2016: The Year of Ups and (Mostly) Downs + What is Kristen Up to Now?

If you were (somehow) following the blog closely in 2016, you'll know that I had posted a few times here and there about what was going on in my life. Eventually, I grew unsatisfied enough to unpublish them and leave the blog blank for the year. A lot of different things contributed to this, but I can mostly say I was distracted and uninspired. School drove me crazy, and my body was plotting against me. But now that it's 2017, I'm ready to jump back into the swing of things. 

2016 was a hectic year. I graduated from high school. I got accepted into all sorts of colleges. I went to the Philippines again. I had spine surgery. And now I'm in the middle of a crazy gap year. My biggest regret of 2016 was not picking up my DSLR as much. I lost interest in photography (along with most other things), and it's been a struggle to snap back to who I used to be and more. 

However, with this break from capturing life through a lens all the time, life became much more candid, stress-free, and natural. I stopped worrying so much about aesthetic and composition, and I soaked up the world around me. When I was in the Philippines in May, I didn't bother to bring my DSLR, and I actually lived for once. I was in the middle of a very hard time, and I feel like I left the country just to get away from my problems for ten days. In our world where every moment of our lives has to be documented to feel some sort of validation, a part of me wishes I had those DSLR moments to share, but what is most important to me is that I was immersed in every moment. This sentiment stuck with me for most of 2016, and it's something I don't regret. 

That being said, I was/am still very active in sharing with my audience what I'm up to, just not in the most formal of platforms. I'd like to think 2016, for me, was the year Snapchat reigned supreme. Especially with the latter half of my year stuck in a physical and emotional rut after my surgery, little snippets of my day were enough to entertain and engage my followers. It would be neat to juxtapose those stories with formal pictures on my blog, so I'll be working on that in the future. However, you can find me @KristenApollo on Snapchat for now. 

I mentioned earlier that I'm currently on a gap year, and it still feels a little weird. I've been up to a lot, but the biggest highlights are a few projects I'm working on with some great companies that have taken an interest in my work. Keep an eye out for those! 

Three weeks into 2017, and I'm feeling very optimistic about life again. 2016 was a battle, but with all the right people in my life, things are picking back up again. With that being said, I hope you will all stick with me to watch it all unfold.