Reflections & Resolutions
If you read this, then here is your pre-warning: This is a very self-indulgent post where I reflect on the year I’ve had in 2021 and set my intentions for 2022.
It’s that time again where another year has past and we’re setting off head first into the new year.
It’s safe to say that it was a struggle to get here. Perhaps for some it was a fantastic year. Personally, I’m not one of those people.
I started off the year recovering from covid. Long covid. I know I’m very lucky in that it wasn’t too bad – until the tiredness. I spent most days exhausted and would get very lightheaded as I felt all the energy drain from my body.
Just as I was starting to recover from this, my grandmother passed away. This hurt. She was elderly, she had alzheimer’s and when I was last able to see her she wasn’t doing her best, but it still hurt. I think what also hurt was that we weren’t able to see her before she passed due to covid.
This was the start of my spiral into depression and increase in my anxiety this year.
2021 also saw the loss of my uncle. A wonderful human being with a warm smile and a genuine interest in other people.
It was the year I took time off work due to my mental health, something I never thought I would do. I’ve always pushed through and gotten to the other side while also working. Not this time.
While I was off work I received news that one of my colleagues passed away. She was a wonderful person, always so helpful and kind and had a smile for just about anyone. She had a spine too, and wasn’t afraid to voice her thoughts. That also hit hard. It’s difficult to work with someone everyday for six years and that not have any sort of impact. She made an impact and part of me still can’t believe she’s gone.
October was the start of my month long illness where doctors couldn’t figure out what I had. After three rounds of antibiotics, hives and many phone calls they thought it was glandular fever. By the time the blood results came back it was negative, but by then I was better and am still none the wiser as to what I caught.
Which brings me to November / December and the realisation that I am not happy in my job anymore. Aside from depression and disassociation, those four months off made an impact on me. Since returning I realise I’m no longer fulfilled at work. There have been too many changes which don’t make sense to me. I’ve been there for six years and see ourselves going backwards while people who have been there for less years are recycling old ideas or changing things to the point where our role has become more checkbox than investigative and call it progress.
But with any year, there is light in the dark.
I said to a friend that 2021 feels like a blanket of velvet darkness with a few beams of brightness which I’ve clung onto.
✨ I was able to see some family – on both mum and dads side – for the first time since before 2019.
✨ Two of my friends got married this year. They’ve been together for over ten years and it was the first time all of that group of friends were in the same place for such a long time. It was a wonderful day and evening.
✨ Two of my friends had a baby this year. I now have another nephew and he is adorable. His smile is bright enough to light the year.
✨ While I was struggling my friends showed up. I don’t mean physically. I mean they checked in. They made sure I was still alive (in jest). They dragged me out of the house occasionally.
I always know how lucky I am to have them in my life, but during those dark times – they never left me behind.
✨ I became closer with some of my cousins, something I’ve always wanted to do.
✨ My friends 30th birthday where a bunch of us were able to get together and celebrate her. A wonderful evening spent with good people, good food and a lot of fun.
✨ Although this was the first Christmas Day without both my Grandma and Grandad, we honoured them and had a lovely day the four of us.
✨ New Years, again the fact that I could finish off the year and start a new one with such wonderful people is something I appreciate – especially given the past year.
This might sound like a great year, just looking all the great things that happened. It was in some ways, but if I’m honest it was one of the worst years of my life.
So what have I learned from last year?
I’ve figured out I’m not happy. Being able to be back at work was the end goal for me, but I’m back and I’m not happy. It takes a lot for me to say that because there was a time where I loved my job, and I want to love it again.
I’ve never said what I do for work on my blog, and I never will. They’re good people, I’m just tired of feeling anxious every day. I realised last year that I want to do something where I manage myself, manage my own hours and I want to do something creative.
It’s a risky move, but the idea of streaming / content creating / writing appeals to me a lot. It’s creative, I’d manage myself and my hours. I know it isn’t easy. I’m not necessarily looking for easy but the lack of stability concerns me slightly. So the question this year, is am I willing to take the risk?
Though, to be honest that’s not a question for this year. That’s a question for if I ever manage to achieve this to the point where I could consider giving up 9-5 full time work. For now I’ll keep doing what I enjoy.
I also learned that I will stop punishing myself for taking time off if I need it. My mental health is a priority this year. I am worth it and I refuse to tell myself otherwise with my words or my actions. I’m allowed to take care of myself.
This year I will read for pleasure again. Last year I stopped reading avidly around June, when my mental health decline. I still want to create content on my BookTube channel because I enjoy it however, I will stop the games. I enjoyed them at the time but I know myself well enough to know I won’t do well with that pressure this year.
During the month of January I plan to read old favourites to re-ignite my love for reading, and also to fall back into worlds I once fell in love with, and I’m so looking forward to it.
I hope you had the best 2021 you could have had, and if you didn’t then honest and genuine congratulations – you made it to 2022 – and I know how much of a struggle that must have been.
To anyone who reads this, I hope you have the best or better 2022. We all deserve a good year.