2023 has been one of the most intriguing years because, for the most part, I was fighting to survive than anything else. As the year ends, I took some time to reflect and review the kind of year this has been. I love these years in reviews because not only do they allow me to reflect on what my life has been like throughout the year, it also allow me to plan what I want for the next year.
If I was, to sum up what this year has been to me, it would definitely be “WOW“, there has been so much that has happened this year that caught me off-guard. However, it brought so much confusion and doubt in my own abilities. I have had to live on the urge a lot of the time while making my life rosy to some people because the idea of me falling apart is never something to share.
Anyway, let me share a more detailed 2023 year in review. While you read this, I hope you can offload your year in review in the comment section below.
2023 and all its surprises
motherhood journey and a creeping depression
Navigating motherhood in 2023 has been interesting. There have been many highs and lows, but most of the time, I have felt like I am failing at this. Somewhere along the line, I was overcome with a lot of insecurities that affected how I chose to parent my baby.
When I made plans for this year, a lot of them were centered on my baby and how I could improve his life. One thing that being a mom did was give me a new purpose to achieve things, but when you cannot seem to achieve the littlest things, it messes with your mind. Ultimately, you not only feel like you are failing, but the biggest feeling is that you are failing your child.
And that sucks!
Then I went through a moment when I felt like depression was creeping on me. It was in June when I had just stopped breastfeeding, I went through a moment of withdrawal from my child. For a couple of weeks after, I would get so irritable and have random anxiety attacks. Then came insomnia which increased the levels of irritability, and I had no idea how to deal with it all.
What was more frustrating was not being able to share this with those who were closest to me because no one would understand. Also, I have always been good at hiding my pain and lacing it with laughter, so that helped. After a while, I knew it was not healthy being the way I was around my baby, so I got myself checked.
I was told that my hormones were still all over the place, hence whatever was going on. Even after hearing this, I was never ready for the emotional crush I would have time and again, but it got easier and I got better.
The bliss of 2023 and my motherhood journey was just seeing the transformation of my baby. Seeing him morph into a toddler who can articulate his feelings and set his boundaries is amazing. His smiles and I love yous have kept me going.
feeling alone, the horror
2023 was a lot of things, but many a time it made me feel so alone. Maybe it was not feeling alone, but more the thought of having to undergo certain events by myself that would scare me. But I am appreciative because it also made me stronger and removed the “baby” in me.
The roughest patch of this year was the amount of sickness that was revolving around my household. 2023 did not give us a break, there was a time when I had the worst thoughts. It was scarier because my mom had them as well.
I can not count the amount of times I have had to go to the hospital because of either my mom or Evan. While Evan would suffer from the seasonal flu and colds, it took a while for the hospitals to figure out what exactly was wrong with my mom. So, they would change medications with each visit which would only make her get worse.
At some point, looking at her was like seeing the shell that she was. And that was the most painful and scary part. Somewhere during the year, I had both my mom and son sick at the same time, and I felt so hopeless. It was the time I cursed my parents for having only one child because I kept thinking that it would get easier with a sibling to hold my hand.
From the end of September, things got better. My mom got way better and has been doing better. I thank God each time for answering my prayer.
close calls and shut doors
One of my biggest goals in 2023 was to get a new job. At the beginning of 2023, I was so sure that this goal would be one I would get. A couple of times I have been so close to getting something tangible and just have the door shut in my face.
This year saw me interview with an organization that I have always wanted to work for, get an offer call, and then silence. I have never been so confused in my career. When 2023 began, I was so sure that I wanted to get into a project management role and I did everything to realise that. I did courses on the subject and was on my way to pursuing a professional paper for it.
Then I saw a project coordinator position advertised and immediately applied. Silence! A couple of months later, the same position is advertised again, and I apply. Silence! I decided, for my mental health, not to apply again when the position was advertised for the third time. However, a friend who worked for the sister organization and who knew my credentials put in a good word, and I was invited for the first rounds of interviews.
I proceeded to the second round of interviews, and I got bat-scared. However, a couple of days later, I got a phone call from the CEO that I was successful and we negotiated on remunerations. I get told to wait for the contract from HR and the start day.
A couple of days pass and each morning and evening I refresh my emails. But there is nothing there. So, I emailed HR inquiring for an update, to which I was told to wait a bit longer. That waiting went on for a week, then two weeks, and then I talked to God that I was giving up on it.
This was the beginning of having doors shut in my face. I have had a couple of offers, some that would not compensate me enough as my current job, while the other was in the Karonga district which was way too far because it would have meant leaving my son behind.
losing hope, shaken faith, and hope
So much happened in 2023 that made me lose hope in myself, made me doubt my abilities in many things, and made my failth in God shake.
Losing hope came from all the doors that were closed right as I was about to enter. Those brought so many questions within me about where I was going wrong if I was not capable of what I thought I was, and thoughts that I was too blind to see. This affected so many things, and at some point, even affected my blogging.
Blogging just seemed like it was a cheat code that I did not want to indulge in. I had a whole 2023 content calendar for all I wanted to share, but losing that hope in myself made me go into my shell. I have had to peak through it from time to time until I found my confortability.
Then there were many questions to God as to why things were happening the way they were. From the issues of jobs, family health, finances, and family squabbles. It felt like he had turned his back on my family, and was not listening. I feel stupid now for even allowing my faith to be shaken because overall he has been good to me this year.
There was a newfound hope, but this is something I am not ready to share just yet. But this hope has been a great addition to our lives.
There have been things that I also did that I regret, especially when it comes to my friendships. This is something to share later in the new year perhaps.
2023 came and now we close its curtains. Overall, it was a year of unlearning, learning, and screw-ups. I love that I gave chances to new things in my life, even when it made me feel uncomfortable. Do not like that I still maintain a life where I hide my actual emotions from people because of the fear that it might burden them.
To be quite honest with you, my hope for next year is quivering. But I will share in due time.
How was your own 2023, share in the comment section below.