I’m sitting, sipping coffee in bed on New Years Eve 2020, reflecting on the year that has past. Before I can really get into my reflection, I have to revisit last year’s hopes for 2020.
I was also sitting and sipping coffee, except that time I was with one of my closest girlfriends in San Francisco. I told her I wanted to take action more in 2020. That I wanted to think less and do more. As someone who is (was?) more fear-lead and validation-seeking, I wanted to have more control over those identities in 2020 by simply doing more with less hesitation or worry.
As it has been made very clear, 2020 was definitely not the year anyone expected. For myself and my goals as well. What did pan out, however, is that I lived my intention for 2020 through and through. I took a lot of action. I did a lot of living. And I made some big moves, both literally and figuratively.
Some highlights are below:
– I decided, before COVID, to move back to the east coast. The plan was NYC but that part didn’t happen, so I ended up with my folks near Boston. With that came tumultuous emotional transition, identity loss and shifts, isolation and loneliness. What also came was new and fuller relationships with my family, a returned sense of culture and community, a new identity and position within my family dynamic, simple pleasures like good meals and company, as well as plenty of spoiling. Things I haven’t felt in a little too long.
– I turned over my entire business and ended 2020 earning more each month in Q4 than my average month in 2019. I went from an in-person Physical Therapist in SF to a fully virtual physical therapist and wellness coach. I lost nearly all my SF business and was in a new location without any referral networks due to covid lock downs. This forced me to get out of my comfort zone and utilize social media and relationships to build a reputation online.
– I built trust in myself through self-validating acts, big and small, like investing over $20k in myself and my business without seeking permission, and via simple daily practices like meditation, writing, and vulnerability between friends. I learned how to separate myself from what others were saying, expecting, or doing in life and social media, such that I made myself validate my own direction every single freaking day. Those influences, both subtle and obvious, would erupt feelings doubt, overwhelm, and discomfort, all of which became less and less powerful every time I confronted them.
– I learned my worth through lot of hard work. Work in my business, work in my communication, work in my reflections, work in addressing my mistakes, work in picking myself up after ultra low moments, work in building friendships, work in apologizing and ownership whenever necessary.
I’m proud of what I have created in 2020. Of myself and of my business. What should go without saying is that I am very aware of the good fortune I have had this year. That I had a home to stay in, a family in the same space as me to minimize the feelings of loneliness and to increase my sense of stability and safety. Things so many others did and still do not have the luxury of feeling. These are things that undeniably contributed to why I could transform this year as much as I feel I have. I am not undervaluing or under appreciating it.
It is also important to note that the stability could have easily left me comfortable and unambitious. That, despite the stability, I told myself I wouldn’t let 2020 be a year of stasis, and especially not one of regression. And since I told myself in 2019 that 2020 would be a year of action, it was my duty to make this year even better than when I entered it, even if wasn’t in any way what I expected it to be. Which, as we know, it wasn’t.
And, for me, I define “better” as more confident, more knowing of my worth, more energetically stable, and more financially solid.
While the job is never done, I do feel I have done what I set out to do and am proud of that. As far as 2021 goes, I do have some thoughts and general intentions. What I’d like to do more of and less of. The most important one I’d like to do is continue taking action, but now, in other parts of my life. I would like to reduce my total mental work load in a way that allows me to be more present in my relationships and the daily things that make for a good day.
Things like cooking more, slowing down when I get ready, making more plans with friends and family, traveling for myself, checking in on others, and creating more. I would like like to build more presence in the now, while still curating and building out a business I am proud of and aligned with.
With this intention comes more gratitude, a calm knowing that everything will be okay, and love. For myself and others. The more I have felt this way this past year, the more organically my life transformed and more organically my business grew. It transcended everywhere.
So, with that all said, I will make a 2021 a year of more presence and transcendence.
Ps. Below is my rough list of 2020 recap if you want to see my “notes”:
I told myself I’d earn more in December than I did in my average month of 2019
I started a whole new business model, in a new city, with no real referral community. Social media was the only thing I used.
I became a mini expert on websites and membership plugins. I learned email sequencing, YouTube embedding, video editing, website hosting.
Learned I love fresh and lime-y cocktails.
I reestablished relationships with my wonderful family
I committed to taking risks and investing in myself. I spent 20+k on myself and my business this year. Some of it was exactly what I needed, some of it less so but I’d have never known or learned without doing it.
I learned to trust myself. That no one knows my needs better than myself.
I learned how to un-stick myself and get myself out from between rocks and hard places.
I learned that spontaneity is in my blood, but early bed times and full 8-9 hr sleeps are also my thing.
I embraced one new expressive movement I’m continuing to learn: dance
I met and joined a great crew in a revitalizing week of education and fun in PR
I put myself out there on social media and embarrassed myself at times but actually made a lot of amazing friends I now talk to all the time
I tried new things: teaching classes, making downloadable strength and conditioning programs, workshops, full kettlebell coaching, courses and podcast interviews.
I don’t balance work and play well. But I was on a business mission so no regrets.
The discomfort and lessons:
I suffered from loneliness and a longing for love
I didn’t have the smoothest emotional transition back home and re-lived some old narratives about myself
I lost a lot of confidence in between my transition with work
I missed the friends I never really said goodbye to in SF
I never made it to nyc for a summer of rooftop cocktails in summer heat, dancing, New York apartments.
I felt emotional isolation that forced me to confront parts of me that needed loving.
I broke down cried like a blubbering baby in my lonesome, and a couple times in front of my folks.
I lost a couple close relationships which hurt my heart