Maybe a month ago, I noticed that people were talking a lot about the end of the decade. As I approached the end of the year, I personally was not concerned about making comparisons between myself at the beginning and end of the decade. I also read something from a friend of mine, mentioning that we didn’t do this in 2010. Well said, sis. But as always, the end of the year has me reflective.
2019 has been the year that I lived twice. What I mean by that is by the time I got to this point, I feel like two years have passed. By that, I mean, when I a look over the year as a whole, the first 7 months and the last 5 months were so very different. Perhaps because I traveled less over that last half of the year than I have in YEARS, but it was not a bad thing. I do agree that 2019 put me through so much and asked, “But did you die?” I’ve said before that this year rivals 2017 for being one of the most difficult of my life. So for the sake of listicles here are 9 things that happened to me in 2019
1.) I survived my first year of marriage. Sheesh, who would have to thunk it? Marriage is so challenging, especially working on my Ph.D.
2.) I took a 3-week backpacking trip solo. I was initially supposed to go to Morocco and Lisbon with my sister’s friend, mother, and cousin. Still, life happened, and I ended up with a three-week plane ticket already purchased. So I traveled to 5 countries (7 if you include the layovers) and forced myself to be present. I learned two things: I love exploring alone, and I may have a two-week threshold for country hopping.
3.) I had a few panic attacks. Nope, my Ph.D. program has not gotten any easier. In fact, it has gotten more and more challenging. In fact, the more I work towards wholeness, the more I deal with it. But it has pushed me to realize that my wellbeing and the space for me to take care is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Growth.
4.) I photographed a wedding that I was also a bridesmaid in. Clearly, I am a crazy person. It was terrific, though. I also see why photographers charge a grip for weddings. It is back-breaking work.
5.) Speaking of weddings, I performed my first wedding. I had the honor of doing the engagement photos and then marrying another dear sister-friend. And I was able to do it with my own flair.
6.) I met Estelle. More importantly, I attended BlerDCon and did the first set of interviews for my dissertation. BlerDCon was the event I always needed in my life. Black nerds. Sci-fi. Cosplay. Ratchet hits.
7.) I became an auntie twice. My circle of sisters became a village that raises children. This was the first time I have ever had emotional reactions to births. Seeing my friends become parents and evolve to accommodate adulthood has been the most beautiful thing that I have experienced this year.
8.) I invested in myself and took some risks. 2019 made me take seriously that you have to invest in yourself and your business. I took a break from blogging and YouTube to focus on school and to work, but then I attended the Photo Cookout, hoping to learn some things to enhance my photography skills. I had been toying with actually jumping into photography as a career. I learned so much and saw my skills sharpen. Most importantly, I decided to take the plunge and start a photography business. Who am I, even? I went to three professional conferences and met my long-time online inspiration Glo (theblogabroad.com) and sunk a lot of money into starting my photography business. I’m even filing business taxes this year.
9.) I saw glimpses of the woman I want to be. I had a couple of moments at the end of this year that showed me just how much I have grown. There was this moment of clarity where I said to myself, “I like this chick. I want more of her.” So I am totally chasing that in 2020. The Sharde’ that is loading is a baddie.
What happened to you this year? Any good things you’re taking with you?