2011 Recap: The Ups, Downs, and Unforeseen Curves In the Road

2011 was definitely a year to remember for me. As I went through emails and day planners and notebooks to recall all of the incredible things that happened this year, I was constantly reminded of that road trip or that get-together or that concert or that personal "A-ha" moment. I feel blessed to be putting 2011 to rest the way I am...and I'm incredibly excited for 2012 based on the lessons I learned this year. Hang out with me for a moment as I rehash some personal 2011 highlights, and when you're done reading, go back and think about what made YOUR 2011...

Career in 2011:

  • I started off the year in my executive position at a medical tourism company. Getting this promotion in 2010 was an amazing move for me, and I continued to grow and learn in 2011.
  • Lots of travel (clients in Bermuda and Western Canada, conferences in the U.S.)!
  • Worked with an amazing boss who kept reminding me "You deserve to be here. You belong here." Very affirming when all of my colleagues were White men in their 40s and up.
  • I learned the meaning of "toxic environment" - it was beyond my boss' control, but after developing an ulcer from stress, I decided it was time to move on.
  • Birthday present to myself? Quitting my job! A week later, I started in my new position at a community agency working with adults living with ABI (acquired brain injury).
  • I realized that a new job doesn't cure everything...being the "New Girl" is fun at times - but mostly, it sucks. As of today, I'm a mixed bag of emotions. Still learning everyday, much more comfortable, but still yearning for something more. I'm currently going through a paradigm shift of what "success" means to me, so we'll see what happens in 2012.

Love, Family & Friendship in 2011:

  • Weddings galore! I was invited to 8, and attended 6. Who says Black love is dead? Who says Black women are out here at the bottom of the "Get Chose" barrel? Not the folks who got married this year!
  • Ahem: in addition to the weddings I attended, I also got married my damn self! August 1st, 2011 is a day I will NEVER EVER EVER forget. The epitome of a truly blessed day :)
  • I healed some old family wounds this year, and strengthened other weak connections...it feels good to let go of anger and gain some semblance of peace with your loved ones.
  • I reconnected with old friends this year - some who have been separated by geography, and some who have been separated by disagreements and misunderstandings. Either way, we were able to reconnect on some meaningful level, which gives me warm fuzzy feelings.
  • I met some really cool new friends and learned that it's so refreshing to know that there are still like-minded people out in the world!
  • I deepened friendships with my oldies but goodies. There is nothing, and I mean nothing like a friend who has been with you through ups and downs, and is still there.

Travel in 2011:

  • Whether for work or for play, I was blessed to travel this year. You could catch me in Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, New York City, Las Vegas, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and St. Lucia. I'll give my passport a bit of a break, then it's on like popcorn!
  • Closer to home, I discovered a beautiful park, complete with waterfalls! Webster's Falls is the name, and relaxation and natural beauty is the game. We have so much around us...just need time to explore!

Events in 2011:

  • I saw awesome plays like Da Kink In My Hair, Midnight at Pusscreek (where my mom got her groupie on for Oliver Samuels), and Church Girl (after a hilarious personal invite from Clifton Powell, aka Pinky from the Friday movies).
  • I had a great girls' day out for the Toronto Int'l Film Festival and saw Dark Girls - and incredibly eye-opening piece. I also saw Nelson George's documentary Brooklyn Boheme, which I am STILL raving about.
  • I met the lovely Afrobella when she came to Toronto for a weekend of cool events, like her dinner night and the Toronto Natural Hair & Beauty Show.
  • Me, hubby, and a couple of friends took a road trip to NYC to go to a live taping of the Maury Povich Show! I can never look at that show the same...
  • Favourite concert of the year? Watch The Throne. I left there sore, hoarse, and happy!

Angels in 2011:

  • We lost some beautiful people this year. Dawn, Natalie, and Michael will be forever missed and never forgotten. I'm dedicating my 100th post to my cousin Mike, who inadvertently blessed me with the name for this blog. My wedding and Mike's fight were the biggest catalysts for change in my life, so I'm definitely going into 2012 as a different Bee.

Strictly for Me in 2011:

  • I started my post-grad certificate program in Health Promotion - my family calls me the 'eternal student', but I love it!
  • Tat-tat-tatted up: I got a new tattoo - three little birds to remind me of Bob Marley's words: "every little thing gonna be alright".
  • I started getting serious about being healthy this year. Bikram yoga and Socacize kept me going in 2011!
  • 2 days before my wedding, I played mas in Caribana for the 5th year in a row! Next stop: Trinidad carnival!
  • I launched '83 To Infinity! The first time that I've opened up my thoughts and words to friends and strangers...I'm thoroughly enjoying writing it, so I hope you're enjoying reading it!

2011 was quite the year, and I hope it was filled with blessings and lessons for you as well :) Here's to the end of this year and a new beginning in 2012! Thank you for stopping by my corner of the internet universe, and I'm so looking forward to more inspiration, more hair tips, more positivity, more health and wellness, more upward movement, more laughs, and sharing more of me with you. Happy New Year! Be safe and have fun!

Big Hair For A Big Year: Hello, 2012!

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