2021 Lessons, Accomplishments, and Gratitude

As we get ready to start 2022 I have reflected back on all of the lessons, accomplishments and also things I’m incredibly grateful for in 2021.

I know that times have been challenging collectively. 2020 was incredibly hard for me, much harder than 2021 thankfully. While we are still struggling with the pandemic, working from home, mask mandates and travel restrictions, 2021 was an incredible year of growth and expansion.

  1. We got engaged! I know this isn’t an “accomplishment” because marriage is not something that should be viewed as a checkbox, but it’s something that John and I have discussed for a while and the time felt right. It was definitely my highlight of 2021! While the idea of us getting married (hey we’ve been together 8 years!) wasn’t surprising, in the exact moment it was! I love him very much and am happy for our wedding in June 2022.
  2. My biggest accomplishment is creating my morning meditation, journal, and walking routine that I still practice 365 days later. I can not stress this enough – if you don’t meditate or journal / reflect on your life daily- you should start! I never had time to do this before because I was always rushing off to take public transit to work and never gave myself the space, before or after work, to make this habit. I plan on keeping up this habit because I’ve noticed a big difference in my mental health and mood throughout the day. Something I want to focus on in 2022 is to incorporate this habit, even if it’s short and brief, when I am traveling.
  3. In addition to meditating regularly, I took several mindset + manifestation courses that have really helped change how I think, how I react, and what I focus on. This was incredibly eye opening for me and a powerful way to take control over my mind. I felt so burnt out and stressed from the drama of 2020 (traveling internationally during the beginning of the pandemic, the beginning of the pandemic in general, losing my job, moving across country, gaining weight, etc) that I really came into my own this past year. I know that no matter whatever happens to me I will always be ok. I am going to continue this practice through various workshops, podcasts, books, and rituals.
  4. I launched my t-shirt shop! Something I have wanted to do for years finally happened this last January. It’s so much scarier in your mind when you overthink but if you just take the plunge it’s sort of a relief to see what happens next. I am happy with my sales but of course would love to increase them this next year. My goal in 2022 is to focus on designing more products and growing my audience.
  5. I also put up my art and photography prints on Society6 and have sold quite a few things this year! While I dedicated more of my time to meditation, mindset, and my tshirts, I feel that I was less creative with painting and photography this year. I would love to have a dedicated painting/photography day each week or several times a month in 2022. I am planning on reading The Artist’s Way in January and spark my creative artist.
  6. I was published in a travel magazine this past spring! Several photos from our trip to Big Bend were featured in Southern Styles magazine, due to an old college friend reaching out to me based on what she saw on my instagram. I would love to be published in additional resources or sell more photos online in 2022.
  7. I learned to embrace walking. For the last 20 years I really and truly believed that in order for me to maintain my weight and stay trim was to be a runner. I ran so many miles last year, more than ever in my life (even when I trained for half marathons) and I was the biggest I’ve ever been. It didn’t help I was so stressed from everything going on in 2020 that adding running on top of that, no wonder my body felt incredibly stressed out and my hormones were off. If you are always stressed you can never lose weight. Instead of thinking about how many miles I ran, I switched to caring about always walking a minimum of 10K steps a day (on top of doing yoga and low intensity pilates). I feel a difference and plan on taking this through into 2022.
  8. I started learning more about my finances, saving, investing and what my best interests are for my financial plans (wedding, honeymoon and beyond!). While this is something I am going to majorly focus on in 2022, you have to start somewhere! I am in a much better place than I was 6 months ago and happy to be making progress.
  9. I am learning graphic design! It’s something I’ve always wanted to know more about and this past fall semester I took the pre-req class at UT and am registering for the certificate program this spring. I know this is an area of BIG focus in 2022. I want to create digital art and also scoop up some freelance design work.
  10. I learned to speak up, trust my intuition, and stay strong in my boundaries. I had to let some friends go that weren’t vibing with my new path of life. And that’s ok! Maybe we will cross paths again someday or maybe not, but for now I am focusing on what feels good for myself and mental health.
  11. I realized that how people react, what they say or do has nothing to do with me and is a reflection of the person. It’s incredibly refreshing to not take things personally. Also, when someone is judgemental about something or someone it says more about them than whatever they are judging. We all have shadow sides that need love and incorporation so lean into why you are feeling the way you are and what the lesson is.
  12. You can have a wedding and not break the bank! It’s possible. More on this later in 2022.

Thank you 2021 for an expansive year of life changing events and deeper self awareness. In 2022, I choose to be more present and in the moment, focusing on what feels good for my body, leaning into financial planning, learning design skills and creating more art, having the best wedding we can in the current circumstances, and feeling free and authentic to my true self.

Have a happy new year!

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