Reflecting on 2020: A Year of Growth & Healing

Fashion Blogger Elizabeth Hugen of Lizzie in Lace styles a sparkly silver dress and faux fur coat while reflecting on 2020

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote my heart out in a personal post but that’s what I’m about to do. 2020 was quite the year for ALL of us and we all had very different journey’s. Typically, in my year in review posts, I do a bit of reflecting on what went well, what needs to be worked on and what I learned… but I’m going to do things a little differently this time and go month by month because honestly I don’t think it would be as effective any other way. There’s a lot here and it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s real and raw and quite honestly, completely out of my comfort zone but here we go…

 

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Reflecting on 2020: A Year of Growth & Healing

 

January

The year started off pretty great ๐Ÿ™‚ Things were going really well until I got some… news. I don’t believe that I’ve shared this but in 2019, I started working with a product developer on my own beauty line (focused mainly on lip products). I had been working with them previously for eight months on developing and designing my own line… a dream project that I was over the moon about! It was set to launch in early 2020 and right before it was about to launch, I got an email letting me know that they were no longer moving forward with the project. This was completely out of the blue and absolutely devastating.

 

February 

I celebrated my five year blog anniversary! ๐Ÿ˜€ But sadly, this was not such a great month. We lost a cousin, “grandmother” and another family member. I didn’t go into much detail when this happened but I struggled a lot during this time. We were not invited or welcome to attend one off the funerals (this was made difficult from the toxic family relationships that I cut off years ago). I felt upset, betrayed, and just genuinely couldn’t understand the entirety of the situation.

The “grandmother” was not my blood grandmother but my sister’s grandmother as we have different dads. However, I always considered them to be because I was very close to them growing up. As I got older, things were said to me that I could not unhear and I made the decision to distance myself from them. I didn’t speak to her again until she was quite literally on her deathbed. I called to forgive her but sadly, there was not funeral due to the world circumstances so I never got closure.

 

March 

My husband started having super scary anaphylactic allergic reactions and we couldn’t figure out the trigger. I felt like we were going to the hospital/doctor/urgent care every other day Luckily, we found out what he’s allergic too (tumbleweeds being the worst, which is convenient because we live in the middle of the desert surrounded by tumbleweeds lol!) and now things are much, much better ๐Ÿ™‚

Our lockdown started on March 9th so I was stuck inside for a while. I did use this time to do a TON of work and get ahead on a few projects that I had been putting off. Sadly, due to the pandemic, I lost ALL of my work (longterm, short term and those that were in the negotiation stage) and for the first time in my life, experienced a really scary panic attack. I started having some frustrating issues with Instagram and stopped posting as frequently. Instead, I stayed offline and did things to feed my soul like gardening, coloring and music playing. It was a really hard month. Staying busy (and watching Tiger King) really helped with the grieving.

 

April 

I finally launched my newsletter AND my YouTube channel – both are things that I put off for yearssss! Still in lockdown – but we did start going for walks every evening so I could get out of the apartment. I was going crazy being cooped up inside all day and I started to feel pretty down about it. But I was accomplishing a lot and I felt really good about the work I was doing. I was also really taking advantage of my extra time by being productive and taking personal time out for myself.

 

 

May 

We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary! We had originally wanted to travel to Hawaii and Yosemite around this time and obviously, that didn’t happen. We celebrated at home instead. Our evening walks came to a halt as plants/flowers started to bloom. I have severe year round allergies but they get pretty bad in the spring and fall. This year was particularly bad as when I went outside, I couldn’t breathe at all. I started coughing, gagging, choking, etc. I did try wearing a mask and that helped with the breathing issues but it didn’t help with my nose or eyes ๐Ÿ™ So I was confined to the apartment for the majority of the time.

During this time, I also lost someone that I considered to be a really good friend (all because of my YouTube channel). I’ve always been a pretty open person that loved to help others but as the years have gone by, I’ve noticed an increase in people taking advantage of my kindness. For this reason, I started to distance myself from certain people/groups. I thought I had found a true friend in this person and I was very, very wrong. For whatever reason, I seem to attract very toxic, negative individuals and I don’t ever see it until later on. After cutting ties with this person, I felt like I started to close off my heart to others without even knowing it. Looking back, I can understand why – it was almost like I constantly had negative people around me sucking out my joy and happiness…. just constantly bringing me down and I just couldn’t do it anymore so I decided to completely take a break from other people.

