Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 | Rewind


I spend the final week of every December thinking back on the last twelve months, pulling threads together into a few hundred cohesive words, parsing the good and the bad, and ultimately painting a rosy picture. But not every year needs to be a good year — and 2021 was one of those not-as-good ones.


It wasn't a bad year, to be clear. It was just okay. I won't touch on the politics or broader U.S. culture; we all know what happened. Personally, most of the year felt fruitless, foggy. I was stuck in a few frustrating places (work, living situation) that took months to get out of. The spring and summer brought some particularly hard events: one of my coworkers passed away unexpectedly, and six of my coworkers lost loved ones in rapid succession — it felt like I got an email a week over the summer. It's difficult to keep going on like normal when it feels like everyone else is grieving.


As much as I talked about 2020 being a transition year — new job, new church, and the end of a relationship — I now feel like 2021 was the real transition year. And transitions are not always fun or easy or smooth. 2020 had some changes and then a big pause; 2021 felt like life was moving again, but differently than before and unclear so far where it's going.


None of this is to say there weren't good things this year too. I moved out of my apartment into a house with two other girls, and it's been the best living situation I've had in years. I traveled, a lot: a solo weekend in the Shenandoah Valley, two weeks with a friend in Oregon, a week on Oak Isle with my family, a month and a half or so (split into 2-week chunks) in Raleigh, a few scattered weeks at a coworker's house on the Occoquan River, my birthday weekend in Philadelphia, a bachelorette weekend on Deep Creek Lake, and day trips to Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, and Leesburg. I attended two weddings. I made new friends and hosted weekends in DC with old ones. I rock-climbed outside for the first time. I had a moment of DC pride when I perfectly parked in the smallest parallel space I've ever attempted.


As we go into the new year, I'm asking a lot of questions; 2022 feels like a "do the work" kind of year. After the last two years I'm skeptical of the "fresh beginnings" mindset, but as much as I'm able I'm looking forward to what's next.

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