4 lessons we're bringing into 2022


This time last year, we were still in the dark thick of the pandemic - spending the holidays alone or with only our immediate families and doing our best to stay safe and healthy and protect others too. While by no means are we completely out of the woods yet, vaccines are for the most part readily available here in Canada, travel restrictions have begun to loosen, and social gatherings have resumed. As 2022 is just around the corner, we wanted to reflect on some major lessons we learned this year and will take with us into the new one. 

It’s ok to stick up for ourselves (and not feel guilty about simply respecting our boundaries) 

When what we’re comfortable with doesn’t align with anyone or everyone else, sometimes the faith we have in ourselves and the conviction we’re able to place in our decisions wavers. Our insecurities emerge from below and start to throb. What most of us need to remember is that this is normal and completely ok. We’ve said it a thousand times and will say it again - taking care of ourselves is not selfish. We can’t take care of others or be of service to the world if we don’t first meet our own needs. You deserve the same attention, affection, and respect (if not even more) that you give so freely to others, no questions asked. It is normal (yet sometimes seems so taboo) to simply stick to our morals, goals, and what feels safe and healthy for us - without guilt. 

Personal growth is uncomfortable - and that’s ok

Growth is hard - if it wasn’t, we simply wouldn’t grow! We build our resilience, skills, and wisdom during the tough times - the challenging situations in which we feel we’re pushed to the brink (or maybe even beyond). One of the most recognizable signs of personal growth is when you feel a little disoriented, a bit out of control, and like you just can’t get your feet on the ground. These are all signs that you’ve been thrust out of your comfort zone and routine - which can be a good thing! 

These are the times where we develop creative problem-solving skills and discover capable, motivated parts of ourselves we didn’t know existed. When we’re making healthier choices, feeling maybe a bit lonely, healing ourselves, improving our habits, outgrowing relationships, and making choices to set our future selves up for success rather than succumb to the temptation of immediate gratification (often in the form of less healthy long-term choices) - we’re growing. Next time you feel like you’re on the edge of something new and great (and terrifying), hold on tight. Tune out distractions and tune into yourself - your knowledge, wisdom, and personal goals. Remember to trust your judgment and that you have absolutely everything you need. 

Relationships: quality over quantity

As we build our resilience and traverse forth into the exciting unknown, remember that not everyone gets to come with us. There is a misconception that all relationships have to last - this just isn’t true. Sometimes certain relationships grow and fizzle out just in time for us to learn something about ourselves or where we want to go. Humans are dynamic and ever-changing, so it makes sense that some relationships are only meant to serve us for some time and not all time. 

We realize we’re growing when we’re thinking before speaking and responding rather than reacting - when we feel boredom (yes, boredom! It means we’re giving our adult selves time to daydream and decide what’s important to us and where we want to go). Respecting that as we develop we might outgrow some relationships and feel lonely temporarily is essential. It’s so much more important to have a few close support figures in your life than a wealth of acquaintances (none of which perhaps you could rely on in troubled times). Play an active role in deciding which relationships you’re investing in for the long haul - and let go of any reservations or societal messaging that it’s important to have tons of friends. 

That the little things are in fact the big things

We’ve been beautifully reminded this year that a full and satisfying life is made up of the small moments: the piping hot latte we made for ourselves in the morning when we’d normally buy out, the coziness of our bed during the dark, dreary winter months, the first time we meet our niece or nephew after months of being apart, or the intimate, connected conversations we’ve had with our partner or friend during a challenging time. 

It’s the times when we finally proudly check off that task at work that’s haunted us for months, knowing we’ve done some of our absolute best work - or when a friend comes to us for advice and thanks us for being there for them. These moments of joy, pride, and connection are what life is all about. Sure, round-the-world trips are incredible too for those who have the option - but lasting, genuine happiness and satisfaction comes from the everyday appreciation for the little things. Here’s to remembering that life is precious, we can’t take anything for granted, and to taking advantage of every special (small) moment we have in 2022. 

As we turn the page into yet another new year, here are some final reminders:

  • Having compassion for others helps you to have compassion for yourself - we’re all fighting our own battles.

  • We are worth our own time and energy and deserve to give ourselves everything we want or need.

  • Embrace your feelings and emotions as they come up (safely) - it’s been a challenging time and the only way out is through. The more we embrace and openly talk about how we feel, the quicker we grow even more into ourselves.

We wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season full of rest, relaxation, joy, and connection.