This is the final post of 2021. Thank you for another year of support, I appreciate you very much. As always, if there’s something you’d like to see more of, just let me know and I’ll happily oblige dear reader <3
I’ve always enjoyed the Christmas cards which detail what each member of a family experienced throughout the year. Tommy graduated college, Sally moved to New York City, Dad retired after 30 years at X company, Mom is continuing to hold this family together. I suppose that’s what this final post of 2021 is.
I recently had COVID (they got me gal!). Quarantining for 10 days gives you a lot of time to think. Too much time, some might say. The conclusion of any year also always provides the usual undesired opportunity to think a lot, as there is no clear definition of time during the days between Christmas and New Years. I lay in bed with a 102° fever, wondering a.) when I would begin to feel better and b.) if I had done enough with my year. This is not a fun combination, but the brain tends to stray into strange, unwanted territory with ample time on one’s hand.
Grateful my symptoms weren’t worse, I spent the days alternating between the couch and the bed, utilizing whatever form of media I could get my hands on to divert my attention. I wish I could have HRH Collection-level screamed “STOP” at myself, willing my mind to go to any other place than where it was. About what I could have spent more time on. On what I had spent too much time on. Have I set myself up well enough for the new year? For a new year of life on my birthday, which is in January?
How can one possibly even begin to allow their mind wander to such a place when there is a global p*ndemic. What a time it is to be alive right now. And I don’t mean that in a sarcastic, fluffy sense. What a time it is to be alive. Over the past week, I had the same conversation with several friends, on what we feel we’ve lost. It’s something we probably won’t be able to process for years to come (be gentle with yourselves friends).
New Years is just another day. The sun rises and sets, the clock strikes midnight and will do so again in 24 hours. The only difference is you might be recovering from a killer hangover. And while it is just another day, we still use it as a measurement stick for marking our achievements and disappointments from the previous 364 days. I try to not make it a big deal each year, yet here we are.
Perhaps this post is a bit self-serving, but below is a list of my life from the past year. This blog has served as a time capsule, and I do not intend to downplay the too many horrific things that have happened this past year, but still wanted to document life events. Some things more light-hearted, some things more serious. It was a year where it felt like nothing happened and yet everything happened. That flew by, yet dragged on with no end in sight. Despite it all, we are nearing the end.
- Moved to a new place on my own and created a home.
- Was reunited with my favorite music venue, Union Transfer.
- Worked with some brands and organizations I never thought I would worked with, such as the Philadelphia Union, Jeni’s Ice Cream, the Kimmel Center, Center City District, Wacoal, AptDeco and more.
- Launched our first merch (if you can call it that) – Philly Italian slang/Sopranos themed wall art.
- Took my love of pop culture and launched a newsletter (subscribe if you haven’t).
- Learned how to make chicken cutlets really well, if I do say so myself (come over sometime, I’ll make them for you).
- Found and listened to new music, covered bands, saw musicals.
- Was finally reunited with one of my favorite dishes in Philly, the coconut-hazelnut salsa at Mission Taqueria.
- Travelled to places like Texas, New Orleans, San Fransisco, Connecticut, Florida, NYC, Maine and Rhode Island.
- Crossed the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Took care of myself, switched anti-depressants, began making smoothies nearly every morning.
- Enjoyed so many meals among friends.
- Saved a praying mantis on the sidewalk of the means streets of Philadelphia (this was honestly a highlight of my year).
- Got vaccinated.
- Got COVID.
- Recovered from COVID.
- Got boosted.
- Learned how to market a performing arts org virtually.
- Gave a presentation for a college class.
- Experienced several endings.
- Dyed my hair brunette, then back to blonde (someone please stop me from doing this every four years because I destroy my hair).
- Said no to things I didn’t want to do (I have learned that in the realm of Human Design, I am a Generator, and apparently boundary setting is a key to fulfillment with this personality type).
- Photographed two weddings.
- Continued my tirade against the PPA, if only in my mind and on Twitter.
- Saw friends get married, become parents, move cities, buy homes, begin new careers, get their Masters. How exciting it is to see those we love accomplish so much and enter new phases of their lives.
- Also saw friends go through difficult times and come out better and stronger on the other side. I couldn’t be more proud of them.
- Ate too many Chromatica Oreos (I love you Gaga, but they are terrible).
- Mourned those who passed away this year, and those gone before then.
- Sang at a friend’s wedding.
- Soft launched a podcast.
- Learned to truly enjoy my own company. What a gift that is. A difficult one to acquire, but sweet when it’s unwrapped.
- Faced fears and did two ghost tours.
- Finally watched The Sopranos.
- Spent too much time on social media.
- Then spent less time on social media (funny how this is so much better for your sanity, huh?).
- Spent summer nights down the shore playing card games with my family.
- Grew so many cucumbers in my garden! And mowed my lawn with a lawn mower I built myself! 😤
- Consumed many a wonderful dirty martini.
- Held and then forgot to keep continuing the mozzarella stick competition of 2021.
- Traced my family history.
- Read and learned, lost hope by doing those things, but won’t stop learning.
- Started to heal my gut (thank you FODMAP diet).
- Took more walks than I can count.
- Lived, laughed, loved and most definitely cried.
If this year had a theme, I would say it was healing – physically, mentally, emotionally. ‘Twas indeed a year of growth and needed change. And speaking of growth – in a few weeks, I will be turning 30, and surprisingly I am not dreading entering this new decade. I am so excited for what’s ahead.
Before the conclusion of this post:
- I am so FUGGIN GRATEFUL for everyone on the front lines – special shout out to CHOP, Vybe and AFC Urgent Care. The past few weeks have allowed me see their work more than ever, and they deserve all of our gratitude and a fat pay raise.
- Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, even when it feels hard to.
- I made a playlist of songs I’ll be ringing in the new year with if you would like to follow/listen.
Wishing you all healing, love, peace and so much more. See ya next year. <3