In the beginning of this year I decided that my goal for 2022 was going to be embracing the opportunities that came my way. That could mean a million different things, but for me I decided that after 2 years of lockdown and COVID and blah I really just wanted to do more things. Make up for lost time if you will. So I entered the year with the idea to say yes if the opportunity to do something that could be amazing came my way.
And looking back at the end of the year I'm so glad that I did! Glad that I faced my introverted fears and said yes to some amazing things. So what did I say yes to and what did it teach me? Well let's start big!
The first and easiest yes was to travel. Normally this kind of yes would come with a lot of anxiety for me. Things like budget, timelines, even what I would need to pack...let alone airports...would be triggers of stress. But this year I was determined to allow myself the opportunity to say yes and figure out the logistics afterwards. On the way I got to meet new people, bond with new and old friends and experience some wonderful places. I faced some fears and was forced outside of my comfort zone. This yes taught me resilience and reminded me that I can extrovert with the best of them if I have to.
Highlight: Hitting 3 Broadway shows in two days in NYC with my best friend. Also so many bagelssss. Avocado cream cheese is chefs kiss perfect.
Lowlight: Having a full out panic attack trying to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. That thing has teensy boards that move when you step on them bro. Embarrassing but it happened. My friends were kind enough to take me home and go by themselves the next night :)
Highlight: Bonding with my work besties in Montreal and eating the most incredible meal. Also managed to sneak in a breakfast (well more so lunch) with my cousins who I don't get to see as often as I'd like.
Lowlight: I learned that I'm too old to say up all night. It was humbling.
Highlight: Getting to spend some quality 1:2 time with the newlyweds pre and post wedding. It's no secret that my brother and I fought like cats and dogs as kids so it's been amazing to build that bond as adults. And his wife is wonderful.
Lowlight: No whales and rainy weather in Tofino. Such a shame, I say that means I have to go back :)
Highlight: Facing my fear of heights and embracing my coworkers encouraging me to go for it to zipline down the Olympic ski jump in Park City, Utah. Super grateful to have coworkers who are like friends and who support me when I'm feeling anxious.
Lowlight: Long days in the airport. Connecting flights suck, and everything out of Ottawa connects.
Online dating sucks. There I said it. Anyone who tells you otherwise is LYING to your face.
It's a game and it takes a major toll on you after a while, so this year I tried to open myself up to opportunities outside of the apps. Easier said than done but I tried. So when friends said to me "oh I have a friend you might like", instead of laughing it off I said ok. Made a few new friends and rekindled some older friendships that way, and I'm leaving this year with no expectations that they may become something else. But if they do who knows.
The pandemic easing up meant that I was able to get back to dance, back to my passion and back to the artform that gives me so much joy. 2022 was filled with classes, performances, competitions and the fact that I get to do it surrounded by some amazing people is the cherry on top.
2022 was also filled with music and theatre. So many musicals and open mics. My little artsy heart has been so full.
Angie - thanks for always having a place for me to come and create. I love that Flashpointe is still a home for me even though I'm not teaching there anymore.
Zack - Thanks for embracing me and making me a part of your dance family. For trusting me to teach and for laughing with me when I injure myself.
Lowlight: The injuries OH THE INJURIES. My body is really doubling down to remind me that I am in my 30s and need to be more careful. As I write this blog I'm out with a popped knee...from dance...from kneeling in dance. Getting older is so much fun.
Time for myself
This one might be a bit controversial but I really decided to set aside time for myself to reset. If the pandemic and the isolation that came with it taught me anything it's that I'm a real big introvert these days and my social battery has limits. So when I go out and do the big in the world things I need to take time to myself to recharge that battery so I can do it again. Nothing wrong with that, just something I know I need to do.
So I curated my space to allow me to do so. I've learned that creating a space I want to be in helps me bounce back better (and faster). My balcony oasis is the best example of this, and that's the space that enabled me to read over 66 books in 2022.
So if this one taught me anything it's to create a space that fulfills you and helps you feel calm. Spend your time there and guard your alone time jealously. You deserve it.
So that's a full year of this experiment. There's plenty more things that I said yes to that didn't make this list but had no less an impact on me. And what are my takeaways after a full year of yes? Ultimately that yes is a big word and it comes with consequences. There were days when I was so exhausted (mentally and physically) I didn't want to get out of bed. But there were also many more days where I was invigorated and couldn't wait to go go go.
Yes comes with privilege. I recognize that I was able to say yes to so much because I'm in a pretty privileged position where I can say yes and afford to say yes. Many other people don't have that option simply because of where their life is and if this was me 5 years ago that would 100% be the case. So this experience really made me acknowledge that and be grateful for it. I've worked hard to build this life of mine to a place where this kind of experiment is possible and if nothing else this year really allowed me to see that work in action.
So I leave you with this, yes can change your life if you let it. Start by saying yes to the small things and the bigger more fun things will come your way. As this adventure of a year comes to a close I encourage you to try and say yes to more things and see where it takes you.