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Year in Review: 2018

Updated: Sep 17, 2022


As I look back at 2018, the word confidence wins the prize.

I always thought I exuded confidence, but it was not until this year that I really understood what this weighty word really embodied.

You see, a year ago I sat in an RV in the middle of Utah. I was wracking my brain considering how I might bring to life a seedling of an idea. This whisper of a dream – something to do with elegance and fashion - kept flitting around my head.

As I look back now I see how those fledgling ideas manifested themselves in my life...after I overcame the most powerful road-block of self-doubt.

Dr. Donald Drew and I, circa 1999.

Part of 2018 included living in England and studying at L'Abri Fellowship, a Christian study retreat center. I spent much time wandering through exquisite British landscapes listening to sermons and lectures about discerning God's direction in life. The end of 2017 and first half of 2018 left me questioning the confidence I had in God's sovereignty after the death of both my grandfathers and a young dear friend and classmate.

English L'Abri Fellowship in Liss, England. June 2018.

I wandered the same halls as Dr. Donald Drew, a spiritual grandfather of mine who passed away in 2014. He had had once been a worker and teacher at English L’Abri. As a Cambridge-educated British gentleman with a deep hunger for the gospel and collegiate ministry, he always had the perfect pithy saying that was packed full of wisdom. As I ambled about the small town of Liss listening to lectures on my headset, these words caught my attention...

"We should not really be called humans beings at all..." he chuckled. "We really ought to be called human-becomings."

Yes, I am a “human-becoming.” And so are you! We are, in every moment, vulnerably real. In other words, any confidence of ours does not mean we have it all under control, but rather that we have confidence in who we are becoming - faults and all.

In the fashion world, being real is almost a foreign concept as it seems designers scream for anything BUT reality. However, I've come to realize these two ideas – appreciating fashion and reality- are not mutually exclusive and do not necessarily result in self-centeredness.

All-too-often I worry my love of elegance makes others think I care too much about my looks. It's eaten away at me from the inside out and even led me to an incredibly brief - be it drastic- spell of drab and careless dressing in an effort to convince myself I am more than my clothing. However, I just looked careless and my signature spunk was gone.

This lack of confidence even affected Swish…

I've cared too much what others think at the expense of what I care about. Confidence requires getting over the negative things people might infer, and I must remind myself of this often. For now, I'd like to slow down…simplify…and invite you along on my “Put the Relevance Back in Elegance” journey step by step.

So…CONFIDENCE! In 2018, I had to learn to stick up for myself, not let people walk over me, and realized my opinion and ideas really do matter. I recognized that I have to live confidently... and I pray you, too, start 2019 living CONFIDENTLY as a human-becoming, flaws and all, daily redeemed.

Come join me on this new adventure of becoming human!

Happy New Year!


Newbury, England. July 2018.


Hannah Brusven founded The Swish in 2018 to combat trashy & politically biased women's media and create a  place for young women looking for a little more than more society feeds them.


Here we believe elegance is powerful, and the key to unlocking confidence, persuasion, and impact. Explore trends, traditions, lifestyle, and more with The Swish-- for an inspired elegant life. 


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