Photograph by David J. Morris, Independent Filmmaker, Halifax, NS

Living Intentionally In 2017

Twenty-sixteen was a big year for me. I finished my graduate degree, made big personal moves, and landed a fellowship with Venture for Canada, an organization that selects “Canada’s best and brightest to work at innovative Canadian startups in need of talent.” 2016 was also a wakeup call for me, reminding me of the dangers of extreme political forces and the need to be ever active and vigilant in ensuring that I find meaningful avenues to support progressive policies.

With all the happenings in 2016, I was constantly engaged with finishing large tasks and preparing for the uncertainty that loomed. Completing my Major Research Paper occupied a great deal of the year, followed by jumping into a labour job that occupied the final three months of 2016. These two types of work — applied academic research and physical labour — allowed me to use different types of intellect and acquire a broader base of skills. Finishing my major research paper was immensely satisfying, but I struggled throughout the process to remain excited. Rather, I often felt isolated, unsure, and a bit disgruntled about academia’s prescriptive learning process. The physical labour job was challenging and rewarding in a much different way; most of it was foreign to me and required a trial and error approach to complete the task. The satisfaction of having tangible progress at the end of each day, however, reignited my desire to create different products through different creative processes. Specifically, I’m interested in mixing design, functionality, and content into beautiful products and programs. The experience of physically building a new office reignited my desire to create content, visuals, and media that beautifully and informatively conveys a story through a mix of visual, auditory, and sensory mediums.

I have big plans for 2017. My overarching objective is to live more intentionally by focusing on projects that will help me develop a repertoire of creative innovation in my professional life and playful experimentation in my personal life. I recognize that plans change and life has a way of shuffling things up, exactly at the moment I think I’ve got something figured out. Living with intentions is a way to ensure consistency, even in the midst of change and adversity. Being intentional allows you to be present and act in a way that is both immediately fulfilling and beneficial in the long-term. This article from Inc. Magazine is a great reference for setting daily intentions.

I plan on making a lot of things happen this year. From learning more about how creative brains function, taking lots of photographs (and hopefully getting better at it), making physical fitness a priority again, to jumping headfirst into a career with my Venture for Canada fellowship. This year will be a big one. I want my immediate actions to be linked to a larger question of how I wish to live and what I want to create. Most important, however, I want to rise each day with intentional actions that help me learn, explore, and develop the tools I need to create the life I wish to lead.