Looking back on 2022 is a little bit bittersweet – there were some absolute highs, but some unexpected lows, too. This year more than ever I’m looking forward to the feeling of a fresh start in 2023 – to the feeling of getting back on track and back into my groove. But before the new year, I want to reflect on the highs and lows of 2022.
I still cannot believe this happened! Being selected as a speaker at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Humanities Festival – and getting to tell my story of not only accepting, but embracing, my disability – was a huge moment for me this year. It was kind of the sign I needed that sharing my story has worth, and that it’s something that other people are interested in hearing, too. It was extra special because I wasn’t just talking about some abstract topic; I was talking about me, and my life, and my personal journey with my disability. Being on stage was something I’ll never, ever forget. It also made me want to search out more speaking engagements – so anyone who is reading this, I’m available!
This was another “pinch me” moment for my year. I’ve gotten much more comfortable about sharing the realities and intricacies about what it’s really like to live with a disability, and being able to share my fears about gun violence from a disabled perspective in a national publication was just more than I ever even hoped. Again, it was really affirming for me – it felt like a vote of confidence in my writing, and as someone who is an aspiring author, it came just at the right time. And of course – it was really meaningful that a national publication was interested in publishing a disability-centric article. It’s encouraging for me to know that people care and want to learn more about the disabled perspective.
Growing my Blog and Instagram
It feels kind of weird to write about this – I feel like I’m supposed to pretend that blogging and content creating are effortless, and just happen? – but it was a big year for me for my blog and Instagram! I finally hit 5K followers, and had my first real sponsored posts, too. I had more blog readers this year than ever before – for the first time ever, I had a few people who I don’t already know in real life recommend my posts to other people! Obviously, I love sharing here no matter how many people are reading it, but it is exciting to know that my reach is growing.
My Health Issues
I know that I’ve shared a little bit about it, but the health issues I’m dealing with (probably related to accidentally losing weight) have been really frustrating. It’s hard to feel like I’m going backwards and losing some of the progress I had made with my health – and hard to look at the scale and see the number moving up so, so, so slowly. It really threw me for a loop in the latter half of the year, both physically and mentally, and I’ve really had to adjust to the current reality of my limitations. Some days it feels totally doable, other days it’s more overwhelming. I just have to keep reminding myself to have patience, which has never been something I’ve been good at!
The Continued Pandemic
Most days, I’m happy on my own – happy working from home, and really content with my own company and the company of my family, my books, and my TV shows. But sometimes, I think about all the things I’ve missed out on – the travel, the new restaurants, the gatherings with friends and extended family – and it’s frustrating. And it’s even more frustrating that people continue to take less and less pandemic related precautions, so that I have to take more and more of them. But all I can do is hope and pray for some sort of change in 2023, and remind myself over and over that I can’t control other people’s actions, just my own actions and reactions.
Let me know your highs and lows for the year!