A Glimpse Back: 2023 in Review

Nestled in the coziness of my home on a chilly evening, indulging a warm cup of home-made Golden milk, I am writing the last blog of this year: A 2023 retrospective.

 

Every year, as this season approaches, I sit down to reflect on the past year. It is incredible how quick again another year went by. This rapid pace of time makes me sometimes lose touch with the present moment. Reflecting on who I’ve become since my last pause grounds me in the essence of my present self. This is a pivotal practice for me, as it sets the stage before I dive into crafting my vision board for the upcoming year. Curious to learn more about the process? Let’s dive deeper into it.

LIFE AS A THEATRE PLAY

I cannot write about the process, without mentioning Ervin Goffman, one of the most influential American sociologists of the 21st century. Goffman’s approach to analyse human behaviour through the analogy of theatre is referred to as “dramaturgy”. The essence of Goffman’s perspective entails that as humans, we behave differently (play different roles) in front of different people (audiences). Inspired by Goffman’s perspective, I picture my life as an elaborate theater play spanning diverse stages where I embody distinct roles:

 

  • The professional stage: Here, my role at the university takes center stage, with focus on learning and growth as project manager for international cooperations;
  • The relationship stage: On this stage, tender moments and cherished connections with my beloved circle unfolds its scenes;
  • The creative stage: A stage where I express my thoughts and reflections through words and images;
  • The fun stage: Here, my performance of bringing joy and happiness to an otherwise empty canvas is central, and
  • The ME stage: A private stage, where introspection and self-care reign without an audience.

Obviously, the outcome of this step can vary between individuals.

REFLECTING ON THE PERFORMANCE ON LIFE’S STAGES

To assess my performance across each stage, I engage in introspection by posing several questions. What milestones did I achieve? What accomplishments fill me with pride? What lessons have I learnt? How can these lessons help me to improve my performance in the upcoming year? And how has my growth shaped me as a performer on these life stages?

 

Throughout this reflective journey, the value of a vision board or written goals emerges as a guiding light. They become the checkpoints against which I measure progress, offering clarity amidst the complexity of life’s varied performances.

MY REVIEW OF 2023

As I look back at 2023, a sense of contentment washes over me. Professionally, I have achieved the goals I set with my supervisor. I’ve established a more healthy work-life balance, spent more quality time with friends and family, and I have definitely prioritised my health, even if this meant declining certain work-related travel opportunities. Amid these achievements, however, one particular milestone shines bright: FEMMELENNIAL.

In the latter half of 2022, I decided to initiate my writing-journey. But I wanted more than just words; I wanted a vision for my blog. Taking dedicated time for ideation, I published my first blog in May 2023. Since then, I have written numerous blog-posts, aiming to create content that resonated with urban female millennials. Delving into personal dilemmas, experiences and lessons, I aim to infuse each piece with a spark of inspiration for my readers. Although there is still a long way to go, the stage is set and the spotlights are on. So, as the curtains rise on FEMMELENNIAL, I invite you for 2024 to sit back, immerse yourself, and enjoy the show!

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