Island Girl Musings: Farewell 2020!

On this day last year I was in tears. This blog, that I had just re-launched, was broken. Everyone else could read and enjoy my posts, but whenever I tried to do something on it, the site crashed. That meant there would be no new New Zealand content and no updates to existing content. No “Top 10 Fav Posts From 8 Years of Blogging” post that I was planning to publish, either. So, I did the only logical thing. I panicked. I mean, with my website not working, this was surely a sign that leaving my job had been a terrible mistake and I was destined to fail, right?

But then I remembered one important thing: 

I pulled myself together and figured out a way to share my favourite posts, which I did on Facebook and Instagram. 

Luckily I had these screenshots saved from a blogging workshop I did in 2017.

With 2019 behind me, I greeted 2020 with open arms, ready to take on the world. 
Trinidad carnival

And then, the world closed.

To summarize, I did not handle it well at first.

This essay was published in the July issue of Mélange Magazine.

Now that it’s almost done…

This year, 2020, has been… a lot. And that’s putting it mildly. We didn’t have ‘survive global pandemic’ on our vision boards, yet here we are. 

Let’s never forget the lives that were lost this year. May they rest in perfect peace.

We were forced to confront many things this year and, in so doing, we emerged with several lessons learned. We saw what we had been taking for granted and grew to appreciate the things right in front of us, and we learned the importance of slowing down and the value of family and community.
This year, not unlike when I first decided to embark on a new adventure, I had to face my fears of risk and change. If you read my Queenstown post, then you already know how much I disliked change. This fear of change meant that I was afraid to take risks, which meant that I hesitated to put myself out there. I knew what I needed to do. Come on Alyssa, you have all the tools, the knowledge and the competence. But that imposter syndrome kept kicking my backside. And for most of this year I couldn’t get that little voice in my head to keep quiet. 

So what changed?

First, some context. Bear with me. 
In April, with closed borders and my travel-the-world plans on an indefinite hold, I invested in the Blog Like A Boss course with Gloria Atanmo. This wasn’t a how to blog course; it was a how to level up your blog business course. And in that very first coaching call Glo introduced the idea of morning routines. Not wake up, stretch, reach for the phone routines, but do something for you before jumping into the world. Apparently the experts say that your best energy is in the first hour after you wake up (though, my jury is still out on that one). 
Some things to incorporate into your morning routine include meditation, journaling, prayer, exercise, listening to a podcast or reading, basically anything that does not involve scrolling social media feeds or checking emails first thing in the morning. 
Meditation was new to me, so I thought I’d give it a go. It also helped that my friend had sent us that chain Deepak Chopra abundance challenge that was circulating. Perfect! Yeh, no. Not for me. I found other things to do in the morning. 
Fast forward a few months to September and I was desperately looking for a natural way to fall asleep and stay asleep. Once again, meditation popped up. Not wanting a repeat of April, I downloaded the Calm app, and gave it a spin with a 7-day free trial. Maybe my mindset had shifted or I tolerated this voice better, but I had a much better experience. And the best part? The app has Sleep Stories, aka bedtime stories for adults. For the first time in years I was sleeping through the night. I wasn’t quite ready to commit to a subscription when my trial ended, so I looked for another app with a sleep feature and landed on Headspace

Ok, back to where I left off. Fear of change…

One of the concepts I was exposed to during mindfulness/meditation sessions on Headspace was that of impermanence. The dictionary definition of impermanence is the state or fact of lasting for only a limited period of time. Essentially, there is nothing in the world that stays the same. And if you’re like me, that’s scary.

I delved into Headspace looking for a way to sleep better and I found a new way to approach not just my work, but my life too. The imposter syndrome is still there — I don’t know if that ever really goes away — but I think i’m in a better position to tell that little voice to sit down and be quiet. And all of the inspirational quotes and nuggets of wisdom I read earlier this year now mean a whole lot more. Like this one that Glo shared with us from the book The Millionaire Messenger:

“When you accept that things are always moving, all of a sudden, you become more fluid with the movement. And you’re not so serious about the rigidity of life and you can have more fun with it.”

Now it’s finally time to bid farewell to 2020. Usually an end-of-year post like this one would end with a list of resolutions and expectations for the new year. 
Nah, I’ll skip that one and wait to see what tomorrow brings. 
However, I would like to put forward two intentions that maybe you will find useful too:

  1. Being present and fully engaged in as many moments as possible
  2. Being fearless. Not throwing caution to the wind, but facing those scary changes head on.


farewell 2020


There’s absolutely no way to know what 2021 will bring, but there’s one thing I do know for certain. Your support this year, the likes, shares, comments and encouragement, means the world to me. Thank you! 
Whatever you do to ring in the New Year, be safe! 
Love always, 


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  1. Allan Bierzynski December 31, 2020 at 10:57 am

    Happy New Year, Alybiz !

  2. Katherine A MacNeil December 31, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Thanks and Happy New year!

  3. SACHA PIERRE December 31, 2020 at 11:07 am

    As always, I value your musings. I have also felt a little bit of a boat in the wind this year and want to develop a morning routine so I will check out headspace. We are all works in progress. Keep reaching for the stars!!!

  4. Josh December 31, 2020 at 1:25 pm

    Someone on the news this morning said “Big dreams cost nothing.” That feels like a fun thing to share with others. Happy blogging in 2021!

  5. Leire December 31, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Happy New Year and keep up the hard work.


  6. Kelly January 1, 2021 at 12:27 am

    So good!


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