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  • Arika Lawrence

2022 Reflections



This year has been a roller-coaster ride. I lost all concept of time throughout 2022. I’m still processing that the other day was summer and now, we’re in holiday season. Where did the time go? Well, I’ll tell you where most of my time went — it went to growth, unlearning, and challenges. 2022 was one of the hardest years of my life mentally! Between the lingering symptoms of the pandemic to radical transitions within my home and work life, it was a jarring experience. In fact, I do feel like most days, I’m reliving constant trauma – just try looking at the world news for 5 mins. Oy! It’s been rough but I’m grateful for it all because I know that nothing happens “to” you; it happens “for” you in some way. It’s all a matter of how you adjust your frequency to align to your unique human experience. What I will say is: 2022 has given me a new testimony to impart on someone who might need to hear it someday.


While 2022 was a wild one, I also had a lot of positive “wins” that came out of the year. Each year, I challenge myself to reinvent in some way. This year, I focused on two words to help me achieve these reinventions and those words were: balance and restoration. I chose balance because I’m guilty of prioritizing my needs last on my to-do list. It’s natural for me to put others' needs before my own whether its mental, physical, emotional and sometimes, financial. Before I know it, I’ve depleted all my resources, energy, mental capacity, time and space that I’m no good to anyone, including myself. How I’ve been countering this behavior is establishing more balance in my life and what that looks like is prioritizing boundaries. It also includes getting intentional about my self-care time. It’s also holding space for myself and being accountable about enforcing my boundaries. It hasn’t been easy but it’s definitely a positive lesson I plan on expanding on in 2023. I will continue to prioritize myself, make time for self-care and remain comfortable with saying “no” or "this is the best I can do/give."


When I chose the word “restoration,” I thought about the time I’d “lost” during the pandemic. I had totally different plans circa 2019 but the world went left in March 2020. I’m not the person to harp on what happened but instead, I started seeing this time as an opportunity, especially, 2021. I chose this year to do transformational things. Before I knew it, I recognized that time wasn’t “lost” at all, I gained it all back in some way. I ripped the Band-Aid off in 2021 and took chances and faced challenges that I didn’t think I could do. It felt like an empowering time for me and I plan to carry this energy with me into 2023. This year has taught me the importance of being present. It’s not about living in the past or being focused on the future, it’s also not about being in control either — this lesson was about just being. When you make the decision to be present, you learn that restoration is taking place all around you and it tends to manifest in different forms. You may not always see it at first glance but stilling your mind (and staying focused on God) helped me realize I was right on time. I also noticed when I let go and just be, it helped me focus on what I can control. The Serenity Prayer never goes out of style, and when I’m having a moment lol I know I can count on these words to center me again.


In case you’ve never heard of the Serenity Prayer, here’s how it goes:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…the courage to change the things I can…and the wisdom to know the difference.


So, with that said, I’m grateful for how my 2021 is winding down. I know it hasn’t been easy the last several years (for us all in our own ways) but I’m going to keep trying. I'm evolving, I'm growing, I'm learning and I'm blooming. I am grateful for the lessons and blessings I received this year. Dear 2021, thank you! I appreciate all that you have shown me this year. Through tears, laughter and smiles, I know that everything had purpose. Thank you!


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