When I was reflecting on 2021 and how the year went by for me, at around the same time last year – I remembered thinking how 2022 being the Year of the Lovers (2+0+2+2 = 6 = Lovers in the Major Arcana of the Tarot) would have an easier, more relaxing energy compared to 2021 and 2020. I mean those years were awful.
And I was looking to welcome the easy vibe of the Lovers Year! Themes of the Lovers included relationships (with everyone and yourself), love (of all kinds), balance, choice, unity, unions, boundaries. All really love-ly things!
Yes I experienced abit of all that and more, but I also experienced quite abit of the Shadow side of this energy – imbalance, breakups, not loving myself enough, giving away my power etc. It hasn’t been an easy year at all for so many of us, as we seek to rebuild our lives, navigate new challenges set upon us during this rebuilding process and navigate heaps of uncertainty.
We are actually barely out of the woods, as it is. And personally, the events that happened in my life this year really jostled me awake.
#1 Friendships died
I write alot about friendships in this space. And I see alot of people/clients come to me with their friendship struggles.
Let me just say this – friendships aren’t easy. Especially in the world that we are living in these days? They can be bloody hard – hard to start, difficult to sustain. And the challenges with friendships aren’t usually talked about much in the world – romance takes centrestage mostly.
But without friends, acquaintances, social contacts – life just feels sort of empty.
What I realised this year is that I’m someone who LOVES connecting with people. I just love it. When you meet someone you align with and the conversation can carry on for hours? That feeling is just amazing to me. Also I could be a secret extrovert all these while and didn’t really quite uncover it until this year.
What I love even more than just having any connection is, having healthy wonderful amazeballs connections with people whom I just vibe me. They get me. They are my tribe. When we meet and we talk, within an hour or less, we just know, yup, you are my type.
And what I had to let go of this year? People who were just not my tribe. This meant people whom I’ve always dread meeting up with, people who never really cared for me as a person until they had something they needed, people I never enjoyed talking to. All of them had to go.
Nah it wasn’t a lemme cut these people out of my life and block them everywhere, but they were slow-fades. And honestly, they were long overdue. I said above that friendships aren’t easy. BUT. They don’t have to be so darn hard either (the same concept applies to romance). You don’t have to try so hard to like someone, chase after someone to try to get them to nail down a date to meet you or convince yourself over and over that this friend is good to you.
You don’t have to do any of that in a solid, genuine friendship. It just happens. It flows. With the 3 people I let go, it simply wasn’t. The first one, Y, had been unbearably annoying with their 20-page texts and emotional invalidation of my issues – despite countless times of telling. That had to go. Second, L, always seemed to love herself more than she ever liked anyone else. Hence the entire friendship revolved around her problems, her issues, where she wanted to go for dinner, what she wanted to spend on. It never felt like she met me halfway and we had very different lifestyles as well. She loved the high-end luxurious life and dining at $100/plate restaurants, I’m good with my down-to-earth, neighbourhood coffee shops. She gossiped about people who didn’t dress up to her liking – and I’m someone who doesn’t. A friendship lost to materialism, capitalism and the consumerist society we live in.
Third, S, was the most painful and the most disappointing as well. This was a long-time friendship that spanned more than 10 years. We hadn’t always been in contact and I’d always find out years after that there were things she didn’t communicate about to me. Fine. Asking her to hang out was even worse than getting a sloth to crawl at 1km/hour. Suggestions to meet up were always met with huge reluctance, always only on her schedule and never a promise kept. I knew she was struggling with things. Then again – who isn’t? But in the end, when a slight miscommunication was met with stonewalled silence for a number of days, and I just couldn’t be bothered to reach out anymore – that was when I knew. My patience had run its course. The years of resentment had bubbled up and sliced the friendship thread with an invisible knife.
I do believe friendships have their seasons and we probably would reconnect down the road again. But the road to that place is gonna be a long one, and right now, taking care of myself is my priority.
On the flipside though, I made lots of new friends some of which have stayed with me long after I’ve moved on from the place where we met. There are more connections to be made next year though and I just can’t wait!
This year was full of hard choices for me. Change jobs that involved a paycut but a better quality of life? Start “getting out there” and writing my book? As well as all the other hard emotional choices in between, I always had to make a decision. Stay or go? Do the same ole’ or try something different?
