I’m sitting at my computer just hours away from the start of the new year and reflecting on 2022 and some of the powerful lessons of self-discovery it taught me – lessons I won’t soon forget.
I’ve gotta be honest, I didn’t even plan to write this blog post, but after my dear friend and fellow blogger, Vanessa Clarke of The Perpetual Summer sent me her post I immediately got inspired to document the year that was 2022. (By the way, please read her post – her transparency and optimism blew me away).
While driving home tonight in the rain, I started flipping through the Rolodex of my mind, scouring for memories that either made me smile, scared or happy .
At some point, I found myself forcing myself to remember. At first I couldn’t understand why. But, then it hit me. While there were disappointing moments, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.
The year 2022 was one of tremendous self-discovery. My highlight reel will look a lot different from most people, and that’s ok.
Ending a marriage is not as traumatic as some people make it out to be
I started my year off alone after ending my marriage. I wish I had some sob story to tell you how hard the separation was or how lonely it is to be on my own, but the truth is, I’ve always been on my own. Even in the marriage. So, there was no shock to the system there.
In January, I walked through the door of an empty, quiet apartment and guess what? I absolutely loved it. It was my sanctuary. I felt peace. Warmth. Love. When you live in a state of turmoil and absolute emotional distress for years, peace and solitude are a welcome relief.
Too many people scoff at being alone. They think it’s the worst thing in the world. I’m here to tell you it’s not. One of the worst things in the world is being alone in the presence of your spouse or partner. That’s hell. That’s something I had to learn.
My self-discovery has shown me that I can be happy and at peace all by myself.
I actually formed a relationship with God
In 2022, I spent a great deal of time talking to God. Arguing with Him. Thanking Him. Fighting Him. Crying. I’m not kidding. My rollercoaster relationship with the Creator is one that I’m sure He talks and laughs about with his host of angels.
Like any spoiled kid, when my Father doesn’t give me my way, I throw tantrums.
My way of throwing tantrums, is writing mean-spirited letters to Him. Letters where I talked about feeling like a failure and screaming in all caps, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?????! I did a lot of that in 2022.
But, I think on some level, He was happy. Because at least I was talking to Him, and my feelings and reactions were real.
Everything in God’s perfect timing
Every time I stress about things not happening when and how I want them to happen, I am reminded – in some way – that nothing happens until God wants it to and that his timing is absolutely, positively perfect.
I think back on things I begged God for in the past. I mean, begged! And cried for. Today, I thank Him for not giving me my wishes.
Tonight, as one of my beautiful friends, Mary and I were parting, she gave me a late Christmas gift. I opened it and saw the most beautiful pair of pink baby shoes. She knows how much I want children, particularly a daughter. And she told me she had bought them for my baby.
The gesture made me smile. I remember years ago God instructed me to buy a onesie for my baby. I still have that onesie. Every time I throw my hands in the air and say I’m going to give it away to someone who could actually use it, God whispers to me not to.
I wish I could say my faith was strengthened this year, but I still doubt, even when God shows me that He can be trusted. Blame the human in me.
In the meantime, I will have to sit small, try to be patient, and pray that it will happen when the time is right – in God’s timing.
I walked away from friendships that felt one-sided
In 2022, I quietly exited the chat on some one-sided friendships. I’m a good friend. I know it. I love helping people. I love being the shoulder they can cry on. I love being their cheerleader. However, I had some people in my life who enjoyed being the recipient of my love and support, but weren’t willing to reciprocate, particularly in times when I needed them. So, I quietly cut them loose.
I didn’t make a big deal of it. I just called less. Texted less. Didn’t engage. It may seem mean, but I find it to be the ultimate form of self-care. I don’t give my energy to people who don’t deserve it.
I stopped apologising for being who I am
I make no apologies for being who I am. I’m a smart woman. I’m idealistic. I am willing to compromise, but I won’t allow myself to be compromised. I’m goofy. I can speak intelligently about most subjects but still enjoy having mindless, fun conversations as well.
I remember feeling like I had to hide my fun, goofy side because people didn’t get it. They didn’t get me. But, having my YouTube channel really helped draw me out of my shell. Even if people think I’m nuts, I’m ok with it, because I am unapologetically Rogan.
I’m not who I used to be
I spent a great deal of my life being a journalist. Being on TV. Being on the radio. Being in the newspaper. At some point, I started to feel defined by my career. In 2022, I decided to let all of that go.
How could I shape my future by clinging to who and what I used to do? I can’t. So, I had to let certain ideas go.
Life is scarily short
This year, I lost a lot of people I grew up with. I didn’t grow up with my father. He was in my life, but he wasn’t there full-time. My mother was. I feel fortunate that she had a group of male friends who stepped in like surrogate fathers for me and my siblings. These men were like her brothers – nothing romantic. They were just there.
Two of the men who had been in my life from I was six-years-old died just two weeks apart. I felt like my childhood was ripped away from me.
These men had been consistent positive figures. And now they were gone. It also forced me to face the fact that my own mother would also be gone one day. It’s a frightening thought.
Health and life took on greater meaning in 2022
My surrogate fathers’ deaths in 2022 reminded me not to take health and life for granted. One of the men was given six months to live after his cancer diagnosis, and each day the clock ticked he died. He died long before he passed away. The other, who had a mind as sharp as a tack, had sadly died from dementia.
Watching them lose their lives forced me to examine my own mortality.
I know that I want my life to have purpose. I want the world to know I was here. I want to leave a legacy.
But, legacies happen one step at a time.
As 2022 draws to a close, I’m grateful for this year. I will look back on this time with fond memories. It wasn’t perfect, but when is life ever perfect?
Unlike a lot of people who didn’t make it, I’m here. That’s reason enough to celebrate 2023.
Thank you to every single one of you who reads my blog or watches my YouTube channel. Your support means so much to me. Even though many of you don’t leave comments, I know you were here because I see the analytics. Ha ha. Thank you!
Happy New Year!
This Bahamian Gyal