Whoa mama has this been a year for the books. I could say that about almost any year in the last decade, but the sentiment still stands. Good lord, it’s the most cliché opening you can ever imagine, but it truly was the best of times and the worst of times this year.
Without further ado, please enjoy a summarized yet drastically too-long rundown of my plights and highlights of 2022.
The Very Long No Good Sorting Road of Hell
It’s funny how things work out. The amount of junk and hell-knows-what left behind in this house by the previous owner haunted me growing up here. It’s as if I knew deep down that I would have to sort it out one day.
Well, that day came this year, and it took almost four months and counting. Hopefully, all will be said and done by the end of spring.
The Crushing Weight of Existence
Beyond the endless piles of literal garbage, I struggled to access any semblance of the motivation I had usually found with little issue. The cocktail of being let go twice, emotional labor, and general uncertainty about every aspect of my life wiped me out in an intense way.
I’m still working on reaching my whole self again, but I can tell you firsthand that pushing yourself harder is not always the answer. Berating myself did nothing and forcing myself down the wrong paths had zero positive impact. I couldn’t understand what my problem was.
It’s laughably simple at the end of the day—I was tired.
I’m still tired but in a more manageable way. The answer was not self-discipline in the form of working harder but instead self-discipline in the form of rest. Which for me—and so many others—is a struggle. Re-learning how to rest, heal, and sit with myself has proven to be exponentially more effective than any amount of “hustle” I could have forced myself to produce.
They say some years are questions, and some years are answers. 2022 felt like an answer, and the solution was rest.
Analysis Paralysis, Sponsored by Carbs, Sweaters, and Your Favorite Alcoholic Beverage
During this restful space, I bounced around countless ideas and versions of what I wanted my life to look like, professionally and personally. It’s been somewhat overwhelming to explore different opportunities and new interests. The real plight of this occupation was discovering just how much I hope to do and how small I am in comparison.
That said, I’m rounding the corner with some new direction that, most likely, stems from my pointed period of allowing myself to chill out for, like, longer than a weekend. Crazy idea, I know.
Becoming a Home Owner
I can’t begin to express the relief (and the stress) of finally having a place to call home. Every day, the thrill of the possibility attached to this house, everything it is now and will be eventually, hits me like lightning. I’m so blessed to have the best brother ever with me on this journey.
It’s only the beginning, and my mental and physical health have already seen the benefits of having a solid home—we’ll just pass over financial health. Ha. Kidding. Mostly.
Expanding my Freelance Clientele
This year brought a few unexpected career changes, to put it diplomatically. Through each shift, I found myself more and more inclined to focus on my freelance opportunities, which has proven to be what I needed to be doing at this point in my life. I’m grateful for where I’m at right now and excited for what’s next.
It’s accurate what they say about hard times revealing who your true friends are. I’ve gone through storms before where I was left to pick up the pieces by myself in the aftermath. This time was different. When the clouds parted, I wasn’t alone, and we all patched one another up instead.
Friendship is different when you’re older (duh), but no one tells you what that means, and it’s almost impossible to describe.
Adult friendship for me has been honesty, consistency, intentionality, and transparency. When I think of my friends, I don’t feel anxious about what they think of me or worry if I pissed them off somehow by mistake—because they would tell me, and vice versa. No games, just joy in who we are right now and who we are becoming.
Communication, kids, it’s what’s hot and happenin’.
Learning, Building, Growing
These 12 months have been some of the most lovely yet harsh months ever regarding personal development and growth.
I can see the progress I’ve made, the patterns I’ve changed, and the mindsets I’ve built. Which I suppose is, more accurately, the result of the last three years, but it all hit me square in the chest this year. I’m encouraged and more determined than ever to build the life of my dreams.
Overall, 2022 has been about freedom. Mainly emotional freedom—there was no one telling me how to feel or not feel, where to go or not go, and what to think or not think; freedom in spirit and mind.
I still have a lot of work to do, but the knife is gone, and healing is all the more accessible. There is no one here to keep cutting me open—they can’t reach me.
A sentiment that struck a chord in 2022 came from a simple quote: “It ran in my family until it ran into me.” I don’t have a citation, but that message is the kind of energy I’m taking into the new year and beyond. The cycle ends here.
Thank you for reading, and Happy New Year. May 2023 be a year of joy and clarity.
Look, and look again.
This world is not just a little thrill for the eyes.
It’s more than bones. It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse.
It’s more than the beating of the single heart.
It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving.
You have a life—just imagine that!
You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe
still another.– Mary Oliver
Nailed it as usual Heather! Bring on 2023! Love you, Grandma and Grandpa H