The last time a year ended in a 2, I wanted to kill myself. No seriously, I was suicidal. This time around, I wanted to live my life to the fullest. No seriously, I was the happiest I’ve been in a long time.
2022 was a year of challenges. I wanted to enter this year doing things that I normally wouldn’t have done in the past mainly because I did not have the confidence to do so. I began the year with a new wave of confidence; I was about 60 pounds down in my weight loss journey, and I was ready to finally get out of my shell after being tucked away in it for so long because I never felt confident enough to come out of it.
At the beginning of 2022, I finally felt like it was my time to leave the bookstore and begin a new chapter of my life. My chapter at the bookstore was one that I needed when I did, and it was a chapter that lasted about 2 and a half years. Toward the end, I knew my time was coming; I knew I was growing out of the job and needed to embark on a new journey. My mentor, Ro, connected me to a guy that worked in Academic Support. I helped him put together the syllabus for the remedial English class offered for students who don’t meet the proficiency levels in reading and writing to take the first level of English, ENG 111. I hoped that after working n that project, I was going to be hired to work within that department of that school, but with budget cuts and all that stuff going on behind the scenes, it wasn’t possible for me to take on this position as my regular job. It wasn’t until the end of January 2022 that I was reached out by that same guy, asking me if I was interested in working in the Registrar’s Office. After having a good and long conversation with those around me, I made the decision to leave the bookstore and take the job at the Registrar’s Office.
Embarking on a new journey meant that new issues and challenges also came up in my life. This was the year that I realized just how bad I need control over my life in order to feel okay with things around me and for me be able to move forward with my day. For the things I simply did not have control over, I would find ways to control parts of my life that really didn’t need to be controlled; even something as small as how much food I take in from the day because I was too worried to gain the weight that I lost back. It was a learning experience to be okay with the fact that I can only control things like my behavior, my mindset, and my actions. As I was learning this, I realized a lot of this stemmed from a place of uncertainty and fear of change. There was a point when I regretted all the changes I made in such a short amount of time, but then I would remember that I made these decisions because this was what I wanted when I made it in the first place. It took a lot of rewiring my brain to finally feel like I belonged at my job and that I was actually doing it correctly, y’know? I came from a place where I was the most knowledgeable about the job I was in to now being in an office with women who were the most knowledgeable workers about the job. It fucked with my head knowing that I was going to make tons of mistakes and yet I kept telling myself that I was a horrible worker.
With the proper guidance and support in my life, I was able to finally feel at ease in my position at my job and just life in general. It gave me the space to finally allow a friend back into my life after us slowly falling out earlier that year. It gave me the confidence to finally be my complete self without any judgment or second-guessing if someone liked me or not. It gave me the time needed to finally trust people again after feeling like I was on this journey of my life by myself for the first couple of months.
2022 taught me a lot about myself and opened sides of myself that I didn’t know existed in me.
I feel like I am finally comfortable and confident enough as a person and I can finally allow myself to be how I always imagined myself in my head. I’m not the main character whatsoever, but I am more so the side character with a couple of important scenes to have the audience thinking “wait, maybe the main character should listen to her quirky best friend” or some shit like that. I am the person that you were introduced as shy and private; didn’t speak often and when they did, they didn’t say much either. It’s not until I have something to say that I finally feel like I speak my mind and show my personality a bit more. Once I get comfortable though… I’m nothing like I was in the beginning.
I guess my year has just been the year that I was challenged by new anxiety and issues and finally found a way for it to not completely alter my progress or journey in the long run. What I mean by that is that in the past, I would be completely content with how my life is going until something out of my control happened. When that happens, it’s like everything else around me goes downhill, and depending on how severe that event was, it could take me years to finally feel that level of happiness and contentment with life again. I was afraid that this was going to be the year that I would fall down again and start from nothing once more, leaving me hoping that 2023 would be the year that it all changed for the better.
I’m glad that I was wrong.
I’m glad that despite the new challenges I had to face, I was still able to make the most out of what I could for the year. Like, I went to see both the Game Grumps and Demi Lovato in person; two of the acts that have been on my bucket list for years to see live. Not only did I go to these shows, but I also went to them by myself and enjoyed my solo adventures. I’m glad that despite the hardships I faced, I was able to go day by day and try to make the most of it and get by with what I had. I’m glad that even though I found myself at times in bad head spaces and in poor mental health, I ultimately didn’t lose who I was and what I was becoming.
2022 was a continuation of my journey, but somehow felt like there were parts of myself that felt completely new; a feeling I haven’t had for quite some time now. I don’t feel like the person I was when I entered the year, and I will probably not be the same person when ending 2023 in a year! It’s interesting that I am learning parts of myself like I was meeting a new person in my life, and that has been something I’ve been enjoying in this chapter of my life.
2022, thank you for allowing me to gain the confidence and courage that has always been on me yet needed to be awakened. I feel like I am 8 years old again, not being afraid to talk and be myself around people and having this spunk that made me funny and sassy and just what I’ve always imagined “Liz” would be.
I’m glad to say I feel like that little girl again, just 20 years older and a hell of a lot nicer. Haha!