A letter to 2016

Dear 2016,

Goodbye. 2016, you’re one many of us are ready to leave behind. From the devastation of loosing 49 innocent people during the PULSE nightclub shooting to the headlines that shocked us, elections, terrorism, conflict. It’s been a turbulent year to say the least.


painting live for PULSE benefit.


2016, yes, I’m ready to let go and move on. Not to take away from the many blessings you bestowed on me. There were wonderful experiences as Girl Noticed traveled to New York, California, Nebraska and Colorado to create murals, and meet incredible people. There was being noticed by Marie Claire as they highlighted our project on the pages of their national magazine, and there was the support of so many wonderful people as we reached our kickstarter fundraising goal to keep this project on the move.

But now, I’m going to get real. 2016, for me personally, you were a blur. The wonderful moments and achievements I should have been celebrating and building on were short lived and minimized by the self destructive behavior I chose for my everyday in-between. Instead of nurturing the quality relationships in my life, some of which called me out and asked me to take a look at myself, I chose to wallow in self pity, blame and the chaos I had self created in my everyday life. And yes, we’ll call it an artistic masterpiece entitled “Not So Beautiful Mess” on display now, thank god for a limited time only.

Some people reading this might at this point be thinking… “really? You seem like you so have your sh*# together”. Always so busy, having fun, smiling and involved in such great things. The problem was I wasn’t doing those things authentically. Now don’t get me wrong, everything I do, I do with love, gratitude and from a place of truly wanting to help and make a difference, but what I’ve come to realize is if you do all of those things without truly loving yourself, it’s not authentic. Your life seems to pass you by, one event after another, no matter how beautiful the moments, still leaving you in a place where you’ve felt you’re really not getting anywhere. Because on the inside you’re still the same.


I had a moment in Lincoln, Nebraska where I was speaking in front of a group at Indigo Book Store. It was a small but very diverse group. Many ages, genders and ethnic backgrounds were represented. I stood in front of them and spoke about valuing yourself as a woman, as a human being and valuing the people around you. And that was when the lightbulb went off. There I was speaking about valuing yourself and others and suddenly I felt like such a hypocrite, because clearly I don’t value myself. At that moment I decided to make a change. Changes in my life in the past have always been quick and drastic. I realize something isn’t healthy or right and BAM, I’m on it! This time the change needed to be more gradual. After all I have spent 48 years not recognizing my value, this one couldn’t happen over night. This one would take work, hard work, and the expectations I’ve put on on all of you, I now have to expect of myself.

The Work

And that is exactly what I have been doing. The work. One day at a time. I’ve surrendered to the fact that my life had truly become unmanageable, and I am taking the steps necessary to be the best version of myself that I can be. And I truly see the beauty and blessings in that. Because I don’t do it alone, and either do you. Is 2017 a time to make changes in your life, in yourself? Is it a time for you to let go, a time for you to start being healthy, both emotionally and physically? Are you authentic? Do you truly value yourself?

We’re on this journey together. Let’s make 2017 a year we not only lift each other up but we take a good hard look at ourselves and do the work. And while we’re at it lets notice some amazing girls and women and paint some murals!

Happy New Year 2017.



2 responses to “A letter to 2016”

  1. AngelineMarieArt Avatar

    Very brave post.
    To a very happy 2017 with a lot of self kindness.

  2. Arlene Strom Avatar
    Arlene Strom

    Lori, what a beautiful and honest letter to yourself. I’m happy to know you and hope to know you better in 2017. Change is possible for all of us, but it takes work and asking others for help along the way. I’m here for you. Best wishes for 2017.

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