Y’all. I sort of hate past year recaps.
In the online business world I’ve found that they are generally a parade of humble brags and #GirlBossWins. But I’ve decided to go ahead and throw my hat in the ring but NOT do any of those things I dislike.
Thus, as you read my 2021 recap you will, I hope, be unsurprised when I am bald-face bragging and not get any Girl Boss vibes because I am often wildly unsure about pretty much most things I do in my business and am over here just throwing imaginary spaghetti at the proverbial wall, pleasantly surprised every time one of you decide to say yes to any offer I make. Without further ado…
Here is the grand recap of Tiana’s 2021:
Love Notes for the New Year was launched. And I loved it. And y’all did too. Shout out to the photography skills of Ugur Akdemir on Unsplash.
This month was also when the 2021 Braving Body Shame Online Conference co-hosted by me, Julie Sweeney, and Alicia Worobec. I loved having the opportunity to interview some amazing fat folks out here working to make a difference in the world.
Deeper Dive Prompts were born! I’m not a journaller. Basically, I’m not at all a big fan of writing. You see, I’m a verbal processor. And generally, when folks offer up journaling prompts, I tend to roll my eyes. But I do enjoy thinking about my answers to journaling prompts and if I can do that, then I find them useful and, dare I say, fun.
So I decided to offer up prompts for the Love Notes since people were leaving thoughtful comments and seeming to find value in just reading them. Like yes! Let’s do more! Let’s go in! But meaningful prompts are hardAF to write. Where it took me about 25 minutes to write out 31 Love Notes, it sometimes took me hours to come up with questions that weren’t just “whaddya think?”
I also did a talk for EDRDPro titled “Dear Provider, I’m Fat and Sick. Can I Trust You to Treat Me?” and had a lovely time getting to know Sumner Brooks.
I turned 41 which was surprisingly harder to do than 40. 40 was neat. 41 was real. Like, I’m really in my 40s now, y’all. For real, for real.
And then I got all into my imposter syndrome/complex/anxiety while being a guest speaker at the Postgenomic Determinisms Workshop held by Ruhr University Bochum. Which turned out to be a really awesome experience! Thanks to Azita Chellappoo for the invite!
This month saw the fantastic launching of the Routledge International Handbook of Fat Studies co-edited by Cat Pausé and Sonya Renee Taylor. A work of more than 2 years in the making features an essay by yours truly!
April also saw the production of the storytelling workshop “Our Own Fat Roots” I helped organize with fellow members of Fat Rose.
Oh yeah! And I had my first podcast guest! My conversation with Mikey Mercedes about fatness and healthcare futures was wonderful. It was lovely to giggle through this deep talk where I even learned something I didn’t know!
After a 4-hour “is this right for me?” and getting-to-know-you chat with the conference host, Marissa Loewen, I spoke at the Create the Rules Spring: Changing the Face of Business online conference. Prior to that, much procrastination and feeling all the “I have no place to be speaking on this platform” happened.
We celebrated my 6th year of parenthood on Mother’s Day and I still can’t believe it’s been both that long and also somehow ONLY that long I’ve been parenting my Small Monster.
This month was kicked off with my guest speaking at The Future is Accessible online conference hosted by The Kowtha Constellation as part of the official launch. Congratulations to my friend, Anuradha Kowtha for getting that out into the world.
I finished my first course of COVID vaccine (double Pfizer’d).
Oh and we got the keys to our new house this month! What a wonderful thing to have happen after 2 years of waiting!! I’m the proud parent of a mortgage.
This month I was caught in the deluge of dust caused by the frantic packing of boxes and preparation for moving into our new home.
And because I’ve been terrible at planning my life, though I’m okay at doing it for my business, I was still struggling to launch the first of the Fat Freedom Group Reads: Sonya Renee Taylor’s “The Body is Not an Apology” amongst the chaos of my possessions in motion around me.
Woo! This unseasonably chilly summer month saw me and my family camping out in a new house with a temporary setup we very generously called a “kitchen.” Somehow we managed to not eat every meal from takeout places with our extremely limited cooking and food prep set up.
Small People started the French equivalent of first grade and somehow is getting homework?!?!
And I got glasses! Corrective lenses now allow me to daub out yet another box on the BINGO Card of Aging.
Oh yeah, and according to my business plan, this was supposed to be the month I launched the Fat Freedom Practice Space. However, my plans were bigger than my capacity and I had to swallow the bitter pill of “it needs more time to brew.” I’m not really a patient person when I’m excited about something, so that was hard. Very, very hard.
This month had me going through the wringer as I tried to keep up with two classes I was taking, and two Fat Freedom Group Reads I was running. It. Was. A. Lot. And somehow I also launched the Pilot Cohort of the Fat Freedom Toolkit, the cohort-based course that is a requirement for joining the Fat Freedom Practice Space.
And the camping was *finally* over with the end-of-the month delivery and installation of our kitchen! (However, as of the writing of this post, we’re still short a cooking surface and are making it work with a single portable induction burner.)
Over. Capacity. Overwhelmed. OMG.
I continued to spin all the plates that I launched in October, somehow managing to keep them in balance with minimal oopsies. However, there was definitely a few things that slipped and helped me to find flaws in a few systems I had created around the programs I was running, giving me the opportunity to improve on the next go-round. So that’s great.
I also somehow managed to cook a Thanksgiving dinner with one burner and an oven in between teaching, taking two classes, and facilitating two separate Group Reads. I am the G.O.A.T.
In the twelfth month we rested. I blocked off my calendar for new appointments and only took those meetings that had previously been agreed upon.
I did an epic last-minute search for curing salt, only to fail miserably. However, I found a recipe that used celery salt as curing agent… It was tried and created delicious, succulent results. Not quite what I was going for, but success nonetheless (because I DEFINE MY SUCCESS, DAMMIT).
I watched a wonderful amount of Nordic Noir and other Scandi-drama on Netflix and even got a bit homesick for my old corner of Germany because it showed up a couple of times. I got the largest number of downloads of my podcast so far. Woo!
Also, hot pot is now a new fave in my household. The Child even said, “this is the best Christmas dinner ever!” That’s big praise from my small, challenging audience.
So, all in all, 2021 was pretty awesome.
I definitely accomplished so much more than I even thought I did. Heh. I suppose there is some value in collecting your experiences and shamelessly bragging about them.