A Year of Growth: 2018 In Faces

Let me preface this post by saying a few things. It’s currently December 31st, 2018 at 11am and I’m still not finished this piece – I started it two different times over the last month, hence the disjointed storyline that you might notice. Aside from the crippling writer’s block over these last 10 or so days since I’ve been home, I think I was waiting for some sort of momentous ending to summarize this year for me, or perhaps some sort of gloriously clear lesson I’d be able to share with you. That ending never really came, but I think there’s a few #hosphilosophies worth checking out in here. I made a lot of mistakes this year, but the sun still came up this morning so maybe that’s the greatest takeaway of all? 

A Year of Growth: 2018 In Faces

(A photo essay, by hosp)

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When my eyes opened on January 1st, 2018 I was immediately overtaken by an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction. I was with 2 of my best friends, we went out on an adventure the night before, and I was in a city that wasn’t my hometown – previously, these are 3 things that I was sure were the only catalysts that I needed in order to evoke a feeling on content. We walked around downtown Vancouver looking for feel-good food before eventually settling for breakfast at Tim Horton’s (not exactly the extravagant brunch we set out for), and then making our way back home, sat around a little quieter than usual. Everyone has bad days, and hangovers usually don’t help anything, but there is something extra-sh*tty about bringing bad energy with you into a whole new YEAR.

I listened to a podcast recently that explained the importance of pushing through discomfort the purpose of self-improvement – ‘the lessons you learn through struggle’. This is more reminiscent of my thought process on January 2nd, 2018. I decided that I wanted to take control of a certain few aspects of my life, namely some things in my personal life like my relationship with other, the relationship I have with myself, and the rejuvenation a happy person intersecting the rebirth of a mindful person (an area I felt I had been seriously lacking in). I decided that it was important to me to get a strong start to my year and begin implementing some of these changes immediately; there would be no quick fixes – only big hurdles, and monumental leaps (hopefully).

Never in my life had I set resolutions for myself but I decided now was a suitable time to start. I wrote about those 3 resolutions back in May, and honestly, I feel like I did a pretty good job making an effort with each of them and that I’m probably better because of it. (RE: #3)


Let me add some context though because whether you’re just joining or you’ve been following my story even remotely it might sound like up until this point my life was a spiraling sinkhole. Quite the contrary. 2017 was an amazing year – I lived my first year of freedom and spent time in one of the most beautiful countries I had ever laid eyes on, before heading off to work for my favourite rapper and eventually launching a business. Dandy, I know. Dandy, but largely out of control.

Diving even deeper, contextually, control isn’t everything. You can never be in control of everything, nor should you wish to be – that’s just life. However, the way I see it, there are two types of things that happen:

  1. The things that just happen (the majority of things)
  2. The things that happen as a direct reactionary result of the choices you’ve made for yourself.

In life, #1 accounts for the majority of things, while in comparison #2 seem quite rare, probably because they are. #2 accounts for those super specific moments that feel a lot like you’re experiencing nostalgia in real-time. My argument is that we should be doing as many things as possible that lead us to the moments described in #2 (I really need to come up with a name for my #2’s…) by taking control of the things that we can by choosing to be around the people that make us feel the happiest, and doing the things that make us feel the freest. An example of this would be a day that spent somewhere unfamiliar, with no plans to follow aside from a possible destination. How you spend your time is your choice; How you navigate and where you stop along the way is your choice; The people you’ve decided to spend the time with were completely dependant on how you chose to structure the day. Funny enough, the moment might not actually take place at the final destination because even the time constraints of that may not be your choice, but somewhere along the way you’re sure to feel one of those ‘eureka’ moments worth cherishing. (I’ve had this idea floating around for a while, but I think we finally mastered the principles of it during my trip to Amsterdam last month; thanks #airforcegang)

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Today I find myself in Gatwick airport waiting for a delayed flight to California again.

