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Thank You 2020

It’s been quite a year. I’m sure almost everyone feels its been intense, wild, and for many people the year has felt like a giant mess. And for me too it’s been a messay and intense year. But I feel thankful. I am in a place where I can feel thankful for this year and all that it has brought me and allowed me to experience.

As I’m writing this, I feel both tired and exhausted from this year, from all the busy things that I’ve undertaken, that have happened, that are still up and coming as the next year will start. But I also feel energised, motivated, ready. I feel energised at how much I’ve been able to do, at how much I’ve learned about myself, at how I’ve started to really build and spend time on the things I want to create in life. I feel energised by the experiences I’ve dealt with regarding big family things and working my way through a lot of sadness, both relating to death and that which existed within myself. As this year ends, I feel that I can end the year with a smile, and truthfully, internally, feel happy with my life and myself right now.

While this year could have been one of sadness, I refuse define it that way. My father passed away but I refuse to see this as sad and painful. Yes there are days when I wish I could give him a hug, but it reminds me that I have many other people to love and hug around me. And I feel my dad close by. I feel him in the energy around me. His death put a lot in perspective for me this year, but mostly it made me want to live and be alive. To work to share my love and light with the world, and to always remain in-tune with myself. My dad lost his groove in life a long time ago which affected his self-love. So I am working, creating and manifesting my self-love.

Another reason for ‘possible sadness’ this year was that my almost-four-year relationship ended. And even though it was a somewhat mutual decision, as there currently is very little space in life for being together in a way that works for both our current lifestyles, it was a hard decision with lots of heartbreak. And while I don’t think I shared much about it at the time, breaking up with someone when you’re already physcially not living in the same space is hard. You know something has changed but you also don’t feel the affect of it on a daily basis. Rather, it pops up here and there, when you’re doing little things and think of them, or wish they were there or how you miss snuggling up next to someone in bed – and I’m not talking about the sex, but instead, the way crawling into someone else just makes you feel like you’re in the safest most loving place on earth. Yet the break-up has, now four months later, also brought me a lot more time to focus on myself and on things I really wanted to accomplish for myself. I haven’t had to worry so much about when we could see each other again or about how our future would take shape, instead I’ve spend time on my own future. My book is almost done, I have crazy exciting travel plans for next year and I know that I can fill in my time and space however I envision it. And for my ex, who thankfully still remains a good friend, I believe it’s been beneficial too. He’s entered a different phase of his life, one that requires a lot of focus and doesn’t provide a lot of free time, and from a distance I’ve seen him flourish there, and it makes me happy to see and to know that we are both growing in our own lives. And for that reason I can’t feel sad that the romantic aspect of our relationship isn’t there right now. I love myself and him enough to see and be happy for how we are manifesting our own dreams and goals.

So while this year could’ve had some big themes of sadness, especially after I found out another friend, one from the Camino, passed away in October. But when I found out about Dave’s passing away I decided I didn’t want to feel sad for his death. Instead, I wanted to celebrate his life and all other life. And in May, when I set off again to walk another Camino, I’ll carry a small rock for Dave with me (a Camino tradition), and take him with me on the Camino, his eight time, but now as a guardian angel. And by celebrating Dave’s life, my dad’s life, the life that was created from a break-up, I have moved away from seeing all these events as sad or worthy of heartbreak. Instead, these events have become beautiful experiences in my life from which I can grow and get to know myself better.

Alongside these beautiful learning opportunities, this year has brought me even more joy than I could’ve imaged. Before COVID really hit the European and African continent, I got to travel to the Netherlands, to Egypt, and to the United States, all to see loved ones and travel to a new location. I evolved in my work and am now more confident in my abilities and skills. I was able to spend immense amounts of quality time with my loved ones: my parents, my siblings, my nephew and niece, myself. And something I am most excited about having created, or rather, worked on, this year has been my writing: my blog and my book. I can look back on 2020 and feel proud of who I have grown into and who and what I have created.

What I am the most proud of this year, for myself, has been the fact that I have finally started to take big steps to create and manifest two important dreams: writing and traveling. And while I realise that there hasn’t been much traveling this year, I have worked on myself and saved up, so know I know that when I do get to travel, I am traveling from a place of curiosity and excitement, rather than from a desire to somewhat runaway and find myself somewhere else. Now I will be traveling with myself as my greatest companion.

This time I”ve had to think about traveling and why I want to travel, has also put into perspective the “where” and the “how” of wanting to travel. While randomly doing research, I stumbled upon an article of a couple who headed from Switzerland to Sydney, Australia, all without using the plane. The couple used the Trans-Siberian Railway and then hopped on a container-boat. The whole trip took them about two months (because they also stopped along the way), but once I read about this being a possibility, I was hooked. And so I started doing my own research, and as I was doing my research on this trip my mom said that she’d also like to come along if I’d have her on my journey. And while things are currently still up in the air because of the global-travel situation, the idea is to head out next August!

Another travel feeling that just keeps coming back and that I’ve finally thought about and agreed to do with msyelf, is to go back to the Camino. To walk the 800 kilometres again and see what it will bring me this time. Last time it brought me in touch with myself and created a whole new way of looking at life and myself within my life. A voice inside me keeps asking me to go back and walk it again, and now that I am the owner of my own business and can manage my schedule and time how best works for me, I’ve decided that in May I will be setting off again.

This leads me right into me being proud of my writing accomplishments this year. I wrote a book and it’s almost done. Wow!!! I can actually say that and write it because it is true!! At the start of this year I somewhat seriously decided that I would like to share my experience from the Camino with the world. I hadn’t yet so much decided to write a full-fledged book, but the seed of the idea was there and while I didn’t always water it, it started to grow anyways. Then after my dad passed away and I got back to Saint Barths, I somehow found the energy, to time and time again, sit behind my laptop and type type type. I luckily had kept a journal, which holds encounters from about half of my journey – occasional days are missing, but reading back and flipping through my guidebook, I am quickly transported back to the dusty dirt paths of the Spanish countryside, with my boots on my feet and my (too heavy) backpack on my back. If you’re curious about the rest you’ll have to buy my book when it’s published in the Spring!

Writing has been a shining light in my year. Besides creating the book that holds, which for me feels like, the story of a lifetime, writing has also been a way to release my ideas and emotions onto paper – a way to express myself and help me through challening times and moments. And so this blog, creating and really working on this, has felt like a great gift from myself to me. This blog has been a personal outlet in the past year, but also sharing my thoughts and feelings for the world to read, means I believe in my own talents and written work. I believe in myself so much that I already have future book ideas already on the sidelines ready to be nurtured into complete projects. My writing has gained confidence, not necessarily because I think that what I have to say or how I write it is the best way or the most beautiful or the most important, but because I think my way is a way of honesty, I am truthful about the ways I feel, the thoughts I think, and the reality of living life as a human being.

And while I know that ‘year’s in review’ are cheesy but I love them. I honestly think we should do them more than once a year. Reflecting on who we are and where we are in our lives is important and we don’t take enough time on a daily basis to check-in with ourselves. So I, with joy, shared my proud accomplishments and amazing year.

I am also immensely excited for what 2021 will bring and I’ll share my upcoming journey in a different post, but for now I’m going to spend my beautiful last day of the year with three of my favourite people in the universe: my mom, my brother, and my sister.

Thank you 2020 for a crazy, beautifully alive year!

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