Reflections on 2021
It feels like finally slowing down, as you approach the finish line, arms up and a sense of relief coming over your body, knowing that a few steps more and the race will be over. I am SO happy to be here at this time of the season, where I can sit and write a reflection. We miss everyone so much and feel that the pandemic has made friendships seem distant, but it’s not even close to what we want to be true, and so we share our year with you. Hello.
We have so much to tell you about!
Our business, Sincerely Harvey, has been doing awesomely! We’ve been able to work on varying projects from handcrafted gifts we sell online, at popups, and at coffee shops like Corridor Flow in Lomita, to wedding signs and papers both big and small, to custom builds and backdrops. It’s been such a blessing for Jesse and myself to find support in word of mouth clients and become friends with people who have been doing this much longer than us.
I was able to collaborate with musicians to create album covers which has always been a dream of mine to make art for music, and Hillary and I continued our After Hours Art Chats that have been so life giving and a meaningful way to connect with a community of creative people from all over. In November, we were invited to host a chat for a group of artists in Singapore. It was such an honor and validating to know our project had meaning to someone else.
Jesse applied to exactly two jobs this year, and got accepted to both (Ganahl in May as a Door Hanger and Getty Museum in October as a Finish Carpenter) to which I had to remind him that I’m proud of him and not jealous but this NEVER happens. To which he says “WE got the job,” and I am learning to feel confident in my role as partners.
We got the vaccine as soon as we could thanks to Yuna who sent us to her workplace where we got the best treatment and the doctor even made fun of Jesse saying he needed to get the shot on his butt! We felt much safer to socialize, although the anxiety is still there that we’ll bring it home to our parents. We got to travel to Kansas, camp in Mammoth, go back to art museums, get a membership at Huntington Gardens, and picnic and hike with friends all year long.
And we learned about health insurance and got to experience Kaiser (coming from MediCal)! Which turned into an amazing blessing when Jesse decided he wanted to shave his head, and I found some freckled dots I was just curious to get checked. The results came in as Basal Cell Carcinoma, a non-aggressive skin cancer that, thanks to our new insurance, we were able to remove successfully and easily. I’m glad we have friends that are adulting with us because we wouldn’t have nearly the knowledge we do now if not for digital group conversations about what the heck is the different health insurances available to us and what things am I able to ask for from my providers.
This year has been a really hard year and just saying it, I think, makes it feel easier to leave in the past. It’s been a family centered year. We lived with my parents as we began jumping deep into our business and that’s proven to be exactly what I feared it would be. We lost two beloved Harveys early on this year and the aftermath has really painted the remainder of the year for us. Our finances have been in the worst shape it's ever been and it’s made me work without end and irritable and uncreative. It seemed as though nothing was in my favor and this lack of control over my situation was the most I’ve experienced yet.
Back when Jesse and I were just dating, we talked about this idea that stuck with me: Not everything happens for a reason, but everything that happens has meaning. It wasn’t the thought that got us through this season, but it definitely rings true to where we are today! I was able to take a calligraphy class and a ceramics throwing class this year, something I considered a luxury and felt undeserving of. Jesse supported a custom surfboard shaper and got a 7’10” longboard made just for him. We raised a beautiful patch of wildflowers that was a gift to watch life growing outside our own bodies and it was also an endless supply of floral gifts for our friends. We saw Kathy and Tim and Ai a lot! We had enough dinners with Yuna to make up for the prior year of isolation. We saw Shakespeare by the Sea with Annette and Harry. We supported Umma at her first half-marathon! And Hesed saved me from myself with Pho and conversations. Our work is flowing and feels a little more sustainable, and we’re getting ready to move closer to The Getty to our own space and that feels like the start of a new chapter of our lives. Something I’m learning in marriage is that, as we become more vulnerable with each other, we are unpacking our own traumas and figuring out how to repack them together, and it’s so exhausting but I’m so thankful to be able to do with the one I trust.
We hope that your year has been packed with all kinds of little and big goodies. And that 2022 finds you ready to tackle the work in life that is soul stretching, passion reviving, and forever satisfying.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Shannon and Jesse Harvey