Well, I’m just going to go ahead and say it because it’s the truth – 2021 wasn’t the year I was expecting it to be. I know a lot of you can agree with that statement and can relate to a lot of the emotions I have been feeling over the last several months. After 2020 completely threw a wrench in all of our lives, it had felt like 2021 would be the year that everything would turn around. There was that beacon of hope and that glimmer of optimism that made it very easy for us to say goodbye to 2020 and eagerly welcome in 2021.
For some, life began to get back to normal in 2021. Some were able to travel, hug families after a year apart, return to their jobs, hold weddings, and participate in events that were impossible and put on hold for most of 2020. But for a lot of us, that kind of normalcy is still very far off. For some of us, it felt like 2020 and 2021 molded together into one long stressful year. 2021 flew by in the blink of an eye. How is 2022 already here?
But while 2021 may not have been quite as I envisioned, there were still so many positives in my life that made everything worthwhile. One of the biggest joys of 2021 has been Luca. I met Luca on January 4, 2021 for the first time on a whim, and 48 hours later I brought my youngest fur baby home with me. Luca really helped me during this past year, more than he will ever know. Looking back, I don’t know how I would have gotten through 2021 without my boys – Luca, Argos, and my beau.
I also spent a lot of 2021 exploring Hong Kong and getting to know the city. One of my most memorable days was the neighborhood walk of Yau Ma Tei and Jordan with the Hong Kong Tourism Board. While I may not have gotten to travel abroad at all this year (I haven’t been on a plane in 15 months), I got to travel around Hong Kong, really immerse myself in culture, and got to make some incredible new friends (thanks, Instagram!).
This pandemic has foiled a lot of plans. For one, my beau and I became engaged a while ago. We initially thought it would be possible to hold a wedding with our families at the end of 2021, and then new virus variants caused us to push it to early 2022. But eventually, we completely stopped planning altogether because it became pretty clear that a celebration with both of our families is not logistically possible for the unforeseeable future, especially since we are all scattered around the world. We cannot even pick a location due to so many travel restrictions for either me and my beau, or for our friends and families. It meant that there was this indefinite question mark next to our wedding.
But we felt that a pandemic shouldn’t leave our wedding date uncertain, so we eloped. We had a private, intimate ceremony in Hong Kong. It was a simple but magical and emotional day. We have decided not to share photos from our special day, as we’d like those images to remain private for our close family and friends since we could not have friends or family there. That also means I won’t be sharing what I wore, but I can say it was not your typical bridal dress (or color) and it was something I already had in my closet. We are still going to hold a ceremony and reception for our families and friends one day, as I wish for my father to walk me down the aisle. And yes, I’ll still be calling my beau “beau”.
Despite not having the year I expected (there are definitely some dark periods of 2021 that I certainly have no interest in looking back on), I am still passionately optimistic and hopeful for 2022. Maybe that’s me being a little naive, but starting off with a positive outlook is a choice I’ve consciously made. One of my wishes for 2022 include both me and my family remaining in good health. I’m starting the new year by getting my booster shot (I received two doses of Pfizer back in spring 2021) and I’m still going to keep making my health a top priority by continuing to routinely exercise (currently obsessed with mixed martial arts and my beloved Pilates), eat the right amount of fruits and veggies, take my vitamins, and drink a gallon of water a day.
Beyond good health, my biggest wish for 2022 is to see my family again. I haven’t seen my grandparents in almost 3 years and I haven’t hugged my cats in 15 months. I’d love to cook alongside my Nana in the kitchen whipping up delicious Italian delicacies, and I’d love to sit with my Mormor in her garden with a bottle of Tignanello (I got her into my favorite wine!). And finally, I’d love to finish wine school, as I am so close to receiving my diploma. I can’t see the future, so I don’t know if these wishes are a bit farfetched as we don’t know what 2022 will look like, but these dreams will carry me through the new year on a cloud full of hope.
My wish to you all is to have a safe and prosperous new year, and I wish you all good health, happiness, and good fortune in 2022.
Happy New Year!