Thursday, December 28, 2017

What We Learned in 2017

The transition from one year to the next is an opportunity to look to the future, to set new goals and make resolutions for what we hope to accomplish or change in the New Year. It is also a time when we can reflect on the past year and ponder the lessons we learned. Here are three OMOD speakers on what they learned in 2017:

Kamand Alaghehband

I’ve learned to be grateful for what I have. There were so many disasters this year like Hurricane Harvey and people lost everything they had. I volunteered to help people in the shelter, then I realized how blessed I am with everything I have in my life. This was the biggest lesson I’ve learned from this year. Also, helping other people made me feel better about myself. It made me feel I am a better me to be able to help other people in need.

Houstonians evacuating via boats or wading through waist-high water

Nicole Cortichiato

You can find forks in the road everywhere— practically everywhere you look—your food, where you go, how you react. Last night I found a fork in the road of my scalp. I ended up parting my own seas—taking the road less traveled. I guess that's just the artist in me. Forks—such a scary utensil.

Eric Clow

I don’t know if this has more to do with 2017 or turning 30, but this year I grappled considerably with what it means to be an artist – at least on a personal level – and even more with what it means to be an artist with a disability that renders the eight-hour work day impossible. Lessons I learned through this struggle include seeing my art for the work that it is, trusting in the creative process and ignoring my inner critic long enough to complete a rough draft, accepting that some pieces may take months, even years, to finish, recognizing when I use my disability as a rationalization to avoid work and instead modifying each task so I can work without damaging my muscles, and going to work whether or not I feel inspired. Though much of the art may be mediocre, I continue with the hope a few gems will emerge; but if that never happens, I can still find satisfaction knowing I did (and do) what I love. More importantly, 2017 also delivered me an adorable Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Mac the Boo Bear who has brought immeasurable joy, love, and laughter into my life.

Mac accompanies me on a patient lift ride to my wheelchair.

What did you learn in 2017? Share with us in the comments!

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