Embracing My Best in 2021: Pillar Four
by Tracey Suppo
We’re almost at the finish line—post four of five where I spell out what I’m focusing on in 2021. Like many of us, this past year was unlike anything we’d ever experienced before. And even though it’s so easy to see the bad, I’m a silver linings kind of girl and I’m going to endeavor to use the lessons of 2020 to make some big changes in my life. The previous three posts covered health, beauty, and home, and you can hit the buttons below to view them if you need a refresher.
And now, time for pillar four: relationships.
The Fourth Pillar: Relationship
Perhaps one of the greatest microscopes of 2020 and the pandemic was in my relationships. Not only with others, but with myself. The first three months of lockdown were the most difficult and the most defining. Regardless of your relationship status—single and living alone, single with roommates, married with no kids, married with kids, or something else entirely—each of us has had our own experience. Even two different people living in similar arrangements could have had wildly different experiences.
I live alone and during those first 90 days, I literally saw two friends for one walk each. I was super paranoid about leaving the house at all and literally went to the store five times, three of which were to purchase cat food.
My married friends, parent friends, and friends who live with others all said over and over how lucky I was and how they wished they could change places with me, even for a day. And I get it. Not being able to have any alone time or just get away for some peace and quiet must have been extremely difficult. That said, being completely isolated (because no, phone and zoom don’t really count) was no walk in the park. I have other single friends that live alone that shared that they’d never experienced depression before, but after two to three months of isolation, they got a glimpse of what that might feel like. I’m not saying living alone is harder than any other scenario, but it definitely carried its own challenges. I used to say to my friends, “Imagine going into your bedroom and being in there for three months—alone.” At first, they’d chuckle and say, “Yes, please!” Within moments though, they’d pause and say, “Yeah, I can see how that would get old really fast.”
Since the lockdown ended in June, I’ve spent almost all of my time with one friend, Robert. We’re both single and live alone, and frankly he’s been my saving grace through all of this. We both have the same perspective on things: always wear a mask, no eating indoors (even when it was allowed), and limit time indoors (shopping, errands, etc.), so it’s easier to relax and not worry that those around you may be bringing it into your home. He’s also the person that spurred my love of motorcycles and we rode almost 1,500 miles together this summer. I can’t imagine what this summer would have been like without him and I’m grateful I didn’t have to find out. Before you get any ideas about Robert, just because we’re two people who get along and are both heterosexual and single, doesn’t mean we’re a fit. We’re great, great friends, like family really. We just don’t have that spark and that doesn’t diminish anything about our friendship. I consider myself so lucky to have him in my life.
“The first three months of lockdown were the most difficult and the most defining.”
That’s what my 2020 has looked like thus far—and I’m not expecting anything to change in these remaining few days. So, what does all of that mean for 2021? Well, there are three distinct relationship areas I’d like to look at in 2021:
When I reflect on the past year, there are friends I used to see frequently that I have barely even texted with. Why? Why didn’t I reach out? Why didn’t they? Are they okay? Do they care if I am? As I said in an earlier post, this time has put a stark spotlight on who we spend our time with and how we want to spend our time. So how do we move forward in those relationships? Each of us is having a singular experience, yet we’re all in the same boat. How can we be there for others? What can I do to support my friends that didn’t have the gift of someone like Robert in their lives? I think 2021 will be a very telling time about how our circles shift, form, grow, and, yes, maybe even shrink.
I think this time has made me realize that I do want to find my “person.” I’ve spent the past few years dating on and off. Some serious relationships, others not so much. There are times I went dark and didn’t date at all. By choice. It’s actually really empowering to turn that off sometimes. Although, those times were typically followed by time where dating took a much bigger priority in my life. I know what it feels like to be in love. I know what it feels like to have my heart broken. I know what it feels like to want something so badly, but know it isn’t meant to be. I also know what it feels like to have someone want you so badly, but know you’ll never have feelings for them. Through all of that, I honestly wasn’t sure I really wanted to “settle down” so to speak. I said I did, but in reflecting on my actions, I don’t think that was the case. Now, I think that’s starting to change. I don’t know what that exploration will look like—in life or here on the blog. The pandemic is still in full-effect and dating is not an easy feat. However, as things change, I will share them here.
More than anything else, I have had much time for self-reflection. No surprise, I think this blog is a direct response to that. I don’t think we can ever learn enough about ourselves and I want to take time in 2021 to really delve into different practices and learnings to see how much deeper I can go. Again, I don’t know exactly what that will look like here, but I promise to share my findings. I mentioned before that I got an Audible membership and I’m going to commit to listening to one self-help book per month. I’ve also learned of so many offerings out there, many in response to the pandemic and the impact it’s having on all of us, and I’m excited to see what’s out there and share it with you.
I hope you’ll continue to join me on this ride as I lay everything out, and then on into 2021 as I see what works, see what sticks, see what makes a real difference in my life. I’ve mentioned before that I plan to share it all with you—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I also promise to be 100% truthful, so if I tell you I love something, it means I LOVE it. I truly want 2021 to be my best year yet and I would love to hear what you’ve found that works for you and what you have on the cards for the coming year.
Embracing my best,
PS. I’ll always end each column with a Just Finished, Currently Reading, and Up Next. For my Just Finished Books, I’ll rate them Loved It, Liked It, or Not for Me. Join me on Insta Live weekly in 2021 to discuss books, home, beauty, and more.
Tracey Suppo is the CEO and co-founder of Book+Main. She is obsessed with books, tech, and most recently, motorcycles. She loves travel (18 countries and 44 states so far), down comforters, facials, black clothing, and cooking. She has seven tattoos…and counting. She lives in Chicago with her two cats, Wyatt + Gray, and is a proud foster failure.
Follow Tracey on Book+Main HERE.
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