2020: The Year of Challenges

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I hope that you had a safe and happy new year! Welcome to 2021, and cheers to another year.

Every year, I write a yearly round-up with some of my highlights of the year and title it “Year of…” and I think that everyone can agree that 2020 was the year of challenges. It was the year that no one expected. That no one wanted. It was a year of hardships for everyone. Between a global pandemic, raging fires around the world, racial inequality protests, mental health issues from social isolation, election year in the United States, job losses or changes, financial losses – it’s been one crazy year.

I know that I’ve been one of the lucky ones. I had a fairly easy transition to teleworking online exclusively, and even quit my old job and found a new one. I moved to a new state. I was able to see each of my family members once this year. My entire family has remained healthy this year. I have so much to be thankful for. But it’s also been challenging for me, too. I try to keep things positive on my blog, but for the sake of not sugar-coating anything, it’s been rough for me too. My mental health has seriously struggled this year; my previous job was very mentally abusive; I was scammed out of a lot of money just before the holidays; I’ve had huge financial losses with my car; I haven’t gotten to see my friends or family as much as I wanted; I cancelled some amazing travel plans this year. But I know that these challenges are nothing compared to millions, billions, of other people around the world.

But enough of the negative. I want to talk about some of my highlights of 2020. There’s always good in the world, right?

I spent a lot of time outdoors

With the global pandemic and quarantine and social distancing, I made sure that I still was able to leave my apartment and get outdoors. From exploring the mountains of Tucson, Arizona; to the frigid water of Coeur d’Alene Lake, Idaho; to the bayous of Houston, Texas; and the beaches of Lake Michigan and Destin, Florida. I was able to safely travel more than expected (mostly taking road trips, to optimize social distancing and safety), and spend most of my adventures outside.

I quit my job at NASA

I never thought that I would quit NASA. It was my dream job, my dream location to work for. I worked my entire life to earn a spot at NASA. But… it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It became unhealthy. So, I quit. I found another incredible job with Redwire Space, a private aerospace company, and so far it’s been great!

I moved to Florida!

Florida was one of those states that I thought was cool and I’d love to visit, but I never thought that I’d ever move here. I’ve only been here for a few weeks, but so far I’m pleasantly surprised. I already have a bucket list of places that I want to go to in 2021, which you’ll get to see very soon!

I spent a lot of time cultivating my green thumb

This year, I had my own patio garden! I grew lettuce, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, kale, rosemary, cat grass, and a few other vegetables. I also grew my houseplant collection, getting up to around 75 plants at one point. When I moved to Florida, I had to downsize to about 50, but I will definitely continue to grow my collection. I just love making my living spaces feel like a jungle – that’s the ultimate goal.

I grew closer with my cat, Fred

I know that this may seem like a silly thing to include, but honestly, he’s helped me through this pandemic so much. I’ve spent A LOT of time at home, alone with Fred, and our relationship definitely reflects this. We are so bonded together that if I’m home, we hardly spend a few minutes without checking in on one another. I love him so much. Thank goodness for our favorite furry creatures ❤

Continuing my blog

When I started this blog, I never expected for it to last as long as it has. I’ve been on here for a few years and while my blog is still incredibly small, I’m grateful for it. I can use it as a living diary, a place to write about my adventures. Honestly, this blog has helped me push my boundaries. If I ever don’t want to do something, I’ll think, “Do it for the blog!” and it makes the experience so much easier. So, thank you for following on my journey. I wouldn’t be here without you.

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Thank you for reading! How was your year? Are you okay? Let’s talk about it. Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!

Xoxo’s

Emmalee

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Instagram: @emmaleemauldin

Twitter: @emmaleemauldin

3 thoughts on “2020: The Year of Challenges

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