This year, I have learned a lot. As I sit and reflect on the year, I am proud of myself and have a clear path forward into 2023. 2022 was my year of evolving, and I had a particular direction in mind. That did not happen, but I developed as a person, a leader, a wife, and a mom along the way.
I applied for a doctoral program and did not get in. I reflected on those mistakes, met with key people, and decided to apply for a different program. If this program doesn’t work out, I will take a break and reassess my goals. One of the critical pieces of advice I received from a faculty member at NAU was to think about what I want to do next, not what I am doing right now. This helped me put things into perspective a bit. Not getting into the first program was a huge blessing in disguise as my husband started his doctoral degree, and I am creating a program for teachers I have been dreaming of for years.
This year, I’ve read over 100 books. I’ve learned that I love reading more than watching TV, and I leaned into that. I have learned so much this year and have unlearned even more. Reading has been an escape for me since I was young, and it felt good to spend days with books for pleasure or to read to learn something. I challenged myself to 100 books because I knew I could do it. I have a blog post about how I did it, and if you know, it’s right for you.
Speaking of which, knowing what works for you and what doesn’t has been a sanity saver for me. Not everything is going to work in your life. That’s perfectly ok. I realized that I needed to let go of “challenges.” For a while, I really liked them, but I noticed if I missed a day or couldn’t do the challenge that day all the way, I’d get frustrated and quit. I finally wised up and now challenge myself in ways I know work for me.
Spending time on myself was a huge goal this year. I invested in my physical and mental health in a way I had never done before. It has helped me in ways both measurable and immeasurable. I wish I had started earlier in my life, but I am proud of myself for making the time and financial investments I have. I’m a better person for it.
The most significant reflection from 2022 is I have stepped into who I am as a person, separate from my identity as an educator. I was scared to evolve this blog because it successfully shared AP Government lessons. However, I am no longer in the classroom, but I still have a lot of things to share. Sometimes it feels scary to change or step into your authentic self, but it’s necessary.
Overall, 2022 didn’t go how I thought it would, but I love how it turned out. I’m looking forward to seeing what 2023 brings!