2020 Year in Review: Being Ready for 2021

Hello 2021! HAPPY NEW YEAR!! ✨ I know I’m a little too late to write up my 2020 recap and even though I don’t think this post will ever get as big or read as my other posts, but I felt it was still necessary to write about how this year went for me, even for a little bit because I actually love to look back on my life through my posts on my blog site.

I do a yearly recap of how my year went and I wasn’t planning on doing it, but I said eff it… I think this will help me to reflect into my past years and seeking growth has become one of the most important things for me to do, especially the older I’m getting. 

I also know it can get quite unamusing to read about others and have it seem like it’s so “me, me, me.” If that is something you stray away from often, I feel your pain with that and that is why I try to focus on my site as much as possible with my reviews of places than what actually goes on in my life and these are one of those rare posts. 

Melissa Henning in the movie I Still Believe quotes “If one person’s life is changed by what I go through, then it will all be worth it.” That is how I think of it though when I write things about my life.

In fact, fun fact: a lot of the inspirational/wellness-related blog posts I write are based on advice I would give to myself or have learned upon the struggles I’ve faced. So cool, right? How you can just transfer your mental anguish into words of wisdom. To me, writing is therapeutic and if I can find close-to-right words to express the messages I want to share, I will keep on writing.

Viewing 2020 as a year that just sucked can be biased because everyone experiences different things through a year. To me? It was really good but it also really sucked and I feel like for the last few years, that feeling of mixed reactions has stuck out.

Anyway, here’s why it was good and why it sucked and just a few highlights of what I learned in 2020 and then if you read to the end, I will provide you a few encouraging lessons I had to experience that you can consider as advice for yourself going into this new year.

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

I can’t do everything I want to do and I learned I need to slow the heck down.

You see I’m prone to burn out. I’m so guilty for having to try to do as much as I can like working on a blog post, working on a collaboration, going out with my family and friends, going on dates, going on solo road trips and then I’m working full-time at the same time. I think I started feeling the physical effects on my body of trying to juggle all of these things and this has been me for the last 3 years. I also learned I travel more than I create content and then I’m left with so much content to write about BUT yet, I haven’t even finished the content I had planned beforehand. Ugh.

So, what am I going to do differently about this…? I’m going to truly prioritize the areas of where I should say “yes” to. I need to be able to make sure that I can get things done before putting myself into a new situation and I need to figure out how to balance my time. I do know that if I’m too tired or sick, I will not push myself to do things I am not well enough to do, except for my full-time job. I will literally continue working even if I’m sick as a dog. That isn’t always a good approach but it’s kind of hard for a Type A like me. I have some figuring out to do in this area.

Also, one biggest change I recognized in myself, more of this year, was that I am able to accept a more slower, laidback lifestyle. I used to go partying a lot with my friends in the last few years but I can accept that is no longer something I need to do or sometimes want to do. Now that I’m in my mid-20’s, I just love the idea of staying home or doing lowkey things with my friends. I love a sober environment as well. 

I love where I am and that socializing in parties or bars or clubs no longer serves me — it’s good to do in moderation but I know now I do not need to go out like that. The biggest influence for this change was the friends I surrounded myself with in this state of Arizona. I felt for so long that I was living this “double life”, but I love my friends from either side of their lifestyles, living it sober or not!

I’m so grateful for having work during this pandemic and accomplishing a lot of financial milestones.

This is the biggest win for me in 2020. In my “Goodbye 2019” blog post here, I mentioned about getting rejected for so many jobs. I also left out that detail of being unemployed out of a full-time job since I moved out west. One job in particular did give me the chance and I landed a marketing strategist role with Facebook.

Thank the Lord for providing me an opportunity to get back on my feet and being able to financially provide for myself again and this time, fully. I’ve bought a car using the tax refunds I had from my old marketing job in New Jersey. I got my credit score up by a lot! I was then able to pay a chunk of my car this year and I am now able to pay for all my bills without the assistance of my parents to help.

In a time during this pandemic where millions have lost their jobs, I am very grateful I was able to work. I know the struggle of being out of one in 2019 and this was one of the things I wanted most.

I used to not be able to get new materialistic items for myself because I simply saved for airplane tickets or travel-related funds (you can read about that in this old post) but now I’m in the position I can afford both. I was able to buy my first TV this year and a Sony A7 camera that takes fantastic shots!!

I did less traveling out of state this year but I still got to be able to go explore more amazing places.

Once again, with the pandemic, I wasn’t able to travel much out of state except for California about three times. I also have been so busy working in my job that I could not take off a lot to go much elsewhere because a 9-5 job will do that for you.

However, exploring places will always be a part of me and it is also what keeps me coming up with new content to cover. I did a lot more exploring through road trips in my state and hikes! Road trips were the biggest thing for me and I even enjoy it solo too. Ever since having a new car that I own by myself, I felt the freedom to go on road trips whether that’s by myself, my friends, my parents, or with whomever I’m dating.

I’m not as physically active as I was last year but I’m still active. Just not as healthy…

On my “Goodbye 2019” blog post here, once again, I wrote how I was involved in the 52 Hike Challenge and dang right, I completed that in January of 2020!! You can read my post on the challenge all about it here. Even after finishing that, I still found myself hiking often and I tried to do it on the weekends so I could recharge from working all week in my job. Hiking will always be my favorite thing to do, so I’m still doing that. Of course, not as much as I was doing it during my year of the challenge.

