Milestones. Why are they called that?

Annie
5 min readJan 6, 2022

Yeah, yeah. I now know better than to promise at the end of a medium post that I will write again soon.

It’s been 6 months since my last one and now it’s a new year! Hello, 2022!

There’s a part of me that wants to disavow my 2021 self for being a sad/tired/shlubby little loser and be like 2021 Annie? Who IS that? She sucks! I don’t know her! #newyearnewme!
As tempting as that all is, I know that it’s not the case.

When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, I do not, in fact, simply shed all evidence of my previous year. Because we are not snakes (well, I can’t speak for all of us. Some of you may be snakes, lol) and so we do not have the ability to simply molt away our old skins. Also, like, time is a social construct.

All that being said, I know I do not live in a vacuum.
I’m no party pooper! I can get into the spirit of things! I still find the new year to be a fun event to celebrate. It’s also as good a time as any to reflect on the last 365 days. The highs, lows, and everything in between.

A few days ago, I spent the last hours of 2021 drinking coffee & Bailey’s (is this the poor man’s espresso martini?) and playing board games (see: Coup, German Yahtzee) with loved ones. We rang in the new year with bottles of champagne and drunk karaoke (I observed in amusement and did not partake).

A few days before that, my high school friend group chat (should this be high school friend group group chat? seems redundant) went around and shared their accomplishments of the year.

Here’s my list:
- Moved back to Vancouver (sort of) 🌲
- Got my heart broken & struggled a lot 💔
- Took a needed social media break 📱
- Blogged a bit 📝
- Quit my job 💰
- Got a new job in tech in a new role 💼
- Strengthened my bond w/ the sis 😊
- Got vaccinated (& boosted) 💉
- Chopped off my hair 💇
- Dyed it 💜
- Reunited with the high school BFFs in Denver for the first time in 6 years 👩 👩 👩 👩 👩
- Moved back to NY & embraced living alone 🏙
- Had laundry in the building for the first time 🧦
- Bought furniture for myself 🛋
- Dyed it again ❤️
- Dyed it again 💙
- Bought an espresso machine ☕️
- Worked out regularly (then not at all) 💪
- Left the apartment once a day 🚶‍♀
- Missed my first flight ✈️
- Got TSA pre-check ✅
- Spent 4 weeks in SF & met coworkers/scoped out the city 🌁
- Managed for over 6 months without a functional oven and stove 🥄
- Pitched in to help my parents out financially 💲
- Made new friends & nurtured old friendships 🤝
- Enjoyed the occasional drink🍷
- Took copious mirror selfies 📸
- Started looking into therapists 💬
- Read 52 books 📚

When I look at this list I’m like, “WOW, I really did all that”.
Although it didn’t feel like a particularly productive year, I’ve been surprised by the fact that life continues to move on and that, possibly, I’m stronger than I thought I was.
I really believed that the first two bullet points would derail the rest of 2021, a storm cloud that would relentlessly hang over my head.

But, it didn’t.

The rain started to let up, gradually. I started to see the road again, and passed some milestones along the way (see: TSA precheck — what an absolute game changer).

And although I can’t say that it’s all clear skies and sunny going into 2022, I can say that my break up was so last year. I can also say that I’ve made some moves (literal and figurative!) to move past it.

Moreover, in the spirit of moving forward, I created a bucket list of items I hope to accomplish in 2022.

Here is my list:
- Watch everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Make a successful latte heart
- Move companies or roles within the company
- Pick a vegetable every month and make 2 recipes with it
- Make progress towards a pull up
- Go on a date?

Hopefully my pursuit of these items will lead to a nice n’ juicy 2022 list in a years time. More highs, more lows, more milestones.

On the topic of milestones, the word actually originates from English stone markers along the side of a road, once used to provide information about how long a person had travelled as well as to indicate how many more miles they had left.
The act of passing a milestone generally paints the picture that you’re moving forward and progressing; with each passing marker, you have less distance to go until you reach your next destination.

And yes, it will never be 2021 ever again. And yes, I suppose with each year, I am a little closer to my “final” destination.

…that’s death, if you didn’t pick up what I was putting down.

However, if you think of a life being made up of many journeys, then, I feel a little misled by the concept of the milestone. I don’t know about you, but I do not live my life constantly putting one foot in front of the other, thus narrowing the distance between me and my next milestone. Sometimes I stand still, or completely retrace my steps to the last milestone that I just passed, or idk, do the Charleston (i.e. it’s unclear whether I’m moving forwards or backwards but it may be fun anyhow).

I know that this upcoming year will not be a constant progression. Although life continues to move on, there are still aspects of it that are cyclical or even stagnant in nature. Perhaps I will have my heart broken again. Perhaps I won’t feel ready to put myself out there in 2022 and will focus my efforts elsewhere.

In fact, I’m currently sitting in bed in my childhood home, feeling very unmotivated about this week and jaded about my job. I have not said a word to my sister in over 2 weeks (we are in a fight), and I feel like all the bonding mentioned in list above has been undone. I can feel Valentine’s day creeping around the corner which also means the one year anniversary of the break up is approaching — we’ll see if the storm clouds return. Honestly, I’m tired, lonely, and a little unhappy, to be honest.

It certainly feels like I am right where I was about a year ago. But that’s ok for now.

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