5 minute read

My unsolicited advice for the new year? A few thoughts...Be soft with yourself. Similarly, don't be afraid to be soft with others. But learn when hard stops are necessary. Embrace your curiosity — let it be the balm to your soul. Throw out the timelines. Trust your timing instead. Don't fear endings. They're just new beginnings in disguise. You don't need to have everything figured out today, tomorrow, or hell, even 5 years from now. Some of the most interesting people you'll meet (and have yet to meet) still don't have it figured out and I like to think, that's what makes life so damn interesting. It's the predictability you have to be wary of...

First things first, happy new year, my friends! I hope your celebrations, whether you stayed home or went out with friends, were filled with love and gratitude. I know mine certainly was.

Secondly, I suppose I might be coming out of my blogging hibernation. Or rather, I'd really like to wake up from this slumber but I'm now debating if I'm ready. Either way, I know I've missed you all terribly and appreciate the kind comments and messages you've sent in my absence. If I haven't underscored it lately, I'm so very blown away by this community of strong, intelligent, curious women who decide to visit me here.

So...here we are on the first Monday of the new year. The first full "work day" for many, myself included, after the holiday break. In previous years, I'd have a prepared resolutions blog post, likely waxing poetically about my intentions for the year, perhaps even throwing in a focus word or two. While that is admirable and entirely well and good, I paused when I sat down to write this blog post today and really asked myself what I hope to ask myself each time I write and share anything with you all — what is the why behind this? If the answer ever resembles "because I feel obligated to" then I know my heart isn't in it.

That said, I have no plans to share and no sweeping resolutions and if you don't either, then cheers to you. The thing that we often forget is that every day is an opportunity for a new start. You don't need the calendar to reflect January to do so. Today, I felt compelled to share the full list of lessons you all graciously shared with me a few weeks ago — a compilation of your triumphs, joys and sorrows from 2021 that bore a teaching moment. If you're still getting your footing here in 2022 like I am, I think reflecting on the past year (the good and bad) is a wonderful place to start.

Let's kick this off, shall we? Here's what you all learned in 2021...

  1. "That there is strength in weakness."
  2. "Tomorrow might never come. Enjoy today. No regrets."
  3. "I'm good at alone time. Always avoided it before."
  4. "I can be alone. Like 5 states away from friends alone and still thrive and kick some ass."
  5. "My job doesn't define my worth."
  6. "Being kind and caring is a superpower, not a weakness."
  7. "To be bold, audacious and to trust myself."
  8. "To depend on myself for my own happiness and that I am enough."
  9. "Resilience. I wish I didn't have to learn this lesson."
  10. "To separate external expectations from my own values and interests."
  11. "That I am running my own race and that I really miss living in the same city as my family."
  12. "Clothes can be comfy and chic."
  13. "Buy all the shoes, take all the trips (when it's safe) and spend time with loved ones."
  14. "To shift my priorities. Love as much and as best as I can."
  15. "My puppy scout has reminded me what it's like to have pure love. I'm so grateful."
  16. "I am an entrepreneur."
  17. "I am not in control."
  18. "To say no to things that don't nourish me or help me grow."
  19. "How to heal from trauma responses/patience/empathy."
  20. "That life can change in the blink of an eye."
  21. "To remove the guilt from other's people disappointments."
  22. "Imperfect and real is so much better than some dumb picture perfect idea I had."
  23. "To live period."
  24. "To ask for help when I need it. It's not a sign of weakness."
  25. "Never settle. Something better always comes along."
  26. "Waiting for the love you deserve you will be more than worth it."
  27. "There is absolutely no point in settling for a person or a job."
  28. "Not to shortchange myself and ask for that raise...and persist until I get it."
  29. "Every moment is fleeting, find something I enjoy about each moment."
  30. "That despite overwhelming grief (at times), I can have good days."
  31. "Nothing is permanent or black and white. And also, there aren't any rules."
  32. "That being around people you love is the best treasure the world can offer."
  33. "To always be grateful for the life I have..."
  34. "Spending time with family is very important, live your life with no excuses. Do everything."
  35. "How others view me doesn't define me. Kindness always wins. Creative minds are magic."

On Krystal: Patbo dress (gifted) // On Serena: Patbo (borrowed) // On Makeda: Eloquii // On Alissa: Vintage // Brothers & Sisters beret

Photography by Marcus Richardson, shot on location at Bethesda Terrace