Featured Photo by Josh Fu
I had a rough time in 2021 –I can count the number of friends and family who passed last year on two hands. Consequently, I dropped off the internet to deal with everything. This resurrective blog post isn’t for lingering in 2021’s events. Instead, I’m moving forward with blasting my 2022 goals for public accountability and documentation. My 2022 goals carry the overarching theme of conviction.
con·vic·tion/kənˈvikSH(ə)n/ : a firmly held belief or opinion : the feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true
Amongst all the chaos of last year, I fell into a deep malaise and lost my identity. When sparse moments of calm appeared, instead of finding my footing I started to question the anchors that had kept me grounded in the past. The idea of conviction was inspired over a phone call with a dear friend. Slumped in a dark moment my friend called me to express his concerns. He noticed that I hadn’t been convicted to anything over the last year. Reflecting now, I believe that these recent traumatic events created enough cracks in my system that allowed any ignored inner turmoil to bubble and erupt.
Aside from everything in my personal life deteriorating, let’s not forget that Covid-19 is still around (how timely, as of posting it’s been 666 days since the Bay Area told us all to isolate at home.)
The gif above perfectly illustrates where I was last year. I felt like I was treading water in a sea of unspoken expectations. I couldn’t cry for help and I couldn’t leave. Although, I know that you always have options in any situation when the moments are complicated and layered it’s hard not to crumble and drown.
Luckily time heals most wounds. I’m in a better place now and I want to reengineer how I navigate and treat myself.
- Distinguish between my voice and that “should” voice
- Let myself enjoy the moment
- Be unapologetic about what I like and what I don’t like
- Spending time doing nothing is doing something
- Accept the impermanence of everything
- Chase experiences, not validation
- Find ways to compassionately coexist with other living things
Rebuild My Relationship with Money
Years of freelancing and hustling have led me to approach money with a scarcity mindset. Despite being in a more stable job now, my body still feels anxious about not having enough and wondering when the next gig will come. I want to recondition my mind to view money as a tool to design my life by improving my financial literacy and money management.
They say that money can’t buy happiness, but it does afford me mental peace.
- Track expenses and stick to a budget
- Attempt a low-buy year till June 2022 (if it goes well, I’ll continue for the rest of the year)
- Max out my annual contributions to retirement accounts
- Explore and invest in cryptocurrency by July 2022
Movement and athleticism were crucial to pulling me out of the 2021 pit of depression. I rediscovered my passion for rock climbing, integrated yoga and stretching once a week, and picked up learning how to ski this season! I’d like to continue and build upon these activities.
- Send a V7 at the gym by the end of the year (I’m currently comfortable between a V5 and V6)
- Go on two outdoor climbing trips
- Touch my forehead to the front of my calves in a standing forward fold
- Maintain confidence and control while skiing downhill on blues (I particularly get anxious when an unpredictable skier/snowboarder gets uncomfortably close to me)
Flow with Creativity
I assumed that I’d feel different and elevated after becoming a working professional in the creative industry. Instead, I’m jaded.
I’ve learned that “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” is not a mantra that works for me. I can confidently state that pursuing what I love for work has tarnished my love for creating.I want to repair my relationship with art. I’m not sure of what actionable steps there are with this goal, but I have a hunch that they’ll appear in conjunction as I persist with my goals mentioned earlier.
There are a few things I’d like to try this year:
- Try to create with subtraction
- Try to draw
- Try more cinematography
- Try to write consistently
Make Mediation a Lifestyle
I honed in on meditation when I Meditated Every Day for 30 Days as one of the 30-Day Challenges during the 2020 quarantine. Although, I enjoyed the experience I haven’t been consistent with it since the challenge. In late November of last year, I encountered what I will call a city-woo-woo-fairy-nymph who recommended that I meditate daily (unguided) for 30 minutes for a least 90 days. If I followed this prescription I’d become better in tune with myself and my prolific, intuitive powers will take flight!!!
I’m amused by the potential of meditation, so why not keep trying to make this part of my lifestyle? Since December I’ve been meditating in silence for 20 minutes per day.
Meditation helps remind me to focus on my breath, which circles back to my physical goal of picking up skiing. Since skiing is my first foray into a sport with a major speed component, I’m terrified. I’d summon the courage to point both skis downhill, pick up a little speed, only to then fall on my face and eat snow. During my second day of learning how to ski, my ear doctor mentioned that humans perceive acceleration change through our ears. Knowing this little bit of information helped me to remember to breathe while committing to the downhill. Instead of getting scared and panicking at the onset of acceleration, I could breathe through it. Breathing
I’m curious to see what other ways that meditation could manifest itself in my life.
With all this said… please don’t be like this Gozilla meme 2022. Unless I am the Godzilla?! As the year goes on, I intend to return to this post to reflect and track my progress.
Good luck to everyone else who’s working on themselves this year 🙂