2022! I know I've been M.I.A for a while, at least from the Sincerely Alana realm, and I'm not sure if that will truly change. I haven't written since the end of 2019 on this forum and realizing how long it's been is a little surreal. My life feels very different since then.
During the end of 2019 I was facing a lot of change and felt very unmotivated to continue sharing my life when I didn't truly understand what my life was even becoming. Then of course covid happened and my life, as all of our lives did, continued to transform into something new and uncomfortable. We were all tested and with the struggles and political climate that 2020 brought, I knew that I needed to hop back on Sincerely Alana and create videos to address these topics. I was fortunate enough to receive unemployment pay and benefits, and I took full advantage of not working to immerse myself in finishing school by taking 25 units per semester, a full load of classes over summer, starting my AA in Hawaiian Studies at Windward Community College, and earning a spot on SDSU's Mortar Board.
It was a very busy year for me involving a lot of work, research, and advocacy. I enjoy diving into education and working on so many topics, but there was a point in the year when it felt like I was just going through the motions and I could no longer tell if I was doing the work to take advantage of my extra time and get ahead of my goals, or if I was using it all as a distraction from everything else that was going on. There are moments when it still bothers me but at the end of the day, it shouldn't take away from the tremendous amount of work and effort that I put into 2020 and all the success and lessons that came out of it.
Unfortunately, one thing that continues to follow me around is that pesky imposter syndrome. I've had some major milestones in the last three years and I can't fully embrace these wins, especially in the moments when they're happening. I'm able to look back and say "Wow I really did that, I'm amazing" but when I should be present in those wins, I feel like a fraud or like it's no big deal. Knowing that this is a problem for me, I've been trying to celebrate the small wins - like giving myself a pat on the back for finishing essays/ work or making a nice dinner after cleaning the house all day - and doing more to celebrate the major wins (more to come on those big wins and celebrations in a bit).
Although 2020 was an okay year with some pretty major steps and accomplishments, I ended the year on a ROUGH note. I was extremely depressed and felt hopelessly lonely. Parts of me wish I shared more about those feelings as they were happening. I mean, it's in my mission statement that this site and my work on Sincerely Alana is to help others who experience these struggles and reassure them that they are not alone. I've said in previous videos that I struggled with depression during my adolescence, but it had been a while since I felt that hopeless and it was overwhelming how much it affected me. I didn't have the energy to share with anyone let alone the community and internet. I think I should take a moment now to briefly describe how I moved through this time and the steps I had to take on my healing journey.
First, I completely broke down. I feel like a hypocrite at times because I know how important it is to feel your emotions - I always encourage others to do it and offer my own shoulder to cry on, but me myself, I have a really hard time crying. I don't know why but I hit a block, regardless of being with others or by myself, I can't cry. So, when I finally broke down, I couldn't stop crying for a week. I had to feel all the sadness. And then I talked about it. I felt like a burden on my family and friends and decided to start therapy. I wish I could say therapy helped me, but it actually did very little for me because I wasn't matched with a good therapist. Then, I continued to run into issues with finding a new therapist and continuing care. (This was just my experience and I'm still a strong proponent for therapy. I will ALWAYS recommend that people try it.) I took a different route than a lot of people I know and decided to start seeing a spiritual healing massage therapist. She really turned things around for me and helped with my mind, body, and soul connection. I still go in for my healing sessions and I think the biggest "aha" moment has been realizing the trauma and emotion that is stuck in parts of your body. (I can write an entire post about this later!) The next big step in my healing journey was committing to doing something nice for myself twice a week, focusing on my wants, and keeping track of my mood.
I know that wasn't exactly short, however it was a significant and emotional time in the last few years and it's crazy to think about how my life started to quickly turn around once my healing journey really kicked off. 2021 was incredible. Focused on growth and my health, but also reaching some truly incredible accomplishments. I moved into my first place with just Alex and I, celebrated my 23rd birthday with family and friends, was chosen as Outstanding Graduating Senior and gave the commencement speech for SDSU's Department of Sociology, I graduated twice (BA in Sociology and Anthropology from SDSU with summa cum laude in Spring 2021 and AA in Hawaiian Studies from Windward in Fall 2021), was selected to serve as Miss Pacific Islander of San Diego 2021 (Queen), started working for Maeva Tours and Reva Event, and even did a little bit of travelling. It's a LOT! 2021 showed me that hard work really does pay off, that it's important to stay true to who you are, and that real recognize real. With all that being said, there's been a lot of opportunities that have presented themselves and I feel very blessed to be faced with the predicament of needing to pick and choose and decide what comes next.
I'm not sure what's coming next, but I know that I want to take this year to learn more about who I'm becoming. Work hard to get to my next big goals while taking the time to have fun, balance my priorities, and grow with whatever new projection life presents to me this year.
I hope I do write more on here and that I feel motivated to continue Sincerely Alana in one way or another. I can't make any promises yet or commit to any projects or deadlines when it comes to SA, but I hope that it can evolve into something new, something bigger and better than ever. Until that inspiration comes to me, I wish you all a Hau'oli Makahiki Hou and thank you for your continued love and support.
Since I was a little girl, writing was always my go- to way of expressing myself and escaping from the rest of the world.