Written by: Jorinde Berben
Image credit: Jorinde Berben
I have never felt so joyful, relaxed and excited on New Year’s Eve as I did last night. Were my plans spectacular? No, not really, but I was with spectacular people (my partner, brothers and sisters by birth and in-law), eating spectacular food (cooked by my brother-in-law David), dancing to pretty spectacular music and not worrying in the least about whether I was ‘doing things right’.
2022 had quite a bit to do with shaping me into the person who could enjoy a New Year’s Eve celebration and not feel stressed, worried or like I didn’t fit it. If 2021 was the year that revealed how my life wasn’t working at all (hello burn-out/depression), 2022 was the year that helped me see why that is, and thus allowed me to make little and big changes in my thoughts and actions that gave me air to breathe and to discover myself anew.
I started out the year in a depression (this is the post I wrote on January 2nd 2022), unsure of where I was going to end up the next day, let alone the next month or by the end of the year. All I knew was that the idea of going back to teaching and combining that with parenting full-time and taking care of my own mental health needs gave me actual panic attacks. By the end of January it was clear that I wasn’t going back that school year, and around a month after that, my partner and I decided that I would start working for Show Yourself full-time from September onward.
2022 was also the year I got diagnosed with ADHD which opened a whole new world for me. All of a sudden I could explain the way I had been (mal-)functioning my whole life, but also see what wonderful talents this neurodivergent brain gives me. I initially got tested because I recognised signs of autism in myself, and to be honest, even though the team I went to didn’t diagnose me with autism (though they recognized many traits), I feel that my journey of figuring out how my brain works has only just started. Every day I realise something my brain is doing that is perhaps not, as I always thought, the way everyone’s brain works. Yet, it no longer makes me feel like I’m a victim of my own mind, but rather an explorer who gets to claim every part of herself, and plants flags with every new discovery. This is me … and this is also me … and this also, and yes, I claim this too!
In 2022 I dived deep into my inner child, into how she feels, what she needs, what she’s afraid of and how she copes with that. I’m nowhere near done diving, and the process is often incredibly painful, but I know I’m up to the task, and that I have great people who are willing to dive in with me. I am no longer afraid of my pain, and no longer worried about how fast I might heal. I’ve learned that there’s probably a good reason why certain things come when they come, no sooner and no later.
2022 was the year that let me face reality: my own limitations, the person I am versus the person I thought I was going to be, my children’s actual wishes and feelings versus what I hoped they would be, the reality of who I am in my relationship versus my ideal of the perfect partner, the world as it is versus the world as I wish it were.
There are no miracle cures, there is great pain in this world, there are wars, people being exploited and abused, there is so much hurt. Yet, this hasn’t caused my depression to get worse or last longer. Instead, it has deepened my compassion, put things into perspective and fuelled my resolve to both acknowledge the hurt AND refuse to let it color what IS beautiful in this world. We actually CAN make a difference, even by just refusing to let fear run our lives.
Perhaps, if I were to summarize what 2022 did for me, I would say it was the year in which I fully stepped into my own life. Not wishing it was different, or that I was different, but really seeing it for what it is, seeing myself for who I am (including many blind spots I previously had) and accepting that this does not make me or my life any less but rather so much more valuable. Because my life and experiences are real, and true. Because I’m becoming more real, and more true.
Thank you 2022. And thank you, reader, for reading until the end.
I wish you an amazing New Year in which you may also fully inhabit every minute, every second of your life!
All the best!
2 thoughts on “Goodbye and Thank You to 2022”
Sounds exciting: the progress you made in 2022 and where you’re headed in 2023. Thanks for taking us on that journey. Here’s to a wonderful new year. Best wishes to you!
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Thank you Brian! Wishing you the best for 2023 as well!
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