We have made it to the last drag of the 2018 holiday season, and it’s time to celebrate. We are celebrating our resilience in the face of our most difficult challenges, all we have endured mentally and physically amongst global strife, and it is time to show gratitude for our successes. We will celebrate family and friends and toast the ultimate joy that they add to our lives. It is a time to celebrate letting go of the things that no longer serve us and embracing the freedom and levity we earn by doing so. It is a time to celebrate the beautiful bodies with which the universe has blessed us by adorning them in dresses that make us swoon. It is a time to dance away 2018’s troubles while welcoming the new adventures and beauty that awaits us in 2019.
2018 was full of difficult moments for team ATPB, but I am so inspired by the way everyone handled their personal challenges. In a continuous pursuit to rediscover our inner beings, we were able to draw out strengths that we didn’t know we had, or which were buried deep down under layers of confidence-breaking experiences. With every overwhelmed feeling or even the crushing blow of what resembles defeat, there exists a light of liberation. Sometimes we just have to become more still and present to see it. Becoming so requires hard work and for us to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones, because sometimes our safe place is a space that impedes us from accessing our greatest triumphs. Remember, this beautiful life we’ve been blessed with is a journey. The mystery of life remains so that we can live, love, fall, rise again and learn. The key ingredients are the refusal of fear and learning to surrender to the incredible tides of our vast universe. We must consistently recognize its abundance and accept that there are so many paths available to us. So, if you’ve pursued something that hasn’t unfolded the way you had imagined, it’s not a failure, it may just not be a part of your story. Don’t hold onto to it with regrets or trepidation; let it go. Keep your heart and eyes open to find the road to your true purpose. Set your intentions to the world and manifest them by letting the universe guide you to your destiny.
The never-ending travails of Donald Trump against the civil liberties of the United States, and beyond continued this year as an assault on our mental and physical health. Countless friends that I spoke with expressed persistent fatigue as a reaction to the constant barrage of daily Trump-fueled crises. I myself took a break from regularly scouring all international news outlets, because the turmoil and constant disappointment was causing me restlessness and anxiety. And like many of you, I witnessed a sort of cultural reckoning of the Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas moment with that of Christine Blasey Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh. Not much has changed since Hill courageously testified before Congress in 1991, notwithstanding the incredible and momentous work of the recent #metoo and Time’s Up movements. The entire Kavanaugh debacle once again left me distraught, as the dominance of white male privilege over the agency of the female existence was sustained with his confirmation. Then, there was the way in which Trump dishonored the life of Jamal Khashoggi by refusing to acknowledge Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s role in the journalist’s assassination, all in an effort to maintain the terms of an arms deal between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Is there anything more disgusting? I’m not surprised though. I was not shocked when Trump, to the favor of his base, ordered additional troops to the US-Mexico border to block a so-called caravan of dangerous migrants, but I have not grown callous enough yet to watch this unfold without a breaking heart. That poorly planned optic resulted in innocent asylum seekers being sprayed with tear gas, and the harrowing, indelible image of a mother running with her diapered toddler.
However, the run up to the midterm elections and their encouraging results for Democrats provided me with a glimmer of hope. In key gubernatorial races, strong voices like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum and Beto O’Rourke emerged with clarity, fortitude and candor in the face of racism and Republican resistance. While they may not have ultimately been victorious, the slim margins recorded in each race were an indication that Americans are listening. As they were listening to the 90-plus women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, including standout names like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Sharice Davids. The midterm elections were a taste of what we can accomplish in 2020 if we put our minds to it. Let’s keep the momentum going. I have my eyes on that prize, and say that we celebrate everyone who showed up for this leg of the race. Thank you, you made a huge difference.
With all the struggle in the world, I would like to share my gratitude for all of the great projects and experiences that I was blessed with this year. You guys, I was actually featured on two magazine covers! I still can’t believe it. I would like to thank you for your continued support for All the Pretty Birds. Thank you for stopping by and reading our stories and for following us on Instagram. Thank you for your comments and for sharing your personal experiences with me in DM. I salute you. Now it’s time to celebrate. I want to see your body pulsing to the beat of your favorite tune. Crank it up on the dance floor, in your kitchen, or in your bedroom. And, Dance Till You Drop! Please tag us in your stories! Seeing you in celebratory fashion would be an epic way to ring in 2019.
Love and always love!
Photography by Renwe Jules.
Here is a selection of dresses to inspire your New Year Eve’s turn up. Enjoy!