2021 was the year that was supposed to be normal again.
I really thought that we would get together and beat this pandemic, but nope. 2021 was somehow worse than 2020, at least for me.
The disappointment was real.
The depression was real.
The loneliness was real.
I was born and raised in the middle of nowhere and have always been sort of a lone-wolf nerd with close friends that were few and far between.
In elementary school, one of my best buddies died in an accident. I found another best friend in junior high, a couple more in high school, some in college, and a few more after... but with the past couple years of this pandemic coming after several years of working remotely, having most of my best friends living across the country, being pre-occupied with families, or just laying low... nearly everyone in life feels like an acquaintance.
Everything grows and evolves, friendships included. Folks form families. Families become focal points. Folks move apart. Circles have become smaller. We're all in a weird place.
I don't really know where I'm going with all of this... but, I guess it's all to say, I miss havin a crew to run with. I feel like that isolated, rural, country kid again.
I’ve got my ride or die, true best friend. The most badass, ultimate disease-fighting woman that I’ve known... a truly beautiful soul that I can't imagine doing this shit without. But I was hopeful that I'd be goofin off and having fun with buddies again in 2021. It didn't happen at the level that I'd hoped. And that has bummed me out. Big time.
I usually use these year-end reflections to appreciate and be a bit proud/braggadocios about the positive things that have happened in my life, but I'm having a hard time appreciating the past year.
I’ll give it my best tho.
Travel: We bought a tiny camper. I took a month off of work, and we traveled around the midwest. It was awesome and we're itching for more. We also spent a weekend in Chicago, visited a couple friends, some family, and even dipped out of the country for a week.
Weddings: We saw a young woman that Kari used to nanny, and also the flower girl of our own wedding, Caeli, get married. My younger cousin, Ayla, an artist and true badass, married her husband, Gabino. My favorite part of their wedding, aside from seeing everyone, was when the minister asked Gabino if he would take Ayla as his wife, he answered, "100% Ese!" hahah. And then there was Jeffrey, my childhood fake cousin/friend and also an usher in our wedding. We got to attend his amazing wedding with Chelsea in the Dominican Republic. It was so rad.
Parties: We actually got to host a couple! Tia's O'bockfest birthday, Kari's cousin's birthday, my 40th, Kari's 40th, Thanksgiving, and a last minute, very tiny New Years party due to the latest covid surge.
Guests: Aside from the parties, some old friends and favorite peoples paid us some visits. Aaron and Cassie came for Ironman. Kevi came to kick it. Zay and I had a bachelor weekend. It was all awesome.
The weddings, parties, guests and bit of travel that we snuck in gave us just a taste of that normalcy that we longed for. We got to see some of our absolute favorite people, and folks that we've dearly missed. The events were few, but they were truly great and I'm ready for so much more.
Health: I tried to be healthy. Kari and I both got new, really awesome bikes and have been loving to get back out with them. I also got my soap shoes and rollerblades back out, which was fun. I got vaccinated and boosted for covid, got my first flu-shot, and feel great about all of that. I also got an apple watch primarily for the health features. It's an absolute dorkbox, but I'm liking it far more than I thought I would... probably, because I am a dork.
My general well-being ebbed and flowed... but it unfortunately ebbed a lot more than it flowed. My mental health was in rough shape for several chunks of the year. My yoga practice went from sporadic to daily to sporadic at best and poor diet had me end the year on a fat note.
Work: Man... It's exciting to build things that tens of millions of people nearly instantly touch. I helped build some big/fun shit, but I don't love where I'm at. I also don't know what I want. I've hit a strange place in my career and have been pretty turned off by much of the tech industry.
Goals for 2022: I dunno, man. The above list sounds like the year was actually pretty decent, but it sure didn't feel that way... and I have very little faith that this year will be any better than the past 2.
That said, I'll just copy and paste my goals for 2021 and try again.