This upcoming Saturday is my twenty-second birthday, and honestly it’s the first birthday I’ve really been taken aback by. I know twenty-two is still very young, but I’m less blown away by my age and more so by the fact that it’s already been a year since my last birthday. See, I was one of the unfortunate people to have turned twenty-one during the peak of the pandemic. I thought, surely by the next year this whole thing will have blown over and I’ll get to have a regular birthday. But, it’s been a whole year and the pandemic is probably worse than it was when we were in lockdown. And it’s my birthday again. So, I’d like to reflect on the past year and what I’ve learned during this incredibly strange time. I’ve been hesitant to take meaningful life lessons away from a deadly pandemic that has put thousands out of work and into stress, chaos, and pain. However, I don’t think I’m alone when I say that spending the majority of the year with myself has changed me a bit.
I’ve learned to be comfortable with myself, and that I honestly really enjoy my alone time. I used to be afraid of my thoughts and being alone with myself. I realized that being alone doesn’t always mean that you’re lonely. I didn’t use to like myself or enjoy my own company, but that’s changed in the past year. I’m on a journey of self love and self acceptance, and that’s something that I didn’t ever expect to have happened.
I’ve realized who I want to spend my time with, and that my time in general is something of value. I used to willingly be around people that didn’t make me happy or bring out the best qualities of myself, and now that spending time with others is hard to come by I know who I want to spend that time with. My inner circle and family has made this year so much brighter than it would have been without them. I know who I want to keep close as I move into this new chapter of my life.
Lastly, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in my professional and creative work. I used to suffer with horrid imposter syndrome, and sometimes still do. However, I’ve learned that my work has meaning and value and can actually make a difference. My writing has gotten vastly better, and my creative spirit has never been more active. I’m excited for what’s to come, and have a million ideas for the future. After a tumultuous four years (living one of those years through a global pandemic,) I feel like I’ve found my purpose and I can’t wait to start truly living.