Hello from my slightly larger desk in Los Angeles. What a strange year it has been. It's amazing to see how far we've come, starting back at the end of 2020 in my smaller desk in Anaheim and now in this new space that has become home. I'm resisting the fact that the year is ending. It all happened so fast and it's been a challenge to stamp everything into my mind. But with the help of conversations and planners, photos, receipts, and scraps of paper, I'm reflecting on all of what happened this year.
We’ve been fulfilling dreams this year.
In January, Jesse and I moved into our new apartment in West Los Angeles. We’ve been hosting dinners at our table, coffee sits on our balcony at sunlight, and tea and smokes at moonlight. It's been a wish of ours ever since we began talking to each other, to gather community, provide intimate spaces for genuine connection, and feed our bellies and our hearts. It took a few years, but this space allowed us to finally accomplish this dream.
We enjoyed our home a lot this year. Friends have visited for dinners, parties, and weekend stays. When we stepped outside our home, we spent time in Pomona with Ai, Kathy and Tim and finally finished the shed, spent time with family, explored our new neighborhood routes and eateries, had picnics and breakfast bbqs at Will Rogers SP, spent hours at Malibu and beaches up the coast, afternoons at the Huntington Gardens, Getty Center and Villa gardens for sunset strolls and sketching, and went camping in our new car after a few months of headaches handling our car that had been stolen (We wouldn't have been able to get through all the car troubles without the generous support from our friends Kristen and Will, Hesed, Yuna, and Blake). We even had a spontaneous chance to go to Kauai, Hawaii to celebrate with Peter and Jenelle, their baby shower, engagement, birthday! We finally met Eddie and Sonia, which was treat because they are such lovely and talented people and brought Jesse and my relationship full circle because the very first song I sent Jesse in 2018 was one of Eddie's. We celebrated newness, and connected with friends at Mike and Pam's wedding and Kate and Ander's wedding. Aunt and uncle responsibilities became a bigger thing, having our nephew Austin sleepover and spending time with our niece Bowie. We welcomed our nephew Hutson, and friend's little one's Isle and Selah. There have been a lot more babies in our life this year!
Jesse tells me that working at the Getty was something he had only ever dreamed would be possible, and so reality still feels odd. Some highlights: He worked lots of overtime, preparing for President Biden to host the Summit of the Americas at the Villa. It was a proud moment and the reason we could travel to Hawaii in the summer. He was also awarded with the Facilities Division Annual Award at the annual luncheon hosted by the larger Facilities Department of the Getty. I'm so proud of him and his diligence inspires me to do the hard work because it does mean something and delayed gratification is gratifying.
I caught up with Sophia Liu this year and we jumped right back into a creative collaboration styling my grandmother-in-law's fashion statements into a photoshoot to document a colliding of generations and giving something passed a new lease on life. It's been a recurring thought I've been mulling over in my mind. Of the passing of time, how to notice it and enjoy it and remember it.
This year, I was able to work with Half Alive on a video art project, Hillary and I were invited again to create work to be showcased in Singapore at the Be/Hold Art Show by CREA, and while falling deep into an existential crisis about “what’s the point of my art if it has no utilitarian function?”, I was able to pursue new ideas in paintings, inspired by the organic shapes produced by shadows of trees and the duality of strength and sensitivity of my feminine and Asian American identity represented by knots and flowers.
Sincerely Harveys has been a lot more fun this year working on projects that asked us to be creative and deliver a whole suite of signs and cards. We are so blessed by our couples that give us a lot of trust and have been nothing but kindness! I also had the honor of working with Yellow&Lace on live art events.
Birthdays were a big part of this year for me. Maybe it was the lack of gathering in the past years that this one felt more dramatic, but I felt like we spent so much time celebrating birthdays this year. The idea of aging and lack of control over the passing of time feels more real now as my parents hit a life milestone and I move further into my late 20s. Amidst grappling with time that cannot be held onto, I've begun to understand that the only way to truly hold on to each moment is to be present and celebrate each day. Thank you for letting us celebrate you and thank you for celebrating us!
We hope that your year has been full of goodness and people. Maybe we're getting more nostalgic, but the gift of your presence in our lives has been the best thing we could ask for. We notice every kind gesture, generous gift, joke to make us laugh and feel good, and every time you show up in hard times and bright times.
We hope that 2023 will show how you can blossom inside and out. We hope you'll pursue trust and find that that adventure can turn to pure bliss.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Shannon and Jesse Harvey