I like to write a New Year’s focused piece every January, and I’ve done so almost every year since I started this blog 11 years ago. I usually reflect on all of the positives and triumphs of the previous year and I usually share my goals and intentions for the new one. Well…2021 stumped me and I’ve been avoiding writing this for weeks. Well, it’s finally February and I’m finally facing my “year in review” anxiety. Here goes…
2021 was a big year—a lot of really good things happened to me in 2021. My boyfriend and I moved in together, I made more money with Broke & Chic than ever before, I was able to finally see my parent’s again after 16 months of not being able to due to COVID, and I finally became a DJ (a secret dream of mine). I’m beyond blessed and thankful, but I’m going to be honest, 2021 sucked. Like really, really, really sucked.
I may be the black sheep here, but 2020 was one of the best years of my life. It was full of self discovery, career clarity, creativity, peace, and love. I was new to Los Angeles, I was single, and I only knew one person—but it was the least lonely year of my life because I had to learn to be my own best friend. Despite the solitude, I had the LA sun, good weed, and lots of time to think about the future I wanted to build for myself. Then I unexpectedly met the love of my life in July of 2020.
I thought that joy would carry into 2021, but it sadly did not. The tune of 2021 was self-doubt, stress, hopelessness, dread, depression, and a shit ton of work to do. Some of my woes included:
Losing a job I really liked—I was working at a spin studio, but COVID had other plans. That was such a devastating blow and it happened only weeks into 2021. Womp.
I took on a mentorship program that made me miserable—I’ve always been interested in the cannabis industry here in California, specifically growing cannabis. An opportunity fell onto my lap and I took it despite my inner voice telling me I couldn’t handle it since Broke & Chic was already a full-time job at that point. And I was right, I couldn’t handle it. The commute was terrible, the environment was toxic, and it prevented me from giving Broke & Chic the attention it needed and deserved.
Due to that said mentorship, I was constantly falling behind on my blog duties—my traffic went down and I disappeared almost entirely from social media.
I experienced severe depression—Despite having a lot going for me, I felt deep sadness every day that I couldn’t shake off. I finally got the help I needed in August (that mentorship really traumatized me) and things have been getting better.
I had to navigate and eventually end a toxic friendship—This weighed heavily on me all of 2021 (and even a bit in 2020). It was extremely hard, but I finally had to cut ties with this person for my mental health.
Now to reflect…
The Silver Linings
Despite all I just mentioned, each frustration had a silver lining that has made me wiser and more sure of myself.
1. I now know without any doubt that I’m not meant to work for other people. Broke & Chic is my future and I need to say no to anything that has the potential to steer me away from it.
2. I learned that I can’t ignore my intuition. Every ounce of my being told me not to accept that mentorship, and I ignored my gut feeling for $$$. I feel the universe was testing me and my loyalty to Broke & Chic. While I failed that test, it woke me up and I learned a lesson that will prevent me from failing again.
3. I learned that I need to take my own advice and practice self-care on a regular basis. I write about self-care often since it’s something I’m passionate about due to my past experiences with burnout. My corporate burnout is what inspired me to quit my job, leave NYC, and commit all of my energy to this blog over three years ago. 2022 is the year I re-commit to self-care since very little of it happened last year. Self-care looks different for everyone, for me, it’s dancing and video games. I used to play video games all of the time, but I didn’t play any for the entirety of 2021. My boyfriend gifted me a fun game for my Nintendo Switch this past Christmas and it has been helping me re-discover my life joys.
4. I learned to never put loyalty above self-respect ever again. Ending that friendship I mentioned was very difficult. We were friends for over 6 years, but my loyalty to her became more important than my self-respect. She didn’t support my career choice—being a blogger and influencer. Obviously this wasn’t the tune of our entire friendship, but things change and people grow apart. It wasn’t until I read this article that I realized I needed to do something. This other article helped in the decision to quit my corporate job back in 2018—and even though it’s mainly about loyalty in the workplace, it has helped me navigate this difficult life event as well.
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2022
I’m not going to lie, January wasn’t all that great either. I felt like I had a melancholy filter on. Some of it was due to the weather, some of it was due to Mercury Retrograde, and some of it was because I’m still trying to find my footing with Broke & Chic. However, I’m trying to be patient with myself and give myself time to just exist and breathe as I know that melancholy filter is lifting. Here is what I’m looking forward to in 2022:
- Becoming a Better DJ—I have loved music my entire life, and always had a secret daydream of being a DJ. Unfortunately, in my 20s, I did not have the confidence to even try. Well, I’ve been given a chance with Red Light Vinyl—an all-female vinyl collective here in LA. I’m so honored that the founder is giving me a chance and I hope to prove my worth and make her proud in 2022.
- Turning Broke & Chic into Something Better and Stronger—I’ve been proud of my accomplishments with this blog for a long time, but last year really showed me what I’m capable of with it. I fell so behind because more opportunities came my way. Between that reality and the mentorship, I was doing all I could to just stay above water with my larger workload. Well, Broke & Chic has all of my attention going forward and I plan on making 2022 a pivotal year that will solidify my business. I have a lot of things in the works and I can’t wait to share them with you.
- My Home—My boyfriend and I moved into a cute little house in Pasadena last April and we are slowly (but surely) making this place our sanctuary. I work from home full-time now, and so does he. He got the courage to quit his corporate job last summer to pursue his photography passion. He quit last June and despite my personal struggles, I have fully enjoyed watching him make the exciting jump. Peace out 9-5, hello entrepreneurship! I’m so proud of him and I’m excited about all the creativity that will be happening in this home going forward.
Shop My Budget Friendly Outfit
I had so much fun with this outfit. Both the dress and earrings are from SHEIN and my tall white boots are from Target (and they’re currently on sale!).
How has your 2022 been going?