% off). Including this dress and a ton of other cool updates to think over.

WEARING:
R-13 DRESS (MORE HERE)
CHLOE RYLEE BOOTS (SIMILAR HERE)
A.P.C BAG
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY: MARIO RECCHIA
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Created as a collaboration with Shopbop. As always, all styling and opinions my own.


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