I haven’t written a year wrap-up in a while, but this year feels like a good time to do so. Even if only to remind myself of what I’m capable of. Everyone knows how difficult these last couple of years have been. So many unknowns with so much at stake. But I’m here. I’m still trying. Getting up each morning and facing each day. And that’s enough. I’ve been so focused on making it through these tough times, however, that I hadn’t really looked at my last year and all that’s happened, but it’s a lot.
Not everything has been big and complicated. For example, this last year, I tried my first macaron! Yes, this is a thing I’m so happy about! I’d seen them, wanted to try one for so many years, and this year, I finally tried one. They are delish, btw!
I also started grad school. I’m a year in now—have six months left—and have somehow managed to get a 4.0 each quarter so far. Like… what??? I was awarded a fellowship, got a wonderful practicum placement where I get to be around so many smart people each day, and I’ve even been asked to help inform an app (can’t share the details yet). It’s good. No, great. I didn’t think I’d still do so well, especially given I’m working full time in addition to full time school. But I’m enjoying it. Also thankful I’ll be done soon enough.
Having a full time job is another big thing for me. Until this last year, I hadn’t worked full time since 2004. So, big step! And I love working with my clients. They are amazing and wonderful and I appreciate all that we learn together.
This last year, I also learned to make deodorant, lip balm, perfume, lotion, and body butter. I’ve reduced paper consumption and plastic use in big ways too. In other creative areas, my press has released four books. I also wrote and sold three stories to anthologies.
I’ve had adventures too! Safe ones, or least as safe as possible in a pandemic. I stayed at two McMenamins, have been to the coast a couple of times, appreciated nature on many occasions, and discovered many new parks and trails with clients.
For self-care, I’ve finally learned to say no. I’ve even done this more than once! For those that know me personally, it used to be hard for me to say no. But I have. This has meant that even despite the busyness, I’ve been able to do things I want to do.
I’ve changed my diet, gotten medical care I’ve needed for a while, and even got the red mary jane shoes I’d been wanting for most my life. I’ve healed more, found better and healthier coping mechanisms, and learned to embrace myself as I am (including gender and sexual orientation).
There are, of course, many things I can’t put on here, but my biggest takeaway from 2021 is that I am no longer wasting time. I found my worth this last year. It was always there, I just couldn’t see it. But now I do. So despite being in a global pandemic still, worrying about climate change and other major things, I’m doing better than ever. Somehow, better than ever.
I hope 2022 brings relief to us all, but if it doesn’t, I’ll continue to take the needed steps to be my best self and live my best life.