2016

The media keeps lamenting 2016, but looking back through my photos, it looks like I had a good year. And for that, I am thankful. No complaints here! Also – I don’t remember what happened more than 2 months ago.. so this recap is also a fun reflection exercise (/thank goodness I take a lot of photos on my phone). Here we go, 12 months, 12 photos.

In January, I went on a cruise with these delightful folks, and it was one of the best vacations I have ever been on! We went (pretend) ring shopping. We drank lots of fancy coffees. We watched game shows. We ate too much food. And we took lots of photos. Let’s do it again soon!

jan2016

In February, I participated in my first of many (12!) craft shows this year. I won’t include toooo many craft show photos in the rest of this recap, but they were all fun and different in their own way! I got to meet people who would tell me that they follow me on Instagram (aw shucks!) and connect with fellow creatives in the city (so many new friends who are so cool I cannot even comprehend).

feb2016

In March, I started helping out with the youth at my church. At first, I was overwhelmed. And then we went to No Other Name (a 1-day youth conference) and I was even more overwhelmed. But now, I love them. They keep me young (and simultaneously make me feel old).

mar2016

In April, I finally visited Jocelyn in Hamilton! I always thought it was a nothing city, not really worth visiting. But I regret waiting so long to visit! They have a dedicated calligraphy store and awesome food. ‘Nuff said.

apr2016

In April, I visited Almonte to be in my first Cheerfully Made market. It was possibly one of my best shows of the year, other than the Etsy show! Also this sign changes colours and is mega cool so I took a picture with it, hehh.

may2016

In June, I graduated!!! I miss Kingston, but boy, I do not miss school. Okay, just a little bit.

june2016

In July, I picked strawberries with Kaitlyn. This was probably my first Canada Day in a while not going downtown.. but it was so chill and fun! Totally recommend it.

jul2016

In August, I worked. Well, most months I did. But I also said goodbye to some PHAC friends this month. I learned more about the Kardashians from them than I ever thought I could know.

aug2016

In September, I did my first ever 2-day show. I didn’t even know it was a 2-day show until about a month before, hahaha. I clearly did not read the contract clearly, heh. Busiest and most crowded show I’ve ever seen. But thankfully I had wonderful helpers to help me survive the busy BUSY crowds. Oh. I also forgot to bring my cash float (cue panic attack) on day 2.. thankfully my friends of Sadie & June lent me money to get me going. Aaaand this is why it is good to have friends :)

sep2016

In October, my MPH friends and I reunited for a wine touring weekend (where I stopped drinking after 2 wineries cause I’m a lightweight like that). We also made a spur of the moment decision to go to Kingston for homecoming weekend to see Walk Off The Earth! So fun.

oct2016

In November, I went to Toronto for a friend’s engagement party and got to experience and explore downtown Toronto. The weather was perfect for just wandering all day. My brother and I also hunted for coffee beans in Kensington Market to fuel his new hipster obsession.

nov2016

In December, I went to Montreal to escape Ottawa (actually, Jethro just had to use up some vacation days). Got to catch up with David and Jenna who I do not see often enough anymore!

dec2016

And so so many other wonderful things this year. I purposely didn’t share food photos, though I do have lots of those. I can’t decide if I should commit to eating out less this year, or eating out more. Either way, it’s going to be great.

xo,

stephkoanie

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Twenty-Something And Living At Home

There is a certain level of shame associated with living with your parents in your twenties.

I am acutely aware of my level of privilege. I come from an upper-middle class family, and was fortunate enough to leave home to go to school, and to have a family that welcomed me back home once I graduated. For others, living at home is either a necessity for financial reasons, or it is not possible for other reasons. Whatever the case, I have the choice to live with my parents, or to live on my own. And I have chosen to live with my parents, and I recognize the privilege behind this choice.

That being said, it is expected that once you are a certain age, you should be living on your own, not with your parents. There’s a name for millennials like me: boomerang kids. Yep! That’s me. I left, and then I came back.

Interestingly enough, more young adults are living with their parents than ever before. Usually for reasons like lower levels of education, difficulty finding work, and high cost of housing. I moved home to save money, and because of the uncertainty of work.

When I first moved back home, I felt ashamed to be a boomerang kid. I thought I was a disappointment to my family, to my generation and to myself. You’re supposed to get education, get a job, move out, and get married. Right?

What helped me get over this shame was seeing living at home in a different light.

Live family first.

I know that I will not live with my family forever, and it is special to be able to be under the same roof as my parents. I get to see and talk to them every single day. I get to know intimately what is going on in their lives, what they struggle with, and what they are celebrating. I go through the difficulties with my parents, and am able to be there with them.

This is truly a blessing, and I am coming to terms with not being a visitor in their home, but being a part of this family, and living as a family.

Be grateful.

Living at home, I am saving lots of money. And I am definitely grateful for this. As a kid, it was simply expected that my parents would do this and that for me. Now that I am older, it is a blessing that my parents house me and cook for me. Of course, I have more responsibilities in the home than I did when I was 5, but I also see every opportunity as a gift now. So I am grateful for what my parents offer me, and I know that this opportunity to save money while living at home gives me security before I launch out into the world on my own.

Wherever you are, be all there.
– Jim Eliot

This Jim Eliot quote is deeply profound, and reminds me that God has called me to be exactly where I am. If I am ashamed of where God has placed me, then I am ashamed of the life that He has given me. So I want to live in a way that gives glory to Him, because where I am is where God has called me to be.

Photo from unsplash.com.