 

June

I celebrated my birthday in quarantine! We took a day trip to Sequoia to go hiking ๐Ÿ™‚ This was before all the state and national parks closed (we went into another big lockdown this month). I also did my biggest closet clean out ever haha! I still dealt with my digestive issues up until now but they were much worse this month. I felt very frustrated having to make two different meals for my husband and I and trying to figure out how to balance everything since I was deficient in a lot of things from having to remove whole food groups. Allergies were much better this month but by then it was well over 110 degrees sooo…. too hot for our evening walks ๐Ÿ™

This was also the month where I lost two others including my “grandfather” (the other half of my sister’s grandparents). I was close to him growing up and didn’t get to say good bye. No funeral was held for obvious reasons. I felt like my grieving process started again… when it had never fully ended. I felt so drained emotionally, mentally, and physically. With everything constantly “going wrong,” I felt so low. Like I was on the road to depression. Things were just goin wrong left and right. I was just crying all the time and just felt so so sad. I’ve never talked about this on here but I have only been truly depressed once in my life and I didn’t even realize it at the time. It was wild! Luckily, I recognized some of the things I was experiencing and put a stop it to it before it spiraled any further. During this time, I (again) tried to do things to make me feel happiness and joy.

I also booked a session with a psychic during this time. This was first experience with anything like this and honestly, I was so desperate. I was told that the next few months would be rough but that it would get better by the end of the year. I was also told that I had blockages in my heart and solar plexus chakras. I had no idea what these referred to  or how to unblock them but was told that it was caused by past trauma from my family. Later on I did some research and found that it referred to me closing off people and having low self esteem.

 

July 

We celebrated my husband’s birthday! I got my first ukulele! ๐Ÿ˜€ Anddd… I broke my toes for the first time – ugh! I danced into a wall lol. So then I was confined to the apartment once again since we lived upstairs and I couldn’t walk for a while. We also had a cross-country trip planned with my husband’s family but we weren’t able to join. As far as work, I started to set boundaries and be more present and just enjoy instead of constantly working myself into the ground at all hours. We also renewed our apartment lease.

 

August 

We celebrated my little brother’s birthday! Toes were still broken and although they were doing much better, I was still confined to the apartment because the air was too hazardous to be outside due to the wildfires. When I would go outside, I would immediately start choking and gasping for air. I wore a mask to water my plants… and I could see ash all over the balcony. The fires were not even near us :-/

I also found out that my little brother joined the Navy. I was absolutely devastated! He is my best friend – we’ve always been really close and it just shattered my heart. I felt so alone. Again, I took more time off to grieve. I felt like everyone was leaving me… all of my family, everyone that had passed during the year, toxic relationships and friendships… I just felt like I had no one. And my husband and I have taken my brother literally everywhere with us – we’ve created so many memories. I feel like a second mom in a way. I was so sad that we wouldn’t be able to create those memories anymore and started to think about all of the huge milestones in my life that he will miss when he’s enlisted. Not to mention the fact that I’m just not sure if he’s ever moving back here. Throw that on top of a pandemic where you can’t travel or even see your loved ones. It was a lot to handle emotionally.

 

September 

I wore closed toed shoes for the first time in months! I started planning our group trip! And I attended my first virtual NYFW ๐Ÿ˜‰ We still had to deal with wild fires and by this point, hadn’t seen a blue sky in over 6 weeks. Toes were still broken but doing much better! I wore a small heel for the first time in months ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a very overwhelming month but I was starting to feel better overall.

 

October 

My toes FINALLY healed! I think it took 15-16 weeks. We traveled for the first time all year! We went to Lake Tahoe as one last trip with my little brother. We went at the right time too because they closed up the area again shortly after we went. It was the best trip – good weather, nice hikes, great company ๐Ÿ™‚ Digestive issues were finally starting to feel okay!

