Defining My Essence

11/12 Days Of Blogmas: My Year In Review

11/12 Days Of Blogmas: My Year In Review

Published December 24, 2022
Author: Claudie P

On today post I will be going over everything that has happen during this year. I think year reviews are fun and it makes you reflect on that has happened and it can show all the accomplishments that you had. So here’s my 11/12 Days Of Blogmas: My Year In Review

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11/12 Days Of Blogmas: My Year In Review

Before we get started I want to be honest this year was really rough for me. It really was a lot to go through and I was debating if I should write this to begin with. What made me change my mind was that no one’s life is perfect and there are ups and downs. Because of how bad this year started I never expected it to end on a good note. The other reason why I wanted to do this was that I’m pretty open about my mental health but to an extent and this kinda explains everything. It also explain why I haven’t been blogging for a majority of the year.


Like I said this year started off rough. In January I was looking at apartments in Orlando with my younger sister because we were going to live together. At the beginning of the pandemic apartment were really cheap but then they skyrocketed. We couldn’t afford to move. To most people this would have been a bummer but for me it was everything. I mention before that my friend Kyra passed In April 2021. What I never mentioned was that she was supposed to move there as well and that our last conversation ended with me telling her that I would send her some more apartments to look at. 

The idea of moving was literally the only thing that was keeping me motivated after her death and with that being gone I crumbled. I hit me so hard that I didn’t know what to do. And to add insult to injury I was also dealing with Covid. I was just sad and sick. I had no motivation, no goals, nothing at all. To distract myself from the pain I decided to some renovation projects on my moms house. When I was not doing that I was binge watching Netflix.

So, your probably thinking Claudie you had so much free time what about your job? Well, let me tell you what happen. I was a online ESL Teacher and I taught Chinese students English. However, a lot of the Chinese companies went under or didn’t accept American teachers anymore so March was my last month with online ESL. 


So, April marked the one year anniversary of Kyra’s death and to be honest I was dreading it from the beginning of the year. I had so much anxiety about it. The anniversary was on Easter this year and one of my last few conversations with Kyra she called to check in because Easter was a hard time for me even before her death. She was telling me that I need to to do something to celebrate Easter and the rest of the holidays for myself. So I knew I just need to go to Miami.

I asked my sister if I could use her car and I drove all by myself. It was a needed trip. So actual celebration wasn’t until the next week but I needed to do this for myself. I spent Saturday night with my friend Christina. We had Sushi and wine plus we walked around the nature trail like we used to do. I spend Sunday with Kyra’s mom. We went to church because I wasn’t prepared she gave me one of Kyra’s dressed to wear and after church it was the first time I’ve been to the graveyard since Kyra’s funeral. And after that I met up with my friend Sam to get something to eat which was a really nice way to end the trip.

When I came back home I didn’t expect for some good news. I got an email from JVN Hair asking with I wanted to join their community and be on their PR list. I was shocked because at that time I had about 500(now 1,400) followers on instagram and I couldn’t believe that they found me in the first place. Even with this excitement it still wasn’t enough for me to get my motivation back to write. However it made me realize that if my content is good enough for JVN Hair that its good enough for other brand so I started pitching myself.

July(this needed its own section)

Now July is when I had to let go of a friendship. I already had a feeling that this friendship was going to end maybe a couple of months after Kyra passed. I can’t tell you what happen because whatever it was I shoved that memory down. All I know is that I had the feeling that I needed to end it but because I was grieving I couldn’t lose an other friend. 

We were planning a girls trip just for me Christina and her and she initially wanted the trip to be two days before the anniversary of Kyra’s death. I told her that it was too close and that I didn’t know what emotions would come up. We changed the date and continued planning. Christina was going to leave Miami on a bus(the other friends suggestion) meet me in Fort Myers and we were going to rent a car to go up to Davenport to meet the friend and then get the airbnb. 

