Dear humans who are still subscribed to and/or interested in this very sporadically posted-on blog,
Happy 2021! Whew. What an effing YEAR.
I wanted to write a little something to first and foremost, check in and see how you’re doing. I hope that you are well and your people are well. If you or someone you know has been affected by covid (and/or other health concerns or hardships) know that I am thinking of you and am sitting with you, in whatever you may be feeling or experiencing. If there is anything I can do to support you, please please let me know (by texting or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org). 💙
Second, I thought it might be nice to share a bit about what we’ve all been up to this year, similar to what I did last year. A virtual holiday card if you will. I always get so sappy this time of year; I love a good opportunity to reminisce and reflect.
A couple of things I want to acknowledge first:
One, part of me is hesitant to put this out there because I don’t want the contents of this little note to come across as minimizing or diminishing any of the truly horrific things that have happened this year (that I’ve experienced, that you’ve experienced, or that we’ve experienced collectively). I recognize I’m coming from a very privileged position and to that end, it feels inappropriate to just share a highlight reel of my year without fully owning that.
Even so, while I will spare the details of my personal ‘lows’ of 2020, it has been a challenging year, and as important as it is to sit in the grief, heartache, and pain of it all (which I have and continue to do), for me, it’s equally important to talk about all of the other stuff that happened this year, too. Even if only to help myself remember it wasn’t all bad. So consider this a wildly selfish act, but here’s a bit of what my year looked like.
By the way I would really love to hear what you’ve been up to and how you’re feeling after this year if you’re up for sharing, too. Community and connection are so important right now (now more than ever), and while emailing isn’t quite the same as sitting across a table from you and catching up (which is what I’d really like to be doing!), I will take what I can get. 🙂 I miss you!
2020 Highlight Reel
January 2020: I visited my fam.
At this point in the year, I was preparing to move out of Chicago and do some traveling starting in February. Before I hit the road, I took a trip back to Massachusetts to spend some time with my family, including my (most adorable) nephew. It was a grand time.
February 2020: I published my e-book, and traveled to Puerto Rico to help build earthships for 2 weeks.
Earthships are self-sustaining homes made of recycled materials that encourage autonomous, communal, and sustainable living. Participating in this project was one of the most life-giving and empowering experiences of my life, and I’m so thankful for all that I learned and all of the beautiful humans I got to work alongside and get to know there. I never knew pounding tires and building bottle walls could provide such a sense of purpose! I hope to help with more earthship builds in the future. ⚙️If you ever have the opportunity to participate yourself, I highly recommend it! They do these builds all over the world. And if you have any questions on it, let me know!
I also published my first e-book, all about holistic healing and how to enter the world of natural health in a healthy way. 🤓 If you’ve read it or do read it, I’d love to know what you think!
March 2020: After Puerto Rico, I spent a week in Panama.
This trip was supposed to be a couple of months long, but ended up being cut short due to some differences in expectations between us and our host. It ended up working out because the day I flew back to the States (on my birthday, actually) was right around the time that lockdowns started happening due to covid. Had we not flown back when we did, we may have gotten stuck in Panama! I do hope to go back someday when things in the world aren’t so crazy. Panama is a beautiful place. ☀️
April 2020: I spent some time in the state of Colorado.
There is nothing like the sun shining in Colorado. I am grateful for the time I had here to familiarize myself with ‘quarantine life’ while also still being able to take walks outside (since we weren’t in a super city-ish area). Can’t wait until the next time I can visit.
May 2020: I traveled back to Chicago and felt many, many feelings.
I was going through some stuff in May. I took time to retreat, grieve, go outside as much as possible, and take lots of moody selfies. It was lovely to be back in Chicago and meet up with folks I hadn’t seen in-person for a while, and give myself space to feel.
June 2020: More time outside and more grieving in Chicago.
I stayed in Chicago for the majority of June, and spent more time outside with people I cared about. More importantly, June was the time that the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless other POC came to light. While police brutality against the black community is certainly not new, this was a month where many of us (finally) opened our eyes to the reality that we are living in a country in which systemic racism runs deep, right alongside colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy. 2020 has served as a potent reminder that we have so much work to do, in 2021 and beyond, in moving the needle towards real, lasting equality.
July 2020: I spent the month exploring in Colorado with one of my best friends.
It was so special to spend a month in a nature-filled space with Sarah, who was one of my old college roommates and is one of my very best friends. We spent a lot of time hiking and talking and eating home cooked meals. There were lots of animal sightings, along with doing laundry by hand, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There may or may not have also been a few hikes that ended with in me in tears, begging Sarah to help me make it through the hike. Sarah is an expert hiker and I… not so much. She was such a good sport, helping me through the extra steep parts and encouraging me as I screamed for my life intermittently. Bless you, Sarah. 😂
August 2020: I saw family and friends (socially distanced) in Massachusetts.
It was so special to see my nephew and other people who I hadn’t seen since January of that year. There were lots of walks outside, along with talks of how our years have been so far.
September 2020: Back to Chicago.
I spent this month doing more of the same: lots of walks outside and time spent in nature. That’s one of the things I love most about Chicago; you can’t travel too far without running into some sort of park or body of water. You get a nice balance of nature + city life.
October 2020: You guessed it… more time outside in Chicago.
The pictures speak for themselves. So thankful for the time to be in nature, especially before it got more wintry. We had some really warm October days this year!
November 2020: A 2020 attempt at flying home for the holidays.
It was a successful attempt, thankfully. I made it to Massachusetts on November 22nd. There was a slight change of plans since I was supposed to spend Thanksgiving with my family, but was unable to due to covid. I ended up spending Thanksgiving down the Cape instead though, which was lovely, and my family and I had a belated Thanksgiving later on in December. ❤️I will say, trying to get a rapid covid test on short notice around the holidays was not easy (it was an 11-hour affair that started by getting in a line at 4:30am and waiting there for hours in the pouring rain). But alas, I got my test eventually, and it was negative. 🙏🏼
December 2020: Christmas in Massachusetts.
I spent the rest of the year in Massachusetts, so I could avoid flying twice for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays always seem to go by so quickly. I spent Christmas with my family. It felt like a particularly big gift this year, with all that’s been happening in the world. I was also able to go on some walks with friends that I haven’t seen for ages, and was reminded of how glorious it is to be able to go a year without seeing someone and catch up like no time has passed. So thankful for to time to connect amidst these crazy times.
If you’ve make it this far, you are a champ! Okay. Now your turn. 😊 What have you been up to this year? If you’re not sure how exactly to answer such a broad question, here are some things I’m particularly curious about. 😉
- What is one thing that you are proud to have accomplished or gotten through this year?
- What is one moment that brought you joy this year?
- What’s one lesson you’ve learned this year?
- What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this coming year?
Shoot me a text or an email (email@example.com) if you’re up for it! I would love to hear from you. 🙂
Wishing you so much goodness this coming year. I know it has been a challenging one… if no one else has told you recently (and even if they have), you are doing a great job, and you are so so loved. 🌱 Happy new year to you and your people. 💛✨