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Reflections on 2020

Hello from my small desk in Anaheim. What a year it has been. So much has broken our hearts and we have spent many of our days saddened, hurt, worried, and unsure of what to do next. But still, so much is worth highlighting in this year distanced from the world.

In January, Jesse and I got married in an intimate ceremony at the Chang's residence in Pomona. When we were able, we travelled to Sequoia, Sedona, Santa Clara, Berkeley, , Las Vegas, Redding, Portland, and Washougal.

We spent many of our days at home, basking in the orange light during the fires, going through our Adventure Time DVD set on our projector during the night, and scheming about a future while our future was physically paused.

But we did not sit still, not even for a moment. I took a leap to begin donation based art classes online for all ages, and art commissions were popular this year. Meanwhile Jesse pushed on, working under the pressure of panic buyers and disgruntled customers.

We began our biggest leap this year when we decided to invest in our business, Sincerely Harveys, designing wedding arches, hand painting signs, and customizing paper goods.

We moved in with my parents, and Jesse quit his 5 years at TJ's in November. The lockdown has forced us to stay put, but it hadn't slowed down our lust for life. Despite all the heartbreaking moments of this year, we are so thankful for the support we have seen in our community to run with our crazy ideas, to start a business all our own, to supplement unemployment with an opportunity to teach in safe ways, and to find help and shelter and food and friendship when we needed them the most.

As my student said so poignantly, this year has felt like a rollercoaster of gratitude. When discouragement and disappointment sink us to the ground, we find ourselves reminded of all the ways we are truly blessed and truly loved. We are still thinking of you and wishing to connect when the time is right. If we've thought about anything this year, it is this: When all is stripped away, what lies at the core of our existence? Perhaps it is the need to express and be known. There is family and friendship and things we can watch grow as a way to vicariously live through them. But creativity. Creativity is an exercise we all ought to rethink as an essential part of the human experience.

Happy Holidays! - Shannon and Jesse Harvey

"We have art so that we shall not die of reality" - Friedrich Nietzsche


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