2021, A YEAR TO REMEMBER

Every New is a present of new hopes, new energy, and a beautiful future. We enjoy the commencing of New Year by giving a warm welcome and saying goodbye to the old year. The year 2022 will be a New Year after the end of the year 2021. The year arrived with a lot of positivity and good vibes but became a year to be remembered in the future. The year was said like a year to live safely and remain alive. Everybody might have their own experience regarding the year 2021.

What year was 2021; a year to remember or a year to forget? For me, 2021 is a year to remember. I take any experience, good or bad, as an opportunity to embrace, learn, and reflect on how to utilize that experience to make things better in the future. We can build on our good experiences and convert the negative experiences into something that can be positive going forward. As I reflect on the beginning of the year, 2021 looked bright and fun as well as sad. Twenty-twenty-one, fun to say, and easy on the eyes. Yes, this will be a long reflection, but one straight from the heart... And something tells me you’ll enjoy it. So grab some popcorn and tag along!

In sum, for better and for worse (but mostly for the better), I saw many cycles end. Which, in turn, gave way for new cycles to begin. However, the point here is certainly not to brag. Instead, I believe these adventures are only worthwhile if from them I extract meaning. The saying goes "home is where the heart is" - and it couldn’t be more true. I was, and forever shall be grateful to my family and especially my parents for always supporting me, even my mum who I said farewell. When the time came to make this impactful decision of radically changing my life, it was no different. It is because of them I hold my core values close to my heart. I thank them for making sure I always had a smile on my face and without them, I’d never become who I am today. Despite the distance, there is never a day I feel lonely. Quite the contrary, their love is always with me. We might be apart dealing with our busy routines, but when we talk, it’s the same smile we share when we’re together.

Just as is with the dear friends I said farewell to. We might not have the same face-to-face we had back then, but I’d never been the person who I am proud to be today were it not for the precious life moments we shared - both big and small. From forging the toast "To memorable adventures and adventurous memories", to each of those episodes, and the many others who I treasure so much.

Life isn’t easy. We all go through troubles. Trust me, though, if you’ve got a smile, it makes facing all of those problems so much better. That’s where my second motto comes in... "If you’re not hyped, something ain’t right". It doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to be sad. It simply means that you should always be mindful of your feelings and strive for what makes you happy, eager to enjoy life. Be respectful to others, but also yourself. Know thyself (sounds cheesy, but makes a difference) because you’ll realize your days are too short to be wasted sulking in darkness. None of this is easy. I know. But I’ve grown to learn it is worth the effort. We ARE our attitudes and that’s why I long to share the joy and cherish life as best as possible.

Remember, your past is useless if from it you do not learn. Cherish every single moment because the NOW never returns. And that’s good! We need to be conscious of that. We need to be aware that through the joie de vivre, even after the moment is "gone", we can create new and exciting ones by applying our findings from the past. Don’t look back. Keep your head straight and knowing what happened back then (in 2021 or whenever) is the foundation from which you must draw to become better.

The year 2022 should be as prosperous as all the other years of your life - past and future. This is not a new year’s resolution, but rather a reminder that "change" can start at any moment. How about now? This year can be great or awful, it’s up to you. Bear in mind, we have little control over the world’s timeline and events, but your state of mind and heart reflect the excitement and courage with which you face each day.

Things went wrong, I lost my loved one, friends part company, I fell in proverbial holes. This might sound very negative, but that describes my experiences in 2021. Recognizing what isn’t working for you is very positive. What are you holding onto from the past 12 months that are no longer serving you well? What, in your life, doesn’t work? What is causing you pain? What is making you angry? Recognize these things and consider what holding on to them brings you. None of the things that grate us have a positive impact on our lives and holding onto them doesn’t have a positive effect on those around us. Letting go is vital to create space for new experiences, shed excess baggage.

As we close out this most unusual year, I encourage you to do your best to remember the good, the fun, the positive experiences you enjoyed throughout the challenging year. Once you've taken a moment to sit and reflect, the door to 2021 can be closed. I'm looking forward to 2022, It’s overwhelming but there are so many things I want to do and learn and become and there’s nothing like the end of the year to motivate a person. Maybe I’ll get to keep some of my resolutions. Maybe I’ll get to keep them all — won’t that be a thrill?

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Arowora Motunrola

Arowora Motunrola

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