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A reflection by Mia Ballesteros

It honestly hasn’t hit me yet that Season 1 of Simplex Minds is over...

As I post this in the midst of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but just feel grateful for the experiences Simplex Minds has brought into my life. It has been so amazing being a part of such a talented and creative team, always pushing me to believe in myself and my art. I can’t thank Troy, Ricky & Carissa enough for being such a solid support system this past year.

I was first introduced to the concept of Simplex Minds by my “big bro” Troy, the mastermind behind it all. Troy and I met in college, where we were both active in Greek life and he became almost like a big brother to me. I’ve looked up to him immensely over the past few years being that we’re both photographers, so when he came to me and asked if I would be interested in being a part of the team, I immediately said yes.

Coming into this project, I never considered myself a writer unless I was writing an essay for school or deciding what Instagram caption was best. I mostly expressed myself through photography, digital art, painting, always thinking that my words weren't quite as powerful enough to get my point across. But after writing a full season's worth of blog posts on my interests and about people who have truly inspired me creatively over the past few years, I found myself gaining a bigger appreciation for this medium. My words actually hold weight and have the ability to travel to people who could gain inspiration from them. That's such a powerful feeling.

Looking back at the goals I wrote for myself before Season 1, I honestly believe I've started to become the person I've been longing to be. Someone I wouldn't be if it wasn't for joining this beautiful team of like-minded people. I joined Simplex Minds at a time where social media felt extremely toxic and detrimental to my mental health and I didn’t know if I was quite ready to step so far outside my comfort zone. One of my main goals for this season was to express myself freely because, at the time, I felt like I wasn't doing that enough. I was so fearful to put myself out there and be so vulnerable with any audience. I was tired of having other people's opinions matter so much and especially dictate the content that I would post.

I no longer want to be tied down by the opinions of others. The biggest thing I've learned this year is to trust myself and believe that I know who I am and what I bring to the table. Whether that is Simplex Minds' table or the table of life. As well as surrounding myself with people who only want to see me succeed and want to do what they can to help me get there. I think for this next season of Simplex, I want to continue striving to be my true self, opening up my mind to those who are searching for inspiration and want to truly become a better creative version of themselves.

Looking into the future, I hold so many high hopes for Simplex Minds. Our team has so many goals we want to accomplish for this upcoming year and I'm so hyped to be working towards greatness alongside so many wonderful people. Thank you, Troy, Ricky, and Carissa for being such a beam of light for me during this journey. I wouldn't have been able to push myself so far without your help. I wouldn't feel as confident as I do in my work if it wasn't for you guys. And I'm so excited to see what we are able to build and create for the future of Simplex Minds.

To many more simplex seasons,

I'll see ya next time.

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