What a year. A true rollercoaster.
From change comes growth, but so does discomfort.
These, along with grief, are my three words of the year.
Key moments of the year 🌟
Notion meetup in Nantes
My friend Florian visiting
Notion meetups in Lyon & Montpellier
My mom turned 50
My lil brother turned 18
Trip to Evreux
Trip to Germany
Bachelorette party + wedding of my best friend
Trip to Nantes for the Web2day festival
Stay in Legoland
My friends Florian & Anna visiting
Another lil brother turned 18
Trip to Paris, Evreux, Montpellier
Birthday of my partner
Trip to Dax, visiting my grandparents
Wedding of a close friend
Trip to Evreux to take care of my siblings for 2 weeks
Café Notion & meetup in Paris
Death of my best friend’s mom
My friends Florian, François & Célie visiting for New Year’s eve
Trip to Montpellier + few hours in Madrid
What I loved about this year
- Took care of my health by working out weekly, getting massages, taking supplements 🏋️♀️
- Spent a lot of time with friends & family 👭
- Moved to our own place 🏠
- Rediscovered passions & hobbies 🪡
- Healed ❤️🩹
- Watched a lot of shows 📺
- Slowed down, a lot 💤
- Was invited on some cool podcasts & video interviews 🎙️
What was difficult this year
- Lots of endings & beginnings overall 📖
- Identity crisis → who am I really? 🧠
- Emotionally overwhelming year 😭
- Depressive phase during August 📉
- Facing my traumas 😨
- Dealing with loss 🕊️
2023 in review — Written on @November 2, 2023
Today is November 2nd. I'm on the plane flying from Paris CDG to Lisbon, after a bit over 2 weeks in France in Normandy, with my family. I'm coming home, finally. Funny how that word's meaning can change over time. What's home? The place where you live? The place where you grew up? A feeling? A person or set of people? I'm leaning more towards the feeling. I feel at home in several places, alone or surrounded by people. Anyway, as I reflect on 2023, I can't help but reflect on my life overall. And how 10 years ago, home, alongside many other concepts, meant very different things to me.
Let's get back to our 2023 retrospective. What a year, uh? And it's not even over. Whether on a grand scale or just looking at my personal life, I definitely feel like this year has been a year of deconstruction. I wouldn't say chaos, although it's debatable, but personally it was a year that made me think things through, deconstruct the past, and take a long hard look at my past, present and future. To be honest with you, I didn't like this year much. Change usually tend to be uncomfortable, and since plenty of things changed for me this year, I've been very uncomfortable to say the least. I hit an all-time low in August, where I had yet another depressive episode. Funny how whenever I'm out of it it seems so similar to the previous ones, and yet, when I'm deep in it, I feel like it's different than usual & somehow worse. Well, it's not. You just gotta recognize the signs, accept it and show a shit ton of grace & compassion to yourself while you're feeling your absolute worse. And take it day by day, hour by hour if needed. Thankfully I'm out of it now, but it's never fun going back to the bottom, especially when you start having recurring, obsessive or suicidal thoughts.
As you might already know, I've started therapy this year (finally), and while it's been an absolute blessing, I won't pretend it's a walk in the park. This shit hurts. Or rather, confronting shit from the past hurts. Especially all the things your brain has carefully tucked away from your conciousness over the years. The things you don't even understand or recall, but your body sure does. I've been an emotional mess this year, yet somehow the most in tune with myself I've ever been. Although I've always been a very self-aware person, always introspecting, there were areas that were so deeply hidden from myself that a lot of emotions came back to the surface. As my therapist would remind me, that's a perk that comes with feeling safe. I'm finally safe AND feeling safe enough that I can afford to unpack and deal with feelings, memories, traumas that were kept within for over 20 years. Can you believe that?! 20 years?! I'm only 29!!! Some of them are more recent of course, but the more we work together, the more I realize just how impactful your childhood experiences (good & bad) have on your entire development, and therefore life. Which is honestly scary to think about.
It made me analyze everyone around me. I already knew some things about traumas & development, therefore I already used to think twice before judging someone, but now I realize that most people have suffered at least one traumatic event that they probably haven't been able to or haven't wished to unpack & work through, or even just be supported. This realization hurt, because as I speak, people & especially children all around the world are experiencing some horrific event. If not appropriately supported, these children will develop coping mecanism that might be more hurtful than not in the long run, and it will also shape their view of the world in a drastic way. As a society, I'm starting to think that one of our major project should be to focus as much as we can on mental health, education, healthcare, parenting and child development.
I'm getting lost again. Sort of. Let me try again. 2023, besides being a year of changes, has been a year of slowing down. At least on the professional side. Pros: less workload & more time for myself Cons: identity crisis & unstable finances Was it worth it? Yes, 100% I really, really needed that time for myself to be able to be present for my loved ones, as well as myself. It allowed me to be able to partake in family events, weddings of close friends, moving out, spend more time working out, taking care of my pets & my house. I'm so grateful that last year was more prosperous and that it allowed me to save some money which turned out to be very useful, needed and precious this year.
Projects wise, I've organized a few Notion meetups (Nantes, Lyon, Montpellier), spent most of my time doing translations (for Notion), had a few consulting projects with mostly previous customers although I did get one incredible opportunity during the summer. I'm also in the process of starting a freelance collective along with 3 other amazing people. I haven't spent as much time as I wish on the Notion France community, to be honest, and I've left the direction of the Notion Portugal community. I wanted to try out more No-Code tools but I simply didn't take the time, if I'm being honest. I said no to most opportunities that came my way, which included creating online courses, co-writing a book, podcasts or webinars appareances. Overall I felt the need to step back from my public 2022 self. While it was awesome, it was also very draining to be always on the front scene of the French Notion community.
Written @January 4, 2024
Well. This was a lot!
Let me just add a few things.
After I came back from that trip, I stayed home for a few days before going back to Paris for the Café Notion event & the meetup on the same day.
Unfortunately during that time I discovered that my best friend’s mom’s cancer was terminal. They had tried everything and nothing was working.
I arrived in Paris on Nov 13, and she died a few hours after that.
Her passing hit me hard.
I stayed in Paris for 2 days, came back home in Portugal, and went back to France in order to attend her funeral & stay with my best friend for a while.
Even though I’ve attended a few funerals these past few years, this one was definitely different.
I was actually close to her. She became a mother figure to me, and she created a safe space for me at a time of my life where my family and I were very vulnerable and trying to build ourselves back from the ashes.
I am forever grateful for everything she’s done for me over the past 18 years.
She left us too soon. She didn’t want to die. Had plans ahead of her.
I really struggled to accept this unjust departure, while also feeling some relief for her (as she was in pain) and for my best friend, whose life was put on hold for a year since she became the main caretaker of her mother.
Lessons I had learned in the past came back again.
Memento mori | Carpe diem
And if that wasn’t enough, after I came back home (again), we discovered a family member’s cancer, my grandpa got hospitalized for a week during Christmas and now my stepfather is also hospitalized, both due to pulmonary infections.
It’s been a lot.
Too much even.
Thankfully, the year ended on a positive note thanks to the visit of 3 of my closest friends, with whom I had lots of fun and focused on creating positive memories.
I guess if 2023 taught me anything, is that I need to stop worrying and stressing as much as I do.
Learn to let go, to be more malleable, to have low expectations and truly learn to live in the moment as much as possible.
Nothing is guaranteed so make the most of each moment.
It’s cliché but it couldn’t be more true.
So, if you ask me what’s the plan for 2024, I’ll simply reply:
Let’s find out! 🙂