6 days after my epiphanic first of the year, I spent my birthday on the road with my mom heading stateside. I made the choice to move to LA for 2 months and begin my year on a high note in somewhere unfamiliar yet thrilling. Today will be my first time heading back, though under very different circumstances. More on that another time though.

In the time between then and now I’ve seemingly seamlessly lived in 3 countries for at least 2 months, spending the last 6 months in London, UK – my first ever time in Europe. I’ve been to 7 countries this year all in all, and I’ve had an incredible range of experiences in each. From All-Star weekend in LA to my first ever office/agency job in London. I took road trips on the West coast and enjoyed beach days on the Amalfi coast. I Facetimed friends back home while sitting in front of a twinkling tower in Paris, and helped a friend from high school move into his new home in Barcelona. 2018 was a collection of moments, whether 1’s or complete 2’s, I got make some good choices (and bad decisions) with some astounding people.

Everyone in this photo essay represents someone that was there during one of these moments or had something to do with creating one of those moments. Some people who should be in here simply aren’t (should’ve smiled for the camera!); some people who are probably going to find it weird that they are included, are in it – Oh well; and most people probably will never read this piece anyways.

Intertwined with the visuals you’ll probably see some stories or words or poems or anecdotes, and finally goals for next year. Fair warning: there is a lot of photos but stay until the end.

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2019 will be about the idea of ‘show and prove’; taking control. It’s the mindset that 12 months of focused execution could literally set you up for the rest of your life. That doesn’t necessarily mean in a monetary or notoriety sense, but sh*t, it might. As best described by Elliott (pictured below), 2019 is all about “BIG LIFE SHIT – ya feel?”

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The beginning of 2019 is about all of the same smiles from 2018, while leaving behind the pain. There will be new trauma, but once again you will transcend it. The start is as important as the finishline (Hint: there is no finishline)

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Resolution #1: Make better big-life decisions. There are choices that act as an extension of everything that was laid down in 2018, but furthermore, consider the future you hope to manifest.

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Your past experiences are dormant software; install more changes (more corny #hosphilosopies in 2019)

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Resolution #2: Challenge myself professionally. Stop coasting. While there is nothing scarier than being so damn close to a goal yet still having no actual guarantee that you’ll succeed, stop being afriad. Compound this hunger with a resurgengce of creativity (@shotbyhosp prints coming soon)

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Good people always find good people.

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Sunset hours are when I’m the happiest.

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Tales worth telling are typically full of terrifying things.

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I got 3 tattoo’s this year. One represents the idea that you’ll never become ‘old’ until the day you stop learning, and the second was an ode to RLGT on the 3rd anniversary of its inception (something that changed my life). I got my most recent tattoo alongside one of my best friends, in London. It’s a shortened excerpt from a line by Welsh poet George Herbet that states “fool not; for all may have, if they dare try, a glorious life or grave“. I read that line on my way to work almost every day for 5 months before I returned to the pursuit of a glorious life of my own.

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Resolution #3: Help myself first. Whenever I’m on a plane and the flight attendant says “if at any point the mask falls from the ceiling, please assist yourself before assisting others” I tend to twist my face in humble dismay. Hey, captain save-a-**, everyone is going to be better off if you stop trying to calculate the best way to please others by limiting yourself. (This is an obvious exaggeration, but in case you don’t get the point, click here for clarification)

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Quit smoking. But if you do gotta do it, sprinkle some sage in the blunt. (Elliott really be dropping gems tbh)

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The almighty Joe Rogan said that a successful and happy life is a series of lessons that we learn through really hard sh*t. I learned this year that even when things aren’t going that well, the non-linear progress is really what counts. As recent as September I was in shambles, but here I am, still tippin’ and flossin’ (word to Mike Jones). The biggest thing this past year taught me? I’m fine. None of my successful resolutions that I made required any expansive, expensive or external treatments to fundamentally alter my genetic state. It’s all been there, and it’s been best when I’m myself.

The final #hosphilospy that I’ll leave you with: Stop suppressing who you really are for the perceived benefit of others. 

Stay weird,
-A how-to by hosp.

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