Over the past two years, it has been easy to drift away from those who live far from me since I have traveled only a fraction of the amount that I did be before. In this time, I have discovered that I am a bit of an introvert and I am absolutely fine keeping to myself.
However, over the past couple of months, I have reconnected with a lot of friends and family. I traveled for a couple of weddings and events and have seen so many people that I hadn’t seen since pre-pandemic. I also connected with some people who I hadn’t seen or spoken to in at least 5 years. It was honestly really nice.
So many of those people asked if I am still writing because I haven’t blogged in two years. I am still writing now, but it has pretty much only been professional work for the past two years. This means that I write a whole lot for other businesses and organizations, but I don’t write at all for myself.
These conversations made me realize that this needed to change. I miss giving little life updates, sharing my experiences, and spilling my thoughts. So, here we are.
Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but even though there was a lot of chaos in the world, 2021 wasn’t that bad. I’d even venture as far as to say that it was a really good year for me.
I took some pretty big leaps at the end of 2020 (I BOUGHT A CONDO!!!!), so naturally, 2021 was full of adjustments. In January, my dad and brother completely renovated my place, so it was customized exactly to my liking, which was pretty cool. By the middle of January, I was all moved in. Of course, I was starting with nothing, so I used a cardboard box as a TV stand for a while, and I don’t think I had a dining room table until at least April, but it was all good.
Living alone was honestly super lonely and the biggest adjustment ever. During the first couple of months, I wanted to get a roommate or move back in with my parents, but now I cannot imagine not living alone. I truly value my alone time so much.
In the spirit of valuing alone time, I decided to take a solo road trip in the spring. I started in Fort Lauderdale and made stops in Gainesville, Atlanta, Middlesboro, Lexington, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pennsylvania, Charlotte, and Jacksonville. None of the destinations were super glamorous, but I was able to meet up with friends in family in several of the locations.
This was another experience where I was ready to call it quits early on. I was an hour and a half in and I tearfully debated going home because I realized the magnitude of what I had signed up for (over 3000 miles of driving). I barely drive, and I think I had 700 miles on my car when I left for the trip after having it for 5 months.
However, I continued on, and the road trip was probably one of the best experiences of my life.
This year was also a fun time because my family got a boat. I love living in South Florida and I love living on the water, but this has made me love it and appreciate it even more. Cruising in the Intracoastal and “house hunting” on Fort Lauderdale’s Millionaires’ Row is probably my favorite boating pastime.
I actually learned how to drive the boat on New Year’s Eve, so that was a fun note to end the year on. My brother is usually the captain, but at least I know how it works now.
I did eventually get a roommate this year. When I moved out of my parents’ house, they wanted to keep my cat. However, my Bad Bad lived up to her name and my mom had enough and shipped her off to me. She’s really shy and anti-social, so she is living her best life here.
There are no kids (read “pesky teenagers”) and no dogs, so she’s able to roam freely, which makes her happy.
I also got a baby kitty for Christmas so Bad Bad has a sister!!
Clementine was a stray, and the people who found her only had her for a week before I got her. I was pretty nervous about the adjustment since she was still kind of feral (and very, very scared), but she assimilated within a couple of days.
Bad Bad wasn’t too sure about her at first, but they are peacefully coexisting. I am really hoping they become besties soon!
I have also spent so much time growing my patio jungle this year. I started with about a dozen plants and now I have close to 100 because I cannot stop propagating them. One of my goals for 2022 is to grow more edible plants, so I am excited to start that soon.
(If anybody wants aloe, golden pothos/devil’s ivy, or snake plants, let me know because I have a bunch of babies that need homes.)
On a professional note, I took the year to steady things out. I spent a lot of the year trying to decide if I wanted to grow or scale. A lot of thought went into where I would like to take my career, and what I want to do with my business.
Instead of hustling and pushing to do more, I put my head down and did my best to maximize the experience for my current clients. Some really cool doors were opened, and I have been able to pivot to do a little consulting. In addition to writing blog content, I am also helping businesses build out their internal content writing departments, which I really, really enjoy.
Another cool project this year was ghostwriting a memoir. It was the most personal project I have ever worked on, and it was a fun change from my normal work.
I am starting 2022 off with another cool contract that I am really excited about. It will come with a lot of challenges and unknowns, but I am so ready for this experience.
This past year (especially this last quarter), has taught me so much about professional boundaries. We hear so much about avoiding toxic relationships among family members, friends, and significant others, but I don’t think we talk nearly enough about toxic work environments.
One of the most empowering moments of my entire year was finally saying “no” and firing a large client that was impeding my ability to fully enjoy my work. It came with a lot of stress and uncertainty at the time. But it was the best decision I could make for my own well-being, and for that, I am proud.
I was neither overly eager nor sad to see 2021 go. Actually, I was just pretty content.
I don’t know what this year holds, but I am excited and optimistic. For once, my goals are pretty broad. I still have my spreadsheets and notebooks full of hopes and dreams, but I truly just want to enjoy all of the moments.
It’s probably cheesy, but I am taking major “YOLO” energy into 2022. This doesn’t mean that I want to do anything wild or reckless. I just want to be more intentional about enjoying life. I want to savor the little moments, like catching a magnificent sunset or finding cool restaurants or making killer tea blend. I am doing my best to find beauty in all of it.
With all of that said, HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you have a happy, healthy, and blessed 2022.