 

 

November

This was the first month where I didn’t have ANY digestive issues! Like NONE! I’ve had issues for years now. We traveled to a cute little mountain town for a weekend getaway and I played Jenga for the first time lol. This month, we were also issued another lockdown… but let’s be honest. California has been locked down this entire time. We never fully opened and my county has been on the bad list since day one. In my opinion, CA has had the strictest guidelines of all states but that’s a conversation for another day haha!

We also found our first house out of nowhere! It was the craziest and fastest move! Toured and signed papers within three days and moved two weeks later. I also announced our Italy group trip! We are going THIS September ๐Ÿ˜€

This was a pivotal month for me mentally. A shaman named Olivia Weil reached out to me via Instagram and asked if I would like to schedule a session with her. I wasn’t familiar with this practice so I went in with an open mind. She performed a healing and removed blockages from the same chakras (heart and solar plexus) and she told me exactly what I needed to do in terms of really cutting ties from these negative, toxic people in my life. And one thing that stuck out to me is that she told me that I would start to feel joy again… like how I did when I was younger. Immediately after the session, I felt much better.

 

December

We moved! And I decorated our house for the holidays like I never have before lol! We hosted our first Christmas. I did not have ANY digestive issues (two months in a row) and for the first time since I was diagnosed with food allergies, I started to lose weight. The first few weeks were crazy since I took a week off to unpack and then had to play catch up on work but the last couple of weeks were really great as I took some much needed time off to relax, finish unpacking and start dreaming about the new year.

THIS is the month that I started to feel joy in my life again. I’m tearing up as I write this. It was SUCH a hard year for me in every way imaginable. I have always been such a happy, smiley person with a positive outlook and while I tried my hardest to stay positive during this year, it was really tough at times. It was like walking down a dark tunnel and seeing a light… but never quite getting there because the tunnel kept getting longer and longer. For a long time (since I cut off my family), I felt like I had lost a big part off myself. And over the last year, I felt like I started to lose who I was. I just couldn’t remember anymore. I was once so colorful and vibrant and I felt like the color had faded and I didn’t know how to get it back. And I felt like the light that I once had that shined so bright had been dimmed.

But near the end of the month, I started to feel pure bliss, happiness and a sense of gratitude. Just out of nowhere. I felt like myself again… something I haven’t felt in years. My color came back even more vibrant than before and my light started to shine more brightly.

 

Which brings me to now. Looking back on my year, I can see the journey. I still remember how I felt but most importantly, I can see how much I’ve grown. I’ve probably grown more this year than I ever have. The old mental scars that I had started to heal and I found the person that I once had lost. I feel re-inspired, renewed and rejuvenated. And not only do I feel genuinely happy but after a lifetime of struggling, I’m finally starting to see the value in myself. In 2021, I’m going to continue to heal the wounds that crushed my self-confidence and my self-worth previously, things that have held me back personally and professionally and I’m ready to open my heart back up to healthy friendships and relationships. I have a feeling that this is going to be a good year and even if things are still a bit crazy, I know that there are things that I can control within my life. Although, I don’t wish to relive this year, I know that it was necessary for my growth and personal development. And if there was one thing that completely changed the trajectory of things – it was my healing session with Olivia. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I can’t even begin to logically explain why I feel the way I do and how things have worked out the way they did over the last two months. It’s honestly a miracle and I’m so grateful and appreciative of our connection.

For all of you that continued to support me throughout this year, I am so grateful for you. You were there for me when I felt so broken, defeated and alone. You went through all of this with me and reminded me that I was never alone. And you guys always remind me of the things that I sometimes don’t see in myself. Thank you for always being there for me – lifting me up and cheering me on when I need it the most. I hope I do that for you as well.

And I just want you to know that this post isn’t meant to focus on the negative or anything like that. I usually don’t share such personal details of my life but after this year, I know that so many people need encouragement and to know that they are not in this alone. And I know that people are craving real, genuine connections. I truly hope that by me sharing my journey, it helps you with your own.

I wish all of you nothing but the best for 2021! I hope you become the person you’ve always wanted to be and I hope your dreams come true <3

xo

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Also, I do have my annual survey up! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. It’s 10 questions, takes less than 2 minutes and would help me so so much! Take the survey HERE <3

 

Lastly, I’m thinking about hosting a live vision board making party on YouTube or Facebook. Thoughts?

 

 

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