As with any choice, these weren’t straightforward ones for me at all. The decision to switch my (day) job was particularly difficult as I was already coming off the back of having left an incredibly toxic workplace in 2021. The new job gave me respite, allowed me to socialise with great people and I finally could heal and get a semblence of my mental (and physical) health back.
But it was clearly lacking something. The work turned out to be completely uninteresting and unfortunately (or not?), I’m not someone that can stay in a role that felt like I was slowly stoning individual brain cells to death each day. Just 8 months in and I knew I had to go.
The opportunity to step into a leadership role – something I’ve always wanted – presented itself with a caveat. A slight pay cut. Like everyone else, I have carried unhealthy money stories with me all my life. Any slight lack could dredge up years and years of money-related pain I thought I had left behind in my childhood. And to be honest, I am still grappling with it.
But I took it anyway. It was the right choice then, it is the right choice now. How long into the future it will continue being the right choice – I don’t know. And I don’t think right choices are meant to last forever. Experiences come into our lives for a purpose sometimes, and I knew that this was the next path that the Universe/my inner self/soul whatever you called it, needed.
In 2023, I foresee making even more interesting choices.
#3 The relationship with ME & the end outcome of a better quality of life
A big part of relationships that most people miss out on is the relationship with our Self. We are always the forgotten ones, the ones we only remember when we have taken care of others’ needs. 2022 showed me how much I had been neglecting myself all these while. And it was the “small” things that started to make me conscious.
Not wanting to buy things that I wanted (I’m a huge chronic underbuyer), holding back on experiences that would help me/make me feel better, procrastinating on doing things that I’ve wanted to do and know that by doing them my life would be better and not even wanting to rest early/take naps because deep down I felt that was “lazy” behaviour – can you believe that?!
Things started to shift when I took a long break between jobs and decided to spend those 3 weeks doing things I really wanted, not things I felt I should be doing, but things I genuinely wanted to do. So, I randomly bought a plane ticket to fly out to meet a friend, it was pretty on a whim and not super planned – and had the most wonderful, relaxing fun I’ve ever had – in huge thanks to my friend too. But to think that I almost talked myself out of it.
I spent the next 2 weeks holed up at home – doing whatever the heck I wanted – waking up late, laying in bed, marathoning movies, reading, doing chores whenever I felt like it. And I loved Every Second of it. Just loved it.
The me a couple of a months back would be busy taking myself to noisy cafes, trying to live out some ideal fantasy in my head, or making plans with different people just to feel “busy” or decluttering when I didn’t feel like it.
I did none of that. Had no plans. Just allowed myself to do whatever. And it felt absolutely fantastic. I’ve continued that streak of doing-shit-for-myself stuff by just buying whatever I wanted, eating what I felt like and doing what I felt like.
What I keep in mind is I ask myself – would this lead to a better quality of life for me, no matter how small? Would this allow me to grow in different ways, try new things, relax and rejuvenate – and replenish and feed my soul? These days, if that is a hell yes then I absolutely am doing it!
#4 Getting rid of the old stories
This “you need to re-examine the stories you have been telling yourself” and remove the old ones had been a theme I was getting ALL YEAR ROUND – through tarot cards I picked for myself, tarot readings with my coaches and every single person I spoke to would somehow always turn around and give me this advice – let the old stuff go.
So clearly, this was what I needed to do and I thought I was doing it very well. But I really wasn’t. When an aunt passed on recently, the entire situation brought up so much of buried money/health/family related stories I felt so down about it for days on end.
Upon speaking to my coach, it suddenly dawned on me that I had been carrying around all these beliefs and repeated so many outdated stories to myself that it had been holding back my relationship life and also my life in other ways. I was so hesitant to write my book, so hesitant to pivot away from my old business model, hesitant to buy things I wanted etc because of all these “rules” I was telling myself about.
The universe/inner voice/my soul what-have-you had been screaming this lesson to me all year round, but I only got to learn it in the last few weeks of the year. Haha, how life works sometimes.
Now I am slowly getting into the practice of letting my intuition and feelings lead the way. Instead of trying to force-fit my behaviour into what my ego mind has been telling me all these years. Those stories from long time ago have to go and as I weed through them and start to take back my power from them – I just know that things will get better. Life is not without its challenges but even with them, I’m excited to be rid of beliefs that have been keeping me held back for so long.
Here’s to new stories being written and riding off high into the sunset in 2023.
A Happy New Year to you!
Struggling with your own beliefs, stories, childhood wounds and relationships?
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