No, I haven’t been living under the rock for the past few years. When I started dating my ex, Netflix wasn’t such a big thing yet. Once we moved in together, we decided to use his account as our joint account. And it had remained our account for months after the separation. We were both silently using it, not wanting to be the asshole that changed the password. Until, soon after the New Year’s, he stopped paying for it. I assumed he created a new account, so I went and did the same. That Netflix account was the last thing we had in common.
Fully alone, shattered from the earthquake, break-up, and isolation I started 2021 thinking I should just kill myself. But once both the ground and my mind stopped shaking, I decided to turn things around. And unsurprisingly, 2021 turned out to be a pretty good year. So let’s start with the positives:
1. I got vaccinated. Three times.
I thought I would be in a better mood writing this. With omicron rampaging through Europe, I am approaching another Christmas with anxiety. I can’t help but wonder – how long before this ends? Regardless, I am beyond thrilled the vaccine is here and so easily available.
2. Move to Amsterdam
One of the first things I did this year was to ask for a transfer. I needed a fresh start, a new opportunity. Since July I am officially a resident of Amsterdam.
3. I ran. A lot.
Last winter was spent strengthening my left leg, a leg that has been significantly weaker after an ACL surgery 10 years ago. While my friends were running, I was at home staring at the wall, doing single-leg exercises to get that quad to a decent level. Once I was cleared by my doctor for running, I was the happiest person on Earth. I ran 30km in one go. I ran 258km in one month. I improved my 10k PR – twice. As Tina Turner would say – running is simply the best.
4. I became an Irish citizen
While I applied for citizenship back in 2019, I had already given up on the idea that I would get it. And just as I was packing my bags for that final move, the letter arrived. I was jumping around the house like a child. Ireland has been my home, my first adult home, and Dublin, although not a city where I made my first baby steps had been a city of a lot of “firsts”. It is only fair this is now oficial as well.
5. Friends and family
My parents made it through another year of the pandemic. My auntie had a stroke but made almost a full recovery. I got to spend some quality time with my niece. I met some new people and reconnected with my old friends. In Amsterdam, I live 3 minutes from one of my closest friends. In Dublin, I spent 10 days saying goodbye to people I’ve spent the last 7 years with. I am beyond grateful for everyone who entered my life in 2021, as well as those who had been here already and decided to stay.
As for the not-so-good parts, there are definitely some. I miss traveling. You know, the concept that you can book a trip, spend a week somewhere, without being afraid it will get canceled or you might need to quarantine on your way back. I miss seeing friends that live in foreign countries. I miss exploring things. But most of all – I just miss the feeling of being relaxed.
Lately, I’ve been trying to do more of that. Running, no matter how invigorating and liberating it is, has left me a bit overtrained and a bit tired. The entire December I’ve been taking a well-needed break from running and am hoping to hit the road soon, feeling refreshed.
And that’s all I can hope for in 2022. We live in times of uncertainty. Plans are hard to make, good things and good people are hard to come by. All I can hope for is we all get a bit of relaxation sometime during the year and that we continue doing things that make us feel alive.
Have wonderful holidays and a happy new year!