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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#72: 2022 Reflections

I’m a firm believer in continuously working toward a set of goals, so I’m not much for new year’s resolutions, as I said last year. Nonetheless, I’ll never miss a chance for reflection. New year’s is the perfect time for that, especially given my new perspective on the twenty-something years. 2022 is the first year since graduating high school that I didn’t surprise myself with the amount of growth throughout the year, but in the best way possible. I used to end the year feeling intimidated at how I could possibly top the year before. Now that I know who I am, where I’m going, and that this is what this phase of life is about, I’m confident that the next few years will be as full of growth as the few before, but in different ways. I’m making a point to take advantage of each opportunity – or setback, since this unique time of life won’t last forever.

Similar to last year, I’ll start with the list of self-indulgent reflections, before moving on to how my opinions changed. Don’t mistake this for an ego. These are my accomplishments, point blank, and I deserve to be proud. That doesn’t mean I don’t have just as many things to work on - that’s what my current set of goals (or 2023) is for.

  • I signed a lease for my own one-bedroom apartment with more space than I could ever imagine for myself in Seattle, on a whim during lunch. I decided I’d prefer to live alone than have a random roommate when my original roommate told me she was happier living in NYC. (I miss her, but happy for her to do what’s best.)

  • I (finally) bought a couch and decorated the space on my own, exactly the way I’ve wanted my apartment to be since college. I own a power drill now??

  • I found an intense passion for challenging myself by channeling negative emotions into huge accomplishments: I deadlifted 250 lbs. I ran three half marathons, each one without training and faster than the one before. I completed a spontaneous Olympic triathlon on my 24th birthday. Each one of these feels like it deserves it’s one bullet, but the theme is most important to me.

  • I developed an understanding for how to stretch and recovery to maximize my body’s ability, so I can do a pistol squat and the splits now. Two years injury free. By the way, have you seen my muscles lately?

  • I made HUGE contributions during my second rotation of my finance rotational program, despite the team’s preconceived notions of my ability.

  • I was featured in a magazine for the successful online coaching business I started on a whim.

  • I combined my experience in fitness and technology as a free-lance consultant for a fitness AI app.

  • I tried my hand as fitness influencer and content creator. Ultimately, I decided that I wasn’t passionate enough about sharing my life outside my blog, and that I’d rather focus on my full-time job and fitness. I’m proud of myself for knowing how to prioritize.

  • I got my heart broken more times than I care to admit, but I bounced back stronger and more clear-headed each time. Despite the struggles, I continuously surprised myself with my maturity and self-confidence. (Let’s not forget that I stayed in a long-distance relationship with someone who was deployed on the other side of the world for 2/3 of the year.) I learned to accept being wrong and how to apologize.

  • I learned (and continue to learn) to appreciate being single. I developed an appreciation for reading, and read more books than any year before. I’m learning how to take care of my mind and body on a new level, including how to enhance my cooking skills.

  • I took a huge risk in my career by searching out and joining a team that matched my interests and goals, even though my program advised against it. Best career decision I’ve made to date.

  • I made huge strides to improve my technical skills as it pertains to financial analysis, excel, SQL and flying blind until I figure it out.

  • I strengthened existing friendships, and made new friends through mutual connections and ‘in the wild.’ I made a point to approach new people at every mixer and happy hour, with or without alcohol. Meeting new people this way was my best decision socially this year.

  • I traveled across the country with friends countless times, and had an AMAZING time. An older version of me would never have done this.

  • I learned how to say no, simply because I want to do something (in my personal life) and to fully embrace the cringe. In last years’ reflection, I described that I had no idea how I’d find time and energy for a family someday. Now that I’m acclimated to adulthood, (among other things), I complain to my mom that I energy leftover at the end of the day. I give 100% intellectual effort to work and 100% physical effort to the gym, but I have social and emotional energy remaining most days. I’m years away from children, and I’ll never say it won’t be a challenge, but I’m comfortable with the idea that kids will be the ultimate purpose in my life. I will have energy to love them as much as a human can love. After all, isn’t that part of why I go to work every day? As much as I complain to my mom about leftover energy (she says I should get another hobby), it’s a relief to know I can do it.

Here’s what I learned this year: I enjoy working hard as much as it’s part of my identity. I’m no longer afraid of unknown because I will either figure it out or figure out who to ask. Resiliency and efficiency are strengths. It’s the little things, such as a pink mouse or Lambda pumpkin, that keep me going. No matter how much I hide it, most people will recognize this about me within 30 minutes of meeting me. I’m a nerd, and I couldn’t be prouder. I’m enjoying the process equally as much, or more than the success that follows. Some people will respect it, maybe even appreciate it, but most people will look at me like I’m absolutely crazy. For the record, the word doc backup of this blog is over 150 pages.

I don’t know what successes, challenges and adversity 2023 brings for me or the world. As much as I think I know where I’ll be 6 months to a year from now, I know that I don’t know. But this upcoming week of sunny vacation is about being grateful and celebrating 2022 😉 so that I’m energized in 2023. To everyone who makes life great (especially my family, close friends and co-workers), I can’t appreciate you enough. Thank you. See you on the other side, everyone - Happy new year!

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