End of the Year Reflection – Moving Into 2023 with Intention + Two-Year Anniversary of Renrenspeaks!

Hello, friends! Happy Friday, and most importantly, happy end of the year! We are two days away from the new year, and as most of you are doing, I am reflecting on this very busy year called 2022. I am currently feeling so much peace and happiness, as I have been blessed to have made it through another year safely and in good health. I made my first Instagram Reel that I posted to reflect on this year, and it was so much fun! I am def going to have to incorporate Reels more into 2023 😉 Also, fun fact! It has been TWO YEARS since I started my blog too. Happy two years, Renrenspeakers! I learned so much about myself through this blog, and I am so thankful that you all have been reading my content and supporting me along the way. What are yall’s goals and resolutions for the new year? What has been your favorite blog post on Renrenspeaks since 2020? I would love to hear them (comment down below or email your answers to me)!

This year has been one filled with so many fun memories, sad moments, heartache, times of pure stress and anxiety, and lots of love. For starters, I am now officially halfway done with grad school, friends! She did THAT! Your fav OT doctorate student is 50% done with grad school and I could not be any more proud of myself because I am telling yall, grad school is not for the weak. I’ll be honest. This past semester has not been an easy one for me. It was a lot for me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I felt at so many points during this semester that I was not creative enough, not competent enough, or not confident enough to understand the material I was learning in my lab courses. I found myself still comparing my progress and my processing to other people, whether it was in their capstone research process or in their clinical reasoning skills. However, this semester has also taught me a lot about myself. I am confident, I can do hard things, and I have pretty solid people skills. It has been really neat to see myself slowly blossom into a practitioner in training and I am thankful for the support system that I have had on my side thus far to get to where I am currently.

A highlight of the semester was that I received my white coat since I am pursuing a doctoral degree. I think I fooled the masses – I did not graduate friends, so I want to clarify that, though it did feel like graduation. The white coat symbolizes the next step in my graduate career of contributing to occupational therapy academia and scholarship. I was honored to be the student speaker, and I think I gave a pretty humorous speech that was personable and relevant to my cohort. I also got to see my tribe come and support me too.

I was also able to do some traveling this year! I know, I did not go abroad as you may have anticipated. Instead, I went to Dallas, Texas in September for the very first time ever. When I tell you it was the break that I needed, I am not lying. My love for traveling has been halted with grad school for obvious reasons. I visited my best friend, explored the area, and caught up with old friends and family members. It was a trip that was well-deserved and allowed me to unwind from all the stressors in my life at that time. Shoutout to Harena for being the best tour guide ever and for making me feel welcome in Dallas! 😉

Another monumental moment for me this year is that I moved to a different home literally right after my week getaway to Dallas. I was impressed by how fast I was able to pack up and move all my things within two days (a very stressful two days, might I add). But shoutout to my wonderful friends who helped me move and to my awesome roommates who have made me feel so welcome in this new home. I am so grateful for people like them who have been alongside me cheering me on and supporting me through a stressful time such as moving. Moving to a different home felt like closing a chapter of my life, which I did. My old apartment was symbolic of me stepping into my mid-20s and living independently in a different state for the first time ever. I laughed, cried, yelled, prayed, and sang in that apartment. It connected me to many different types of people and helped me to prioritize my physical and mental health. It was the first time I was really on my #growngirlmoves apart from living abroad for a bit.

I know I asked yall about your new year’s resolutions, so I will share some of mine! My biggest goal is to be more intentional. I feel that God has put this word into my heart, intention. I want to be more intentional about who I surround myself with, the relationships that I build, the places that I explore, the career I pursue, the money that I spend and who/where I give it to, the food that I intake, the networks that I develop, the way I treat my body inside and out, and the way that I navigate spaces. It is easy to do things just to do them without purpose such as getting assignments done just for the sake of completing them rather than learning through them. I will say, there are so many times in school that I will continue doing things just to get them done because of a lack of time and that is the reality of life sometimes. However, I want to really try my best to take every moment as a learning opportunity, whether it be a positive or a negative experience. I am gonna start off the year with my 26th birthday, which is always a time for new beginnings and a new outlook on the year for me. I am excited to see how I bring intentionality to all parts of my everyday life and how it shapes me into a better person. I also want to be more consistent with blogging, friends! I miss talking to yall on this platform. School often gets in the way of me feeling like I have time for myself, but so many changes are happening that I would love to keep yall posted on. I cannot commit to a certain number of posts, but I am gonna try to keep yall in the loop as much as I can, especially now that I will be starting my internships next year.

All in all, I feel very accomplished this year, though it has been one that has been very challenging mentally for me. I am feeling wholesome, renewed, and restored, as I have spent the last few weeks in San Diego reconnecting with old friends, spending time with family, and revisiting some of my favorite spots around town. I wish everyone the best new year. I hope that you all can claim 2023 as a year of intention as well.

Peace and love and a very happy new year,

Irene

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