21 Things I’ve Learned in 2021
Another year has come and gone, and as I tapped through Instagram archives of 2021 stories, I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude for the blog and its ability to remind me of all the good that happened this year. Before I watched all of those visual reminders of what the year consisted of, there were plenty of dark days that stood out in my mind. I often found myself questioning how we were supposed to continue going through the motions of another pandemic day - let alone the weeks, months, and years that never seem to end in these strange times.
While there was a lot of sadness throughout the year as friends and family members experienced serious illness, relationships became strained or divided, and we spent a lot of time still somewhat isolated from the life that we once knew, I’m also able to see all the good that came from this year. 2021 was filled with unforgettable experiences as I reached a milestone with over 10,000 members in the blog community at the beginning of the year; officially became a competitive dance mom; became the proud owner of Sunny the Jeep who brought us endless joy this past summer; took trips to Florida and Jamaica; experienced 52 date nights with my husband; spent roughly 50 hours rediscovering myself in therapy; introduced the blog community to over 40 local businesses and gave out over $5,000 in prizes; sent my baby off to kindergarten; said goodbye to my best fur buddy of 14 years and welcomed a new fur baby into our home; shared style, recipes, and home decor; and had some of the hardest laughs and the deepest cries with friends in direct messages.
Here are the 21 most important lessons that I learned in 2021.
You’re not for everyone, and that’s okay because not everyone is for you either.
If someone compliments you, believe them.
It’s not necessary to apologize when asking for what you want.
There is no need to explain yourself to anyone who is committed to misunderstanding you.
What our bodies look like is the least significant part of our story.
Even the most stable people have their breaking point.
People will always judge and have opinions about you. They don’t define a thing about you. Trust yourself and find one or two empathetic and genuine people to consult for advice when necessary.
If someone doesn’t respect the boundaries you set, you probably need to create even more boundaries with them.
Stepping away from toxic people in your life can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
It’s okay if your tribe is small.
Cat cuddles are therapeutic.
Saying goodbye to a pet sucks.
Puppies are a lot of work.
Jeep life really is the best life.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve - at home, at work, at the grocery store - literally everywhere.
Be the kind of partner you want your partner to be for you.
Be the kind of friend you want to have.
Be the kind of parent you wish you had.
Learn to rest. More importantly, learn HOW to rest.
New traditions can be scary but sometimes they’re exactly what you didn’t know you needed.
Therapy will change your life.
I’m so grateful for the experiences that 2021 brought and the relationships built right here in this community. I hope that each of you can reflect back on the positive moments that came in 2021 and look forward with hope for what 2022 will bring. Cheers to a happy new year, friends.