Well, here we are! The last day of 2022. I swear as I continue to grow older, these years just fly by faster and faster. I am feeling very grateful as I look back on this year, as well as when I look ahead to 2023. I know every year is when we love to say “this is going to be my year!” Just know, every year from here on out is my year: I am doing what I love, and I am not apologizing for it. I am saying no when I don’t want to put my time or energy into something that I feel is not best for me. I am speaking up for myself by expressing when I feel bothered or upset, rather than building up resentment that only ends up hurting me. I am putting my phone on DND whenever I feel like it, I am cancelling plans when needed, and I am speaking my truth through writing, both here and on The Unsealed. I do want to take time to look back through the highlights of 2022, as I feel like this was such a great year!
The year started out with reading a new book, which launched me on a reading journey again and allowed me to read way more than I have any other year. In 2022 I read seven books. Now I could sit here and start talking down on myself by saying things like “well some of them were only 100 pages,” or “I could have read more,” etc…. but that does not help me in any way. I am proud that I read seven books, no matter how big or small, because I read those for me, and those benefitted me in so many ways. They have definitely improved my mental health by giving me so many new perspectives and ideas, and if I am being really honest, I actually feel like reading Russ’ book “It’s All In Your Head” allowed me to see him live! Back in April my friend had slept over, and the next morning when she was still sleeping, I had finished reading his book. That same day he was on Instagram telling people to DM him with their name and which city they wanted to see him perform live. I saw he had posted that on his story three minutes before I saw it, and I immediately messaged him. Three minutes later he responded with “Got you added with a +1!!!” and I nearly died of excitement! I absolutely love Russ for so many reasons, but the main one is that he is determined and he very much believes in himself, and I feel there was a reason I was able to connect with him this year-both through his book and through his music. I am so very thankful that I was able to see him live, and I got to bring my boyfriend which was nice because we haven’t been to a concert together in years. I am still in awe at how all of that happened, and I truly loved the timing of finishing his book and then being able to connect with him that same day- the universe works in mysterious ways.
This year I decided to join an incredible writing community called The Unsealed, and I am very grateful that I did. The Unsealed is a place for people to write open letters and be able to speak and release their truth into the world, with the hopes of inspiring others to do the same. I was able to really step out of my comfort zone by joining in on zoom calls, being able to ask and answer questions, and truly just open up publicly about my mental health and traumas. I never feel judged or criticized in the community, and we all choose to inspire and lift up others who are struggling. Because of my willingness to push through my anxiety, this allowed me to be on a billboard this year, advertising for this community I love! The founder of The Unsealed, Lauren, posted on Instagram that they were looking for a member in the Chicago area to advertise for their community, and as soon as I saw it I jumped on it! Although I am almost two hours outside of the city, I still wanted to be a part of it and I knew we would be able to find people with stories to tell, and I let her know that I may not be able to go see the billboard, but I’d be so happy to be on it. Lauren was super excited to help and she even got me a billboard in my town as well so that I was able to go and see it! I felt so blown away by the efforts of someone who has never even met me, and I truly felt seen and heard. I am so proud of myself for stepping into my passion of writing, and taking a leap out of my comfort zone, because this will only continue in 2023.
This year I have truly been able to finally see myself and listen to myself. I decided to set boundaries and say “no,” which has honestly helped me in so many ways, as now I no longer feel angry or resentful for doing things that I never wanted to do. I read a quote this year that I have since kept on a widget on my iPhone so I can see it every day, and it reads: “You will inspire some and trigger others. Both are medicine.” As someone who has struggled with people-pleasing my whole life, I have always avoided stating how I feel about something out of fear of hurting others/triggering others, as I know how I feel when I am triggered. What I have since realized is that this only hurts myself. If I don’t speak up for myself, who will? And although in the moment I don’t like to feel triggered, when I am calm and can reflect on the trigger, that is typically where I find the most insight and growth. For example, I became angry at a friend this year when she commented something on my post, because I was not expecting it and to me it came across like I had upset her with my post. Although I knew my intention behind the post and that it had nothing to do with anyone, I still felt my heart start pounding and my hands shaking, because now I was triggered. On the surface it can seem like I was triggered because I felt bad for upsetting her, or that I came across as a mean person, but after long reflecting that was not what it was at all. I felt triggered because, to me, someone who is a very close friend of mine misunderstood me, and at the time, it felt purposeful. Now I know feelings aren’t facts, and the only way to resolve an issue is to communicate. We luckily ended up talking on the phone and were able to smooth things over and get out any misunderstandings, but this was a lesson for me to keep in mind: not everyone will understand you, not even the people closest to you, but what matters is that you understand you and your intentions; no one can take that away from you. I knew my intention behind the post, and going forward I will pause and breathe before responding to others, especially when I am feeling triggered. It also taught me that communication truly is key in any healthy relationship, and I want to focus on that more as we go into the new year.
So many beautiful things happened this year, and I am so blessed to able to sit here and write this today. From the breakfast dates with my love, to concerts and vacations with friends, I feel so very loved. From the Dear Gabby zoom call, to messages/comments with my favorite people on Instagram (Mel Robbins, Gabby Bernstein, The Holistic Psychologist, Russ), I feel connected and abundant. From planning and setting goals to mindful moments alone, I can definitely say this has been a beautiful year of growth and opportunities. I am so excited to see what is in store for 2023, and I am choosing to go into the new year mindfully, confidently, and with purpose.