I've been doing these posts for the past few years and it's a really nice, public reminder of everything that happened during the previous 365 and what hope I have for the year ahead.

Truthfully, 2021 wasn't so bad for me; lots of things happened and I feel like I grew into myself a little more than in previous years.

I feel like I got some closure for some personal happenings, and moved forward in others. 

In the same breath, 2021 felt off. We started the year off with the insurrection, people continued to fight about covid and we had a new argument to play into vaccines and the vaccine mandate. At first, I was very angry at the world, felt ridiculous for arguing with people who couldn't see past their own interests, and then at some point, I gave up. If you don't want to get vaccinated, if you can't see the good in it... or the fact that you have gotten every vaccine until now, I won't change your mind. Just hold your breath and pray you don't die from a virus that has killed 5 million people worldwide.

Phew... now that it's off my chest. I stopped being angry at the world in 2021 and I think that makes me feel weightless. 

Aside from everything happening in ht e world, aside from the grip the pandemic still holds on us, I have made my peace with it and I think everyone else should too. I think we need to accept that this virus isn't going anywhere and that hopefully as it mutates, it gets milder and we can just live our lives with it like the flu. 

Wishful thinking for 2022... but enough about the pandemic.

I want to talk about 2021 and what happened to me, the good things at least:

  • I was published in Popsugar, The Everygirl, HelloGiggles, The Insider and continued to write for FabFitFun. I went into 2021 thinking I wanted to keep on pursuing freelance journalism but in the end, I think I want to put all my time and energy into the blog. I want to keep my ideas for me and make Royally Pink the hub of femininity that I always wanted it to be. That was something powerful I learned this year.
  • I got a promotion and raise at work - I worked my butt off for the entire year, due to the great resignation hitting our company and in August, was recognized for it. It was a truly proud moment and I felt proud of myself.
  • I finally started therapy and got my mental health in check, as much as I can. The end of 2020 was bad for me; I was in the worst place I have ever been in and I needed to take hold of my mental health before it drove me into an even worst place. I started therapy after thinking about it for years and got a separate psychiatrist to help manage my medication. I finally feel like I'm on a semi-good page and hope to only continue that in the future.
  • I made some weird peace with my body. I started off 2021 by quitting WW to only go back on it in March. I've been following the plan(s) since and feel good about it, but I also made the decision to stop weighing myself. I will do a longer post on the reasoning for this but I realized that I don't hate the way I look. I learned to dress for my body this year, and as long as I like how I look, my clothes fit good and I keep up my healthy eating and exercise habits, I don't need to torture myself with the scale. 
  • I completed NaNoWriMo. I don't remember if I spoke about this on the blog but I finished National Novel Writing Month and made significant strides in my novel and a little e-book I'm working on. I have been wanting to complete this annual writing sprint that happens in November every year but never stuck to it. I missed 3 days in total and just feel really good about it. 

In 2021, I dated, traveled, had a lot of fun with my friends, attended weddings, made peace with my past, and looked forward to the future. I almost have a sense of calm knowing that life changes every day and that my life could look a lot different next year than it does right now. I made peace with knowing that my timeline looks different than the people in my life and that is ok. 

Now, for the year ahead? I have hope... in 2021 the word I chose to symbolize my year was 'hope' and I think I had a lot of it. For 2022, I think my word will be 'focus' because I think I need to hone in on a few things and bring the focus back into my life. I mean that literally and figuratively.  I need to develop a better attention span but also focus on the important thing, the things that mean something to me: my friends, my love life, saving money for a future, and just living my life a little more. 

That being said, here are a few of my goals for the year ahead 

  • Online shop only once per month: I've tried this in the past but it never worked out. This year though, I am determined. I need to stop shopping, I need to save money, I need to get serious. I need to grow up, really. My shopping is nowhere near as bad as it used to be, and I have gotten some impulsion under control, and I've tried to take control of my debt but it needs to be better. 
  • 'Book Write' 4x per week: I've always wanted to be an author but this year, I felt that dream more within reach than ever before and I want to make it come true. The only way I could do that is if I write consistently and hopefully, within a few months, I can have a completed draft. This is a measurable goal that I think I can finally accomplish. 
  • Manage stress better: I found myself more stressed than anxious or depressed in 2021 and I need to learn to deal with that. It contributes to my impulsive shopping and eating behaviors, and only causes my anxiety to spike. If I can learn to manage stress in a healthier way, I think I could make great improvements to my life. 
  • Develop a better exercise routine: To be honest, I don't hate exercising. It makes me feel good and I know I'm doing something that not only helps physically but mentally as well. However, getting to the gym is really hard. Once I'm there, I'm fine, but getting there is a lot for me. It was easy in the summer because work was slow and the weather was nice so throwing on a t-shirt and leggings was no issue... but now, it's cold, it rains, it gets dark at 4 PM. It's hard for me to get to the gym, especially before work or when work is really busy. With that, I need to find better workouts at home. I was doing Peloton for a while but then I got bored, but I'm going to try it again since I have a free subscription through my insurance, and I think I could get back into yoga as well. Also, I love a good rich mom walk so trying to get a 15-20 minute walk in per day I think will do me some good.
  • Be more social: I think the pandemic hurt me in ways I'm only just seeing... it gave me an excuse to go inside myself and not leave the house, my favorite thing in the world. But now, I need to explore my more social side. I'm comfortable in ways I wasn't before so I need to put myself out there a bit, with new people and my best friends. I need to make plans, make the effort... I just need to do more.

There are some other goals that I won't share, that have to do with money, savings, the blog, and a few business ideas I have. I just want to romanticize my life and be happy. If I end 2022 being happy and accomplishing at least one of the things on this list, I think I'll be ok.

Happy new year everyone and thank you for giving me another year of Royally Pink!

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