Hello, lovelies. You may have noticed that, for the second month in a row, my blog has been a bit dormant. Despite the best laid plans, despite what I want, this blog–amongst many other things–has been forced to the back burner. Today, I just wanted to offer a quick explanation: of where I’ve been, how I am mentally and where I hope to go from here. Because, quite honestly, 2021 has been proper shit. I’ve felt stuck, because when life hands you lemons of this magnitude, it’s hard to know where to go from here.
So, welcome to another personal post, processing and (hopefully) persevering.
The past two years hasn’t been kind for anyone, I reckon. Last year was hard and eye-opening, yet I was also very privileged. Heck, I still am, in many ways. Yet, 2021 has really decided to throw me through the ringer. Let’s just take a quick look.
When life hands you lemons, 2021 edition:
- Announced in March that our office were undergoing strict budget cuts
- Didn’t find out until May (almost June) what those cuts were and who was getting let go
- Frantically job searched that entire time (25+ applications, 4 interviews, 2 offers)
- Had to turn both offers down, due to lack of moving funds (oh, what a Catch-22 I hate)
- Developed short-term gastrointestinal issues that lasted the entire summer due to stress
- Between May and October, 12 people quit from my office, so severely overworked and overwhelmed for literal months
- Also, been averaging 60 30 minute appointments for the past month thanks to low staffing, so I am fucking BURNT.OUT.
- Exposed to COVID *twice* in October thanks to said job (and our university refusing to allow those of us who could have worked remote to stay that way, until the pandemic was over)
- A week after COVID exposure one, had a back spasm so intense I had to go to the ER
- Couldn’t walk without pain for a week
- After multiple doctor’s visits, found out I have degenerative disc disease and three discs in my lower back are slowly dissolving
- During the week I wouldn’t move after the back flair up, my Grandfather died
- Then, second COVID exposure
- Currently sick with a viral infection
- Between the back disability and the gastrointestinal mysteries, I’ve spent almost a month’s worth of pay in medical bills (after insurance)
- Had to stop going to therapy because insurance suddenly stopped covering it
- Mostly likely going to have to miss Halloween plans and the safe, vaxxed friends gathering this weekend thanks to current illness
- Birthday off request got denied AND I’m feeling crummy
Okay, so after writing that all out…but fuck me, I’m really not surprised that I am feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, behind on everything and just depressed as all get out. Writing it out also was helpful in just…allowing me to acknowledge that yeah, this year has been shit? Things aren’t going well? I’m not just making this up?
If you’re having a shit year, too, I think it’s important for all of us to take a step back and acknowledge it. It’s okay to admit things aren’t going your way; totally understandable if you aren’t able to be as productive as you want to, if you need to put things on hold or if you just need a bloody breather.
So, let’s all cut ourselves some fucking grace, shall we?
Now, obviously life isn’t all shit. There are positives amongst the list above. I still have a job! (And we’re now getting raises, because money somehow miraculously showed up after 12 people quit and our office is on the brink of collapse? Who knew?). I don’t have COVID (yay for vaccines!). I actually got approved to be a hybrid employee, so I get two days a week remote. There is a plan in place to address my new disorder and hopefully keep myself from flaring up again. I have enough sick time saved up to take off work while being sick. We got to see my Grandpa before he passed. My work is hopefully rehiring so we can all get back down to lower numbers and get my sanity back during my day job by the start of next year.
So, it’s not all bad. But, I think you can recognize that things are proper shit (as shown above) *and* be thankful for things at the same time. And right now, getting sick and missing plans I’ve been looking forward to was the last straw that broke me; that made me feel like I just can’t win this year.
I will be healthy again. Plans can be rescheduled. I can get back on track with my goals. It may take longer than I thought and not look the way I wanted it to. There may be this hiccup yet again in the way. BUT. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. It doesn’t mean these punches are only going to keep happening with such ferocity and precision. There is always time and chance to readjust, recharge and reevaluate what I want my life to be.
With all the punches, it’s been a GREAT year for reflection. Life isn’t where I want to it to be, yet (as you prolly guessed from a recent related post). There are definitely things I want to change. Most namely:
- Creating a routine that supports my goals and better balances what I must do (i.e., day job) with what I want to do (i.e., writing)
- Get back into listening and honoring my body
- Make writing a priority
- Creating a budget that reflects the need to pay off debt yet also not be so guilt-laden when I purchase something
- Continue to grow my freelance editing
- Reevaluate my relationship with social media and how I interact with it
Thinking about where I want to be in life fills me with hope. It can get a little overwhelming, the thought of change, but this year? This year has not been it. And, as my health returns, I’m eager to sit down and truly figure out where my priorities lie, how to support them and what to change to make those hopes a reality.
Thanks for reading another personal processing post, friends. I think I really needed to write it, to truly acknowledge and process just how shitty 2021 has been, yet also remind myself: that just because life hands you lemons, doesn’t mean that’s all it’ll ever do.
I hope that life has been kind to you. But, if it hasn’t: do what you need to, in order to acknowledge it, heal from it and continue past it. You got this. I believe in you. 🖤