“The Year 2021”

Betty White dying on December 31, 2021, just shy of her 100th birthday, tells you all that you need to know about what this year was like.

2021 hit different. It was a cruel, cruel world in many ways, with racial reckonings, the climate crisis, and the never-ending COVID waves. Personally, I faced the death of my father and all of the changes that come with such a life-altering loss.

At the same time, many things I’ve always wanted finally came to fruition this year, such as publishing my first book, making strides along a career path that feels right, settling into a home of my own, and seeing my Mom find the comfort, sanctuary, and peace she deserves.

Here are some of the insights I’ve gained upon reflecting on my experiences this year. Maybe some of them will resonate with you too!

  • Accept that your initial perceptions (of people, of situations, and of life in general) will change, because they will.
  • Let go of what you cannot control and what no longer serves you.
  • Lean on and lift up the people who choose to stand side-by-side with you.
  • Patience is kindness and one of the best ways to show your support for someone.
  • Find freedom in forgiveness, both in forgiving others and forgiving yourself.
  • Seek clarity in closure and use those learnings to better understand the world around you.
  • Take more breaks and give yourself a break!

Wishing you all much happiness and good health as we move on from 2021 and carry on into 2022!

Memories of 2021.

I rang in New Year 2021 at my new apartment with my new roommate (and new kitty friend) and celebrated the countdown virtually with the Vodka Joyride group. My first pandemic birthday was spent going through my tradition of birthday freebies. Down in the states, the first month of the new year was intense, with an insurrection, another impeachment, and the inauguration of the new Biden administration. All of these rapid developments certainly set the tone for the remainder of the year…

During the first few months of 2021, I signed up for some free trials for meal delivery services and tried out a bunch of new recipes to get more into cooking and baking. COVID restrictions remained in place, so I did what any hero would do in such circumstances — stayed in and binged a ton of shows and online shopped!

In the spring of 2021, we reached the one year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more and more people took the COVID-19 vaccine, coronavirus continued to rage on worldwide with the emergence of the Delta variant. There was a reckoning of addressing racial injustices with the Stop Asian Hate and Indigenous Peoples movements.

This year, I experienced a huge shift in my personal life with the death of my father. My brother and I supported our Mom through this huge life change in selling and saying goodbye to the family house, spending time with her during her staycation downtown, helping her settle into her new home and neighbourhood, and being there for her during this new chapter in her life.

During the #ShotGirlSummer of 2021, I got my double doses of the Moderna vaccine, just in time for the record breaking heatwaves across B.C.! The summer saw the loosening up of some restrictions. I got back into fitness, participating in outdoor dance and yoga classes, going on long walks along the seawall, and re-learning rollerblading. I got to try out new restaurants via take-out or patio dining. I hit up the outdoor markets, pop-ups, and mini art festivals in Vancouver. I soaked up the sun during beach days, park hangs, and a day trip to Bowen Island. In August, I finally checked off some of the B.C. hikes on my bucket list, including St Mark’s Summit and Joffre Lakes. I ended the adventure-packed summer with a glamping and rafting trip to Hope with the Vodka Joyride.

In the fall of 2021, I become a published author with the release of my first book of poetry, Beyond Black and White, achieving a long-held goal of mine! During the Thanksgiving weekend, my family and I took a trip to Harrison Hot Springs to say goodbye to my father. Then, with the implementation of vaccination cards, it was back to socializing, events, working in the office (and joining another new team within our company), in-person birthday parties, housewarmings, and holiday gatherings, and going to the movie theatre! .

And of course, normalcy was there only for a brief period. In December, the highly-contagious Omicron variant arrived – just in time for the holiday season! I was lucky to spend a White Christmas with my Mom, creating new traditions (including a new tree) in a new place.

2021 really tried to do the impossible with all the hardships and heartache it brought our way. It was a cruel, cruel world this year, but I was able to make it through with the love and support of all the wonderful people in my life. Here’s to being healthy and happy in 2022!

Music in 2021.

Books in 2021.

All of the books I read in 2021 (via Goodreads)

Films in 2021.

All of the films I watched in 2021 (via Letterboxd)

Television in 2021.

These were the TV shows I binged in 2021:

  • New Seasons of: Hudson & Rex, The Flash, Ted Lasso, Derry Girls, Never Have I Ever, Nora from Queens, The Great, Emily in Paris, Making The Cut, Glow Up, American Idol, Saturday Night Live,
  • Series Finales of: Superstore, Kim’s Convenience, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, The Bold Type, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Dickinson, Insecure
  • Marvel Series: WandaVision, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Loki, Hawkeye, What If…
  • New Shows: Girls5Eva, Turner & Hooch, Dug Days, Canine Intervention, Squid Game, Clash of the Cover Bands, School of Chocolate, And Just Like That
  • Miniseries: History of Swear Words, I May Destroy You, Stanley Tucci’s Searching For Italy, Sanditon, Anne Boleyn

There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.
– Amanda Gorman