It’s again that time of the year when it is good form to assess the road travelled over the last twelve months and plan for the journey ahead, at least the next 365 days. Because I am no different than most, I as well always submit to the end of year appraisal’s exercise and this time around, I have decided to be kind to myself.
2022: I did great!
I indeed used to go hard on myself as I, unconsciously or not, focused more on the things that I did not achieve while forgetting to praise myself for the fewer but meaningful successes I had, whether they were planned or not. This year, I am not falling for that common trap of undervaluing my achievements and as I write this note, I am proud to remember all the things I have learned and done right these past twelve months.
- I gave birth 👶🏾 to the most beautiful and lovely little girl in this whole wide world ☺️ I carried her in my womb NINE long months, battled permanent nausea and other morning sickness’s symptoms (which lasted well after morning), endured a strict food diet and witnessed my body swell each passing day. Even sleep deprived and diminished, I still showed up for my family, friends and work. I just feel like the hardships - physical AND psychological - of pregnancy - even the so-called easy one - are so downplayed that we hardly feel proud of ourselves for going through such an amazing but tough and risky adventure. Yes, it’s so not exceptional, and yes most people who can do go through that and yes the happy ending is worth the hassle BUT carrying a child is not, has not and will never be easy. So to those who went through the same journey in 2022, I hope you got your happy ending but either way, I say congratulations to you, you sure did great!
- I launched ESI 👩🏾💻, a fantasy turned reality. It wasn’t as perfect as I had imagined it to be, nor was it a smooth ride but looking back, I am proud that I brought to life my vision of a luxury brand rooted in African culture: ESI scarves are now available in physical shops in three different countries (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, France) and we serve customers around the world. I achieved all that while suffering from admin phobia (I hate paperwork lol), being a social network greenhorn and having little prior knowledge of e-commerce and luxury. To anyone who launched a business this year, whether already profitable or not, I say well done! Keep up with the good work. I see you.
- Last but not least, we bought a house 🏡 a real one, bricks-and-mortar 🤩and I can’t wait to move in this year – especially since our current landlord has been very difficult lately -. A whole house just for ourselves. Guys, for the first time in my life, I will own the roof over my head. It’s a feeling I cannot even begin to explain. Geez, I am an owner!! 🍾🍾🍾 If you as well bought a house this year, bless you! That’s a feat in these difficult times.
Of course, there was much more on my 2022 new year’s expectations list, many bullet points that remained untouched like publishing my book – yes, I love to write! -. But that’s cool, I am definitely not gonna stress myself over that. I relish the memories of all the good stuffs of 2022 and can’t be bothered by what I know are not failures, but work in progress. Indeed, the beauty of being alive is that I can still give it a try any time. So can you. Keep trying. No need to rush things. You’ll get there…or to any other places you never thought of but which will still feel like heaven to you. In the meantime, celebrate your successes, no matter how small or mundane you believe they are. Be kind to yourself.
In 2023, less is more.
As the Christmas lights and new year’s fireworks usually all fade away by, let’s say mid-Jan, I would almost always forget my long list of very detailed yearly targets. Allow me to blame the overly commercialized Christmas and the generous New Year Eve’s dinners for raising my spirits to abnormal heights by end December, so much so that I build castles, no, actually entire cities in the air, my so-called grand objectives of the new year.
We are bombarded every day with news of celebrities, young men and women who seem to be living THE life; hence we feel urged to do more and faster, to “arrive” a.s.a.p, forgetting in the process that the magic is in the journey, not in the destination. Media outlets and social networks press us to be great, exceptional, overachievers to the point that I used to consider a short list of resolutions as a clear lack of ambition. This year, I will not try to keep up with the Joneses. I will not run the rat race.
I intend to subscribe to the disciplined pursuit of less. Instead of penning my usual list of rigid and erratic wants, I choose to envision the kind of year I wish to live:
- A year of Abundance
- A year of Giving
- A year of Love
- A year of Yes!
Yes to new experiences, new encounters, new beginnings, new surprises. Yes to life! I do not know in which shapes, sizes or colors these wishes of mine will materialize, but I am ready to welcome anything that matches those themes as my focus will be on them this year.
Abundance, Love, Growth, Courage and a Generous Heart are my 2023 wishes to you, hoping that you protect and care for the greatest assets you will need to achieve those: your body and mind.
I couldn’t end my reflections without expressing my profound gratitude to all those who supported and lifted me throughout 2022, and to the universe for conspiring to make a few dreams of mine come true.
A special thanks to those who believed in the vision of Maison ESI and supported the brand from day 1. We will need you this year as well.
Happy 2023, friend.