Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Reflecting On Year 26!


What a crazy whirlwind 26 was. Aside from the unprecedented amount of times that unprecedented was used to describe events - 26 was a year of growth. 

Although I feel like every year I say the last year was full of growth - this year the growth was in relation to accepting things around me and setting boundaries. 

I was fired from my last job a few days after I turned 26. Looking back now, that was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me. 

At the time - I was dadless, jobless, and in the middle of a global pandemic. As we all were! To say I felt hopeless and luckless would be an understatement. 

However, a few months later, I would land a job somewhere my dad always wanted me to work. My dad told me to always intern at Shaker and apply there and when I saw the opening online I knew it was a sign. Almost a year into working here and I’ve never had a better work-life balance, I’ve never felt more comfortable sharing my input and ideas, and I’ve never been less anxious. I realized what it felt to strive for work-life balance. 

I realized that someone is more than what they do. I’ve set professional boundaries across the board that has helped protect my mental health. 

For personal boundaries - those have come with both friends and potential romantic encounters. This last year I learned a lot about dating and breaking old patterns and setting boundaries for myself in this part of my life. I think for a long time in my life I felt like I had everything else going for me - so why not dating? And I’ve had this woe is me attitude for a really long time. 

Believe it or not - TikTok played a huge role in this. My algorithm showed me a lot of relationships coaches and experts and people who were going through similar things as me. This helped me reposition how I looked at dating and myself. 

Speaking of TikTok - 26 was the year I made hashtags on TikTok trend, I had videos that got over half a million views, and I let my more goofy side show through on the internet. I used my real-life experience (usually dating) and turned it into comedic (well I think comedic) tidbits that helped people feel less alone. 

I also hit 10,000 followers on Instagram during 26. This is a huge goal for content creators on the app and has opened so many doors for me! I can't believe I've been blogging for almost 4 years! 

This is the least alone I’ve ever felt. A large part of that may be that I’ve taken on being a foster cat mom (hoping to soon be full-time cat mom!). I knew next to nothing about cats but when I found myself wanting a cat I waited a few months and kept the idea to myself. For someone who has to tell someone almost every thought they have - this was huge! After about 4 months when I realized that this was not an impulse idea I looked into fostering. From there, I thank all of the cat people in my life, Rescue in Style and The Catcade! I applied to foster, got approved and within a few days, little miss Dolly came home with me. 

She was a transport from an Indiana shelter and to say she has changed my life in the short time I’ve known her would be an understatement. I do not think I’ve ever loved something that is truly my own more than I love Dolly.

And in a way, learning all about cats and Dolly and us forming a strong bond, I realized that this would be how I would want to feel in a relationship. I don’t think I’ve ever fully experienced this with another human being. And maybe I will in the 27th year. 

There's so much to be thankful for, so much to smile about, and so much to grow into. I'm excited for what 27 brings and happy I get to do it with all of you! Cheers to another year!
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