In that blog post too, I mentioned how I was my healthiest yet. I really was. But, then I started slipping off of that a bit when I got so consumed in my job. I went back to unhealthy habits like eating junk food, drinking coffee every day (drinking coffee is not that bad but I have a low tolerance for it and it triggers my anxiety!), not exercising enough, and feeling like all I could do is rest after work. I guess some of these things could be normal when it comes to feeling drained from a full-time job, so it’s important to balance our health alongside work. However, that can be easier said than done. It really takes discipline to do so.

But this year I started noticing some health problems with myself. I have experienced some ongoing hormonal issues where my periods are irregular and I have all these symptoms that are too long to list that basically puts me in misery for 3 weeks of the month and this has progressively got worse since the summer. 

I tried to see an OBGYN a few months ago about these problems but all she did was prescribe me birth control pills that did not even address the issues but made me feel worse! I do plan to find another one soon to get more clarity on my health on what’s been going on. The extreme fatigueness that comes with it is one of the more terrible feelings because it is one of the reasons I’ve delayed in producing more work on time especially with my blog. I do not want to feel like all I want to do is rest because my body simply cannot keep up anymore. 🙁

I learned that your health should always come first before anything else, before your work, before important events you have to attend to, and anything else that can wait. It’s always best to find out what is going on with your body when you know it doesn’t feel right. You should always listen to what your body is telling you!

I decided to focus my energy on places that really matter. I’ll focus more on my blog and Pinterest rather than Instagram.

This was the year where I have slipped off from trying with my Instagram. I mean, I do post often on there to share my latest adventures and thoughts but I do not feel like I can keep scrolling down on my feed and being overly engaged anymore on it. I simply stopped caring for how many followers I’m gaining or the amount of likes I am receiving on each picture. Social media can be an awful addiction at times and a distraction.

I think in order for me to reverse the feelings of burnout, I need to work on the things that really matter. Instagram is not the best place to convert visitors into readers, but a SEO-friendly blog post that ranks on Google will. Pinterest with a lot of bloggers on it and people who are looking for ideas will. 

I need to face the idea of the FOMO (fear of missing out) and I’m also prone to FOMO. I thought that being on Instagram will help me address that and I still feel like I’m susceptible to it and silently battling it. I think Instagram has a lot of its perks such as personally connecting with people, but I have to remember my goal was always to have a growing blog that will have evergreen content that will connect like-minded adventurers.

In a nutshell

Anyways, if you’ve read all the way down here… WOW, thank you. I know that was a lot on me and I could keep writing more of how 2020 went for me, but those were the main things. 2020 repeated some of the things that were also painful to deal with last year like more rejections in opportunities, heartbreaks, disappointments, and feeling utterly confused about the true directions of my life at this point. 

There were also awesome opportunities that came about like being featured in some publications and learning to go through new passions: For me, it would be *slowly* learning photography and attempting to learn how to scuba dive, which was by far the funnest thing I’ve done and the most awesome experience but I had to quit due to my fears but I will try to get it done and be certified ONE DAY when I’m ready again!

I’ve hit my 2-year mark living in Arizona this year and I’m still falling in love with the places I’m seeing out here on the west coast still, no matter how many places I’ve already explored out here. I’m trying to still make my eyes feel like I’m always a tourist in this state to keep my love for it alive!

Once again, Happy New Year and here’s to 2021 being bigger and better for all of us and to trying our best to be the best version of a person we can be. To achieve more wealth, good health, and here’s to getting closer to our dreams. ✨

And words of wisdom for you…

Here are some of the takeaways of this year that I want to share with you guys to keep in mind:

  • A new year doesn’t mean you have to make new promises to yourself but it could mean just taking what you know and what you were still working on with more intention and actions behind it. A simple and impactful reminder that movement & motivation are necessary. Even the little baby steps taken count. ⁣⁣⁣
  • Slow down and don’t feel you need to do more than what you can handle. Don’t give so many pieces of you where your heart & head just cannot juggle. Be aware of where you place your energy and protect it. ⁣⁣⁣
  • Where you ended up right now is exactly where you have to be but you’re going to keep going to so many places. You can either choose to settle because it feels right or you can keep riding out the waves until you’ve hit your shore.⁣⁣⁣
  • If you’re a planner like me, sometimes we have to accept life doesn’t come with a blueprint. But we can use the tools we have and use our intuition to guide us.⁣⁣⁣
  • Stay aligned with your passions and keep chasing those dreams. No matter how much work you’re putting in or what sacrifices you’re choosing to do and you don’t feel like it’s paying off right away because you’re seeing things for what it is at the moment… have faith it will. Sometimes after planting the seeds, you gotta water it before it grows. And trust me, it will work out.⁣⁣⁣
  • If someone leaves you with memories and no longer chooses to be in your life, let them and set yourself free too. You will grow from these experiences of having known someone. But don’t forget you can give yourself the love you can be destined for. Don’t let these shatter your own perspective of the good hearted, loving, and amazing person you are. ⁣⁣⁣
  • I remember while meditating with my sister once during the Great Conjunction, the saying “Be gentle with you” came up in the video. So, yes, be gentle with you and keep being you. 🌱
  • The clouds can shift away and make room for the sun. Hard times WILL pass.

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