2022: The JourneyToL

I took a walk this morning to welcome 2022 and think more about what I want to do this year. I almost didn’t leave the house because it was overcast and drizzling, but I talked myself into knowing that a little water never hurt anyone, except the Wicked Witch of the West. So, I put on my sweats, a sunshine yellow raincoat, pulled on my black rain boots with the multicolored polka dots, grabbed my red headphones an umbrella and went for a walk in the park.

The park was deserted, nary a dogwalker in sight! so my first thought was, “um, Sis… maybe you don’t want to be meandering alone in the park singing and dancing to Afrobeats like you’re a Black Gene Kelly. Someone could bop you on the head and kidnap you!”, so I moved to the edges of the park closer to street view.

As I walked, I decided that one of the things I want to do is walk, laugh, sing, dance and make love in the rain more (well, make love period… but “in the rain” seems like it adds some razzle dazzle). Walking in the rain was a cleansing way for me to begin 2022.

If I am blessed to see next December, I will have reached another milestone birthday, which I’ve dubbed #JourneyToL (roman numerals are fun! c’mon somebody!). While I have my eye on that big number, I promised myself that I would try to enjoy the last year of my forties, as much as possible during these chaotic times. 40 to 49 went past at warp speed and I have no doubt the next 12 months will follow similar fashion.

Waaaaay back in “the time before” (2019), one of the goals I set for my #JourneyToL was to be in good enough shape to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and breathe at 19,341 feet. On January 1, 2022 with the omicron variant surging, my revised goal is to be able breathe at 16 ft above sea level at a Long Island Stop N’ Shop, while wearing two masks to try and remain COVID free.

Kilimanjaro isn’t going anywhere. I might still be able to get there one day. Even if it is just to look at it versus climbing it.

I also decided that I want to celebrate all of my wins, no matter how small.

For example, today happens to be day 400 of my Duolingo streak for practicing French, which I picked up back in Season One of the pandemic. Félicitations, moi!

Knowing more words has enabled me to enjoy more French content (books, movies, music, especially Instagram memes), but baby steps (etapes de bebe)! I translate what I know literally, while French sentences are more nuanced (and this feels like a life lesson I need to learn in both English and French). I added Spanish to my daily practice a few weeks ago, currently undecided if this was a mistake as I’m now converting what I’m learning in Spanish to French and vice versa. Est-ce une pomme or una manzana? Mon Dieu/Dios Mio, the chaos.

As I continued my walk, the concrete sidewalk abruptly ended and turned into a muddy, well-worn path. Did the City of New York run out of money? I’m curious. Or, is this a metaphor? Some cosmic sign I’m supposed to pay attention to? If I find out on either front, I’ll let you know. More to come.

Welcome to my world, #JourneyToL. Let’s celebrate 2022.

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