2021 & done

I went digging through old journals to uncover what the intention was for this year and I came across something dorky that’s better left private (but champagne is now involved, so no holds barred): “2020 was the year of mental health, 2021 will be the year of the glow up.” 🤓

Not everything went as planned in the last 365, but I did hold up to that: I lost almost 40 lbs, continued to work through a 747 worth of baggage, got more interested in skincare than my past self would admit, mastered an influencer-worthy self-care morning routine, and bought enough clothes (many second hand!) for my new size that would make my husband grit his teeth at the end of a few months. More importantly, I painted, a lot. I even wrote a little. Gifting myself small pockets where I’d steal away from other responsibilities to create for a few minutes at a time has given me a “glow” that no serum, highlighter, or even a dress covered in sequins could replicate.

Behind great leaps are the hurdles beneath, stumbles unseen, and challenges set aside for another day. “Stealing away” for creativity feels that way every time: over indulgent. Guilt overwhelms with each direct message, comment, and text message that goes unanswered (almost all of them—please call or send a Snapchat!). Saying ‘yes’ to more creativity means saying ‘no’ to many. I say yes to my sons and husband, yes to myself & the care I need to show up best for them but I say ‘no’ often to people, tasks and opportunities that are of great value.

In the New Year, I know that I won’t be able to balance “it all,” because “having it all” and “doing it all” is a patriarchal, western myth. ESPECIALLY as a mother of a young family. But in 2022, I hope to feel less guilty over what I say no to and allow space for my art and writing to flourish. I hope that the writing and art I create, the children I raise, and the people I support interpersonally are the greatest contributions I will have in this lifetime. I hope to have the courage to ask for help or grace in the areas I struggle to manage on top of the strides I make in those areas of life.

As 2019 came to a close, I called it “the year of community.”
As 2020 came to a close, I called it “the year of mental health” and correctly forecasted 2021 to be “the year of the glow up.”

2022 will be “the year of less.”

In 2019 I enriched the soil, 2020 I carefully tended to the seedling of my dreams, and in 2021 I watched myself flourish. What I hope for 2022 is to shamelessly prune aspects of life that, no matter how much time is spent on them, will not be my greatest contribution. In pruning back what’s not my greatest work, I hope to see my art and writing branch out to new heights.

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