In January of last year, I set my intentions. I had plans. I had new goals. New dreams. I wrote down everything I wanted to accomplish—personal, financial, creative, all of it. I was searching for peace, though. I felt I had to steal time for myself and was stretched. Prioritizing my writing was high on my list, and I found myself trying to sort out the balance of life. This was the start of 2022: bumpy yet routine and task-driven.
My family and I decided to go to Atlanta during the February winter recess. We drove from New York. I love road trips, and this one was extensive! Music selections, history lessons, nod-offs to recharge, and car games kept it interesting. We made it to our destination. We stayed with family, explored the city, had dinner with some of my fave cousins, and met up with friends who traveled from NYC too. My best friend and her family were in town for a football game that my godson was playing in, and I also spent time with them. It was wonderful. At a point through our time away, my intuition was heightened. Something felt off, and I knew it was work-related. I had a Zoom catch-up, as I was working remotely for part of the week and found out that my position was being eliminated. That’s the thing about post-2020, everything has changed, and companies are constantly trying to figure things out and pivot and restructure. The funny thing is, the emotion that I can use to describe how I felt at that moment is calm. This was something beyond my control, and I was confident in what I added during my time there. We finished out our trip and enjoyed the break. But, before we headed back to New York, we drove to Ohio. I learned that my uncle had passed away. I was able to hug my family. I saw my cousins, whom I hadn’t seen in many years. We were able to honor my uncle’s life and grieve together.
Back in New York, I was in transition. Wrapping up projects and exiting my position. Still being a mom/wife/friend/daughter/school volunteer/creative. At the same time, I was launching my own business. Life’s timing is interesting. The period from March to July—it was rough. I stayed resolute through the process and the struggle, the bending and the readjusting; there was nowhere to go but through it. I took a screenwriting class and read my affirmation cards. I couldn’t journal, though. I did not want to write about my days, feelings, or thoughts. I continued to blog, so that was my release. My outlet.
During this time, I leaned into being intentional. I didn’t want to fall into another job like my last one just because it was familiar. I didn’t want to do the same thing that felt comfortable or safe. I made a list of non-negotiables. There’s something about finding and knowing your worth and not wavering. I started my job search in April. Editing cover letters and submitting application after application. LinkedIn and emails and reaching out to my network. As we all know, looking for a job is a job in and of itself. I interviewed with a couple of places before choosing and landing where I am now. In July, a new world opened up for me. I have found myself in a place where being all of me is welcomed. It’s encouraged. I have more joy in my heart than I have had in a long time. I have found that inquisitive, fun-loving inner child of mine again. My eyes fill with wonder and amazement at new experiences. My soul is anchored in love and hope. The light of possibility shines so brightly in my spirit that it can’t be tamed.
One of my favorite motivational quotes is from the film Rise, a biographical film based on Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family— “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”
The way my year ended was magical. Not perfect. But, indeed, magical.
In November, I started taking Zumba classes. I forgot how much I loved to dance and move. I also began swimming lessons—this has been on my goal list for the past three years. I took a transformative trip to Jamaica in December, my first time outside of the US. I swam in Jamaica! I climbed Dunn’s River Falls. I found myself in the Caribbean Sea having a dolphin encounter. I bounced around the resort with no daily to-do list. I was present in the moment. I relaxed and embraced this sweet life that I have. You see, it’s not about where you start. Don’t let age discourage you. Don’t compare your path to anyone else’s. I have a newfound creative spark. My spirit is awakened in new ways. I am connected to myself fully. I am thankful for the scars and bruises that I endured in 2022 as they converted into a beautiful, sun-kissed tan.
I’d like to share my journal entry that I wrote on my last morning in Ocho Rios anticipating the sunrise:
Today is our last day in Jamaica. We arrived on Monday. Each morning, I woke up early to sit on the balcony to catch the sunrise. I would sit listening to the waves peacefully flow and crash to shore. The birds chirp. The resort staff sweep and chat here and there in the background. I could smell breakfast as they prepared the dishes, sweet handmade dumplings, jerk spiced potatoes with peppers and onions, and french toast…the sweet and spicy aroma would drift up to my nose. The palm trees swayed gently, and the insects could be heard in the distance. Each morning, I would sit in the calmness. This was my Ocho Rios ritual. I sat with ease in one of my satin pajama short sets with cozy, furry slippers. The breeze softly felt on my face and legs. I breathed in the moment, awaiting the sun below the clouds. It happened between 6:37-6:40 am daily. There was a promise that every sunrise represented— a new day, a new hope. A new possibility. And I was ready for each one. The outline of the clouds was a bright, neon peach, and then the glow would strengthen, lighting up the cloud cover and sky. The illumination was breathtaking—the glory of another opportunity.
So, the question is, “What do you do when things fall apart?” My answer: You find yourself.
This said, as The Daily Feels comes to an end, I want to thank each and every one of you who has supported and followed me on this journey. Your words of encouragement, social media comments, shares, and reposts have been seen and felt. Thank you for holding space for me to share my truth and vulnerability and in turn, giving voice to yours. I pray we continue to grow together.
Sending you abundant love & light.
I’ll see you soon.