2021 Year in Review: Adventures, Spiritual Growth, Sickness, and No 9-5s

2021 was one of the best years I’ve had in the last few years! I’ve been doing these yearly reviews for my blog since 2017 when I first started blogging. I create these blog posts to reflect on my own growth (and if you’re ever interested in my growth that might resonate). I think as you go through my blog posts, you’ll learn something about me in each one but I make these so you really get to know the founding blogger in a summed-up blog.

You can read about my other yearly review blog posts from the previous years here: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

How did I feel about 2021?

When I look back at the last 4 years from 2021 (2017), I feel like there were a combination of life changes having all come together for 2021. I’ve written a lot about how the past years have been full of quarter-life crisis related stuff. Am I still going through that quarter-life crisis? Yep, that hasn’t gone away, yet. But I learned that your 20’s are going to be about navigating through the hurdles to find what we like. 

Except 2021 was the year I truly identified what I want out of life and I came to the conclusion that I love living a simple life. All I want to do is hike, write, travel, eat, sleep, rinse and repeat. No joke haha. But of course, we can add in life things in between such as spending time with friends and family, going to church, and continuing to work on my marketing work.

I am learning to create a plan for my own life.

I am tired of not having a plan for my life but I have been envisioning that it will come together soon. I have to accept that my life is a bit different than some people because I don’t know anyone else in person that blogs to support them. So a lot of 2021 was nearly comparing myself to where I was in life: Shouldn’t I be married already or at least in a serious relationship? Shouldn’t I be working a 9-5 job like everyone I know? Shouldn’t I be doing a bunch of other things than work (and work on my dreams)?

Well, like I said, the truth is the 20’s should be your years of experimenting and just because I did not choose to settle now does not mean I won’t choose to later. In fact, trust me when I said I tried to settle but for some reason, God is not allowing me to! 

I have dated time and time again (for 7 years non-stop) and this 2021 was the full first year where I was single without being in some relationship and it was more about healing my inner wounds and identifying a bit of what I truly want from one. It’s always so nice to take a break and put all your energy into building yourself up and not having to pursue something romantic. I will wait for something that’s actually real, someone willing to grow with me, someone healthy, and someone to support my lifestyle as I will for them.

I learned I need to put my energy in places THAT REALLY matter.

In March 2021, I quit my 9-5 job with a big corporation. I was burnt out mentally but most of all, I got sick and needed more time to heal. I could not perform at work with a respiratory fungal disease.

After months of thinking I can go back to a 9-5 for the stability and benefits, I have tried time and time again to get into 9-5 marketing roles and I interviewed for a few of them in 2021 but I never landed anything, which almost made me feel like a repeat of 2019 was happening, except in 2019, 100+ jobs rejected me. The year after getting out of college.

I stopped eventually pursuing trying to land a full-time job because it wasn’t happening, even with many jobs now available in the market. It was too much energy I was putting in and not getting anything back, even with how employers who had interviewed you do not get back to you about having chosen a different candidate so you never hear back. 

But, regardless of these challenges, I believe God had a bigger better plan for me and that’s probably why I am not landing these roles. So I’ve been doing freelancing work in marketing instead and working part-time jobs temporarily, such as having been a teaching assistant for Arizona State University’s digital marketing bootcamp. I’ve been putting a lot more energy into my blog and treating it like a full-time business. In fact, I started getting paid from blogging more this year after doing this for 4 years! 

Sure, I took a nice pay cut but let’s be real: I could not have kept up with how mentally and physically draining that job was for my health. I’ve actually been mentally healthier since leaving the job. It’s so freeing and has been better for me!!!

I was really sick, but this has been one of the most adventurous years.

Like I mentioned, I’ve been sick with this dumb disease. If you see my blog posts here, you can see I’ve talked about it a lot. My body was in utter pain most of 2021 (still is) and it really opened up my eyes about how I should feel about life. None of what I’ve been sad over in the last few years ever mattered.

I wasn’t exploring much in 2020 because I was working indoors a lot with long hours and I was out of energy with this new disease emerging. Chronic illness does get easier to deal with overtime so I was learning to manage it (sort of better). I decided to make 2021 a year where I’m going to knock off a few places off my bucket list, with getting tested a lot for this pandemic.

I got to travel 7 states and 1 country, aside from exploring around my home state of Arizona in 2021. So if you’re wondering if you can travel while being chronically ill, it is possible. You can see in my reel below what those places were. Also, I honed my photography more this year and I found a deep passion in taking outdoor photography too.

I was super productive in 2021 too.

You know what, I never let my chronic illness really hold me back, not just in traveling to places, but in what kind of work I can produce. Contrary to popular belief, travel bloggers do not travel all the dang time. I simply cannot. I wish, but no. It costs money to go and lots of planning and time away. I love having a life back home to return to too. But, that’s not to say, I try not to get out there still– I will. I just found a system that works for me.

In between the travels, I like to write more for months. I was able to write 45 blog posts in 2021. Keep in mind too, I try to write 1,000+ words in most of them, so that’s like maybe almost 45k words typed?! I haven’t counted the other years before because I don’t know, I wasn’t as serious about it like I am now. I produce all my blog posts without any assistance and that’s also including the marketing behind the blog.

And you know, you only see the final work produced on the surface but not what goes on behind the scenes. It is a lot of work to blog, especially consistently! (Did you know I also make YouTube videos haha…?)

This 2021 blog post is already reaching 1200+ words from here and it’s just about my year.

I love writing and that’s why I try to focus on growing my blog rather than my Instagram and other platforms. I find it soothing when my mind runs 100-mile per hour and I love putting my thoughts down when I don’t ever feel heard by others.

I also mentioned how I worked in marketing, which I’ve been doing for 4 years now, and I did a lot of marketing work too in 2021 for businesses to help grow their traffic and revenue through advertising work. In 2019, I was unemployed and only lived off savings and was not producing anything from this blog either. It’s crazy to see how times can change.

But one thing that should always remain: Stay positive things will fall together, manifest for all that you desire, be on the grind of your own pace, and love and embrace your OWN journey.

And I spiritually grew.

I talked about how I converted from a Catholic (who was no longer practicing the religion as much) to a Latter-Day Saint, a.k.a Mormon. I went through many years of being in a toxic cycle of my life from the way I was drinking and smoking a lot to being in toxic relationships. I may have not written it down in the previous yearly reviews because I was downplaying just how bad I was treating my health. I wanted to cut that off for myself and for the generations of mine to come.

I was not fulfilled with previous years about how I was living my life and I just felt empty. I loved it when I was healthier in all aspects of my life when I was with Mormons. I was so inspired by the way they lived their life and what they learn. Now, I feel more connected to be part of a church that helps me to do good, not just for myself but to help each other in the church and to the organizations we help out.

I love how nature helped me grow spiritually too and how it helps every year. I love nature so much to gain peace, and combine that with a religion, I can always have peace with me. I came from a chaotic life and I knew I deserved better in feeling more aligned with a peaceful life that will help me blossom to do well without substances/addictions. I know that God and Jesus Christ are guiding angels of mine too and I am not alone in all that I struggle with.

In a nutshell

This year felt long for me, maybe because I did not let time just pass, but because I was still constantly trying to find something to do in many areas of my life. 2021 was amazing because I know I am finally not as confused about the direction of my adulthood and how I can be simply happy with myself, doing what I simply love to do.

And I’m going to carry on what I learned over the collection of these last few years into 2022. This new year, I will fulfill more of my manifestations. I hope you will too.

Tell me what you thought below!