We realized that it would be cheaper instead to do in Miami in Christina’s apartment. You would think that the same plans would happen the other way around but no. She wanted me to pick her up then drive all the way down to Miami and then dropped her back off. Also when I would suggest a free activity to do she keep saying that she was paying for everything but she would asked me for money and I didn’t feel comfortable going if I couldn’t afford it. What id something happened and I had no where to go. 

We canceled our plans but I agreed that I would still come up when she decides to move in August. But she was upset still and wanted to do a trip. I avoided her a little bit because also whenever we talked it was draining. Actually whenever we talked she rambled and when I try to speak up she would shh me. One day she asked if I was free to talk, it happened to be a couple of days before Kyra’s birthday. She didn’t know but it still important. She tried to ask about another trip and when I said no again she got upset again. I messaged her saying I’m sorry that I can go and she basically told me that I wasn’t making excuses and that I wasn’t trying with my life. I thought it was a slap in the face because she knew how hard this year had been.


My birthday is August 16th and this year I wanted to do a solo trip. I couldn’t because I was watching my cousin during the summer and honestly I couldn’t afford it. I was teaching again as a online reading tutor but the summers are rough. I didn’t have any cals for a month at the beginning and end of summer. So instead of a solo trip I had a seafood boil which was amazing. I had lobster, crab, shrimp, and everything else it was so yummy.

I started to get more collaborations with a few brands and I was so excited when Adore Me reached out to me. They reached out when I had 700 followers and again i felt so validated with the content I was putting out. One of the campaigns I did with them was about solo dates so I was like I’m going to finally go on one for myself. I took myself to the beach to watch the sunrise. I woke up too late to see it but it was still nice to go to the beach that early. I saw some dolphins. It was so cool. I went back home to change then I took myself to brunch. I had a yummy chicken and waffles. I did write a blog post about that that you can check out here.

My motivation definitely started to come back. I started to make connections with more people, I wasn’t 100% but I was doing a lot better. 

October(another that needs its own)

Then when October came it brought Hurricane Ian with it. I live in Fort Myers where it was affect by Hurricane Ian, I was so luck That i never lost power or was flooded. Even thought didn’t get as much damage it still affected me mentally. I couldn’t escape it. Everything was on the news and all social media sights. There were helicopters everywhere, you would hear multiple passing everyday. Even now you would hear it every once in a while. So many things are damaged there are still building signs and sidewalks that are destroyed from trees falling. Of course Fort Myers beach is absolutely obliterated. I haven’t seen it in person since I honestly avoid going over there. I literally was there for my solo trip.

The thing that got me through was connecting with other people from SWFL. The community really showed up for each other and I made me feel like I was apart of a community.

Also this month was when I finally told my mom that I have a blog. My mom and I don’t really have a good relationship. I felt like I need to protect the blog from her since I started in 2018. It was the first time that I felt not telling her was preventing me from achieving the goals that I wanted. I felt good telling her. To be honest she thought that I didn’t have much going on with my life so she was glad I was doing something.


I got my motivation back again after the hurricane and I started pitching myself to brands again. It’s scary to put yourself out there but its so worth it. You don’t know what brand will reach back to you if you don’t at all. I’ve received so many PR packages in the last fews months that I never thought I would get. Some I didn’t know I was getting until it showed up to my house. I was able to use some of it for my 12 Days of Blogmas.

I made some new influencer friends. We have a group chat and it had been a blast. I didn’t know how much I needed to have influencer friends. We shared emails of brands to work with. What to look out for with when it comes to scams. We even talked about how to asked to get paid for the collaborations. it has been amazing, I really needed this support.

I also was asked to become a CapCut creator to get paid to create video templates for the app and I didn’t expect this at all. Like I know how to edit but it’s not at the top of my skill list, its actually my least favorite when it comes to my creativity.  I decided to take is offer as a challenge to make better reels for myself. Oh, and Higher Education Skincare put the reel I made featuring their product on their page today. I would have never expected this year to end off the way it did. And I couldn’t have been happier.

Thanks For Reading

I hope to have like my 11/12 Days Of Blogmas: My Year In Review. What is an achievement that you have made this year? Let me know in the comments down below!

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