Year in Review: What I’ve learned in 2020

kelowna blogger

I remember the day so clearly, March 17th. Three days before my birthday. I had just moved into my apartment in February and had an awesome birthday celebration planned with my girlfriends. Things were looking so promising. We were supposed to be going to Eldorado for a fancy brunch buffet for my 27th birthday. I had just signed some contracts with new clients within my business. The world was my oyster. Or at least it felt like it.

Then the world changed our lives forever. We went into lock down. I was in major denial. It’s not that bad, it’s just the media blowing it up, it’s going to be okay. It was not okay. I remember Kelowna Instagram accounts were popping up on my news feed one after another notifying their closures. I remember Cactus Club was one of the first….Cactus Club is shutting down? What? 

From that point on, the year of 2020 spiraled into this crazy year of what it’s been. Heart break, tears, anger, confusion, uncertainty, racism, injustice, oppression, the list goes on. But this blog post isn’t a negative one. It’s not a sad one. It’s a hopeful one. Because despite all the tragedies that have happened, there has been a lot of good that’s come out of it and a lot of learning. 2020 is the year that forever changed us all. So what have I learned personally?


How to be happy alone

I used to be terrified of being alone. I wrote a blog post on this actually. But to sum it up, I have always lived with people or been around people my whole life. Like most people, I’ve always enjoyed alone time don’t get me wrong; but if I was left alone for more than a day, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I remember when we went into lock down I panicked because I knew how extroverted I was. I remember thinking how can I not go out to work meetings…not go to restaurants..not see my friends. It was an adjustment.

Now, I thoroughly enjoy my alone time and think it’s been the healthiest thing for me. It’s so important to learn to be okay by yourself, you need that you time. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean loneliness.

Slowing down

I can be such a workaholic, busy bee, and pack my schedule to the point of burn out. I’ve been accustomed to a busy lifestyle with a planner full of dates and appointments. This year, I’ve learned if I’m not feeling it one day, it’s okay to take a day and lay in bed and watch Netflix. Taking a break is productive and it’s okay to slow down.

Who my real friends are

This one has actually been a struggle. I have always had so many friends growing up. Prior to me moving into my apartment, I actually lived with two girlfriends. We constantly had people over and were such social butterflies. As this year progressed, I’ve actually stepped away from some friendships and parted with people that have been apart of my life for so long. This falls into the “people pleasing” that I would always do. Also wrote a blog post on that. I really learned this year to stop putting 100% into the people that only put 50% into me. I’ve learned it’s okay to not have a million friends but rather, one or two quality ones. Some people are meant to be temporary.

Education

This past year, there have been many acts of violence, inequality, and injustice which has created a ton of awareness. I.e the BLM movement, supporting charitable causes, taking action in general, you name it. It’s really opened up my eyes to be constantly learning and educating myself. There have been many tough conversations but we need to keep having these kinds of conversations.

I posted on my Instagram in December about how I wanted to give back directly to my community somehow. Being a foodie, I chose the Okanagan Food Bank. There’s always somebody that can use our help and if you’re in a position or a place of privilege that can help, I encourage you to do the same.

Even though I have reflected on everything I’ve learned this last year, I know there is a lot more learning to do and I look forward to continue educating myself and giving back in 2021.

Forgiveness

Cancel culture has been real this year. This year was the first year I’ve had trolls on my instagram. There hasn’t been many but a few. And that’s all it takes to hurt. It just takes one. There’s also been in an increase in riots, protests, mayhem, corruption, and shaming this year. The shaming is actually one that I’ve struggled with the most. I’ve seen and witnessed so much bullying over this past year and it makes me incredibly sad. Everybody is trying their best. I’ve learned to not get absorbed into that and focus on learning, educating, and supporting others. And lastly, forgiving. Everybody can be quick to judge. Everybody makes mistakes. Holding grudges doesn’t serve anybody. We need to forgive and be there through these tough times. Yes, let’s hold each other accountable but do so with love.

New business venture

I started a new business venture at the end of 2020: my food tour! And while it was only running a short time until the covid restrictions kicked back in, it was successful and so much fun! Don’t worry though. It’ll be back in 2021 when it is safe to do so!

Vulnerability

I used to have such a guard up with my feelings. I’ve really learned to become more vulnerable despite it being scary. Especially because the more vulnerable you are the more open you become to criticism. Our society glamorizes “over working” ourselves and as mentioned earlier,  I am one of those people guilty of overworking! I run this blogging business of mine but also still work part time to get ahead. Working two jobs is a lot of work and sometimes it’s okay to cry, to crash, and not have it all together. I’m used to pushing through tough times and situations but I’ve learned to honor my feelings when I feel them. It’s okay to not have it together all the time.

Not taking things for granted

This year really pointed out all the blessings I have. My job, my family, where I live, not living pay cheque to pay cheque. Not having to go through this alone. My health!! I was lucky in a lot of ways but I know it’s not the same for everyone. Cherish what you have because it can be taken in an instant.

You guys

As always, the end of a year is another chance to reflect and appreciate my extended family, you guys! You guys are the ones that keep me going! Whether you’re new or have been a longtime reader/follower, I am so grateful that you have been here with me! I have gained so many friendships whether we’ve spoken over Instagram or met in real life. I look forward to strengthening those relationships 🙂


2020 wasn’t about how much you did or how many trips you went on. It was about finding joy and appreciating the little things such as connecting with your family and loved ones and being present in the moment. You are not the same person you were a year ago. We are always growing. We will look back on this year and see how far we have come.

If this pandemic never happened, this version of who you are right now wouldn’t have existed. It’s all about perspective. Bring on 2021! Can’t wait to see what’s in store!

-Jenna xoxo

 

Photo: Theresa Easter Photography

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