As I embraced those last few days of 2022, I couldn't help but to sit back and reflect on what a year it had been. From quitting the job that didn't appreciate me, spending all of my savings, becoming distant to those close to me, finding love again, graduating college, dealing with post-grad depression and going through the constant vortex of losing and finding myself countless times over and again -- I wouldn't trade it for the world, and here's why!
I entered 2022 with the mindset of: 'This is gonna be the year that I finally get something big' or 'This is gonna be MY year' just like the majority of us think for our annual resolutions .. But analyzing the reality of my life from then to today honestly makes me laugh. It was crazy of me to think I'd have SO much figured out at this point in my life. I haven't even been 22 years old for six months, let alone immersed into the real, non-academic, do-what-I-want with nothing holding me back world yet. I mean, how could I expect to feel put together at all after following the same school/work routine for the past 17 consecutive years of my life?
I started 2022 off excited. Excited about the finish lines I was close to crossing in order to see what was on the other side, but I quickly learned that you don't just cross those finish lines to stop racing because you think you won or finished: You have to keep running to ultimately see what's next. It's a never ending race for life, but that's kind of the point. The only true competition we have in our lives is within ourselves.
I worked the same retail job from freshman to senior year, and when my final semester began last January I just couldn't take it anymore. I felt so undervalued and overworked, so I woke up one day and decided to quit. Was it the smartest thing to do at the time? Of course it felt like it, but being a commuter student, having to pay your own bills and practically finance majority of your living expenses became overwhelming quickly, and I had no choice but to dip into my personal savings. Although that only lasted me about two and a half months, I was less stressed, and more happy and free to focus on graduating while making the best of my last semester as an undergrad student.
Graduating from a HBCU was a big flex for me in 2022. I received my degree in four years, and really took on the challenge of being a journalism student fully immersed into my program! College itself was a flex, and I am so proud of myself for having the experience that I did because it truly played a significant role in who I am today. It was definitely a constant rollercoaster of craziness, but nevertheless worth the ride. Post-grad is a major slap-in-the-face though. If you have an immediate after-college plan that's amazing, but if you're still trying to figure it out it's like ... *crickets* because you're really just out here winging life everyday wondering about so many what if's. I'm excited to see what job is in store for me in 2023.
I began losing connections to people around me and it hurt A LOT. It was beyond confusing to drift away from some relationships that I thought kept me grounded, but as a optimist and a believer in God and faith, I knew that things happen for a reason and that this was that season to experience these changes. Every time I feel some sort of discomfort in my life I know that growth is around the corner and things are going to test me while ultimately making me feel lost at times .. but some people drift a part to find themselves, and that's okay.
One thing I am grateful for is doing less self-sabotage. I had to learn that not everything that affects me is based upon being "my fault". Some things are meant to hurt us, some eras we are completely broke, other times we feel like we're not doing enough, and some days things around us move slower than usual, but that's okay as well. I couldn't keep blaming myself for the motions. I realized that when I do more positive talk about what's to come it finds me, and I all I had to do was stay calm and be patient -- and this is extremely present because I still have to work on this 'til this day! I'm figuring out that I have to be more honest and aware with myself to be that way with others. Everything we do and experience is recycled.
Another thing I am grateful for this past year is friendship and love. The circle of friends I have in my life today make me laugh, are always a phone call away, and ALWAYS have my back. Although I usually am the distant home-body friend, I still show up and show out with and for my friends because that's what it's all about: genuine moments, getaways, nonstop laughing, jokes, the tears, the sarcasm and attitudes, the late nights, all of it and beyond. I seriously couldn't ask for better because I receive more than I feel like I deserve sometimes, and that's the beauty of it all.
As I enter into 2023, my heart and mind are open to so many changes that I know are about to takeover. I am nowhere close to having all the answers! --- life is just beginning, and I'm ready (as ready as I can be) to embrace the decisions I make to create the life I want for myself. Cheers to 2023!
What are some things you're grateful for as we enter into the new year? Leave your comments below