After a year like 2020, none of us knew what to expect from 2021. With news of a COVID vaccine and a new presidency, we walked in knowing nothing except to expect the unexpected. Tentatively hopeful and confident that we’ll navigate whatever life throws our way, our Chime family’s stories of 2021 had one common theme: change.
From new jobs to new relationships to even new life, our member’s stories were filled with resiliency, growth, and hope. We were so inspired by their optimism, and needed to share them with the rest of our Chime community. Here are three things our amazing Chime members are looking forward to as we move into the new year.
1. We’re looking forward to travelling more and seeing old friends 🥂
2020 was hard on all of us, but Cheryl, an administrative assistant in Virginia, had a particularly rough time. She was an essential worker when the pandemic first hit, and she says “It was a very scary time for me.” She ended up getting sick (not with COVID, but with the flu) and was in the hospital during Mother’s Day weekend. After her job pressured her to go back to work so soon, she quit. She said “I wasn’t ready to go back, I still was not my normal. I wasn’t having energy and able to stand up … for a long period of time.” Luckily, she fully recovered, and her two sons made it up to her by celebrating Mother’s Day together! We love a family that sticks together, through hard times and good.
Cheryl has been having a much better 2021. With a new job, and a new appreciation for the freedom we lost during the pandemic, she says her favorite part of 2021 has been “just getting out a bit more to enjoy yourself. I am able to go out to eat with my friends at restaurants and stuff.” For Cheryl, it’s all about cherishing the simple delights of life.
“[It’s about] getting out a bit more to enjoy yourself.”
Even though she’s been enjoying herself, Cheryl is still a realist. “The pandemic isn’t over, COVID is still here.” She’s still being cautious because she’s serious about protecting her loved ones, but things are looking up. When asked about if she’s hopeful for the future, she said yes, because of the rate of widespread vaccine adoption.
As for what’s next for Cheryl, a vacation to the south may be in the books! She will be seeing how things progress, but her dream vacation is to travel to Miami, Florida and see some friends. “I’ve never been there, so I want to explore and have fun!” 🎉
2. We’re looking forward to prioritizing self-love and family 🤍
When we first spoke to Ariana, a Chime member from California, she was on her way to pick up her nephew after ending a 5 year on-and-off relationship. When I asked her how she was doing, she said, “little by little, we’re feeling better.” What a great way to kick off our conversation and set the tone for 2022!
Two years ago, Ariana quit her job due to the pressures of COVID. Feeling unsupported by her company, and isolated due to the pandemic, it was a difficult time to navigate. “I’m not the type of person to be at home all the time… It took the biggest mental toll on me.” Even now, she says that unless she’s required to be at home, she’s out and about, “taking all my friends to anything that’s new, trying new places, and trying new foods.”
“[I’m] taking all my friends to anything that’s new, trying new places, and trying new foods.”
With her old job behind her, 2021 has seen Ariana secure not one, but two new jobs, spend much more time with her son, and experience a massive improvement in her mental health. “There’s been a lot of changes, and I’m starting to realize what I want and what I don’t need in my life right now.” With this change in mindset, she also confessed to a feeling that many of us can relate to. Due to the chaotic nature of the pandemic, she said “I was putting a lot of people before me,” taking care of her young son and dealing with an unfulfilling relationship. With help from her new, supportive coworkers, she told us that she’s “Absolutely happier. Absolutely.”
“I’m just focusing on myself for 2022.”
Of course, this all leads us to thinking about the future, for which Ariana is both cautious about and excited for. “I’m just focusing on myself for 2022. Like, I really just want to focus on my job, and me and [my son], and more of my own mental health,” she tells us, and we think it’s a perfect plan. It’s not easy getting yourself out of a dark place, but Ariana shows us that the first step in our healing journey is changing our mindset.
3. We’re looking forward to having more important social conversations 🌎
Gratitude and grace is the best way to describe how Emily, a media producer from California, responded when we asked her about her experience during the height of the pandemic. She said “I feel pretty fortunate in that I had security of home … and I had a secure job,” which were two major stressors for many Americans in 2020. She expresses how lucky she was, but also acknowledges that our collective community lost something incredibly important—our ability to gather together. “I’m a believer that we are social creatures … It’s critical to our survival.”
“I’m a believer that we are social creatures … It’s critical to our survival.”
Emily’s social life lives on—largely due to her social bubble, which has only grown in 2021. She’s taken advantage of the flexibility and freedom that working from home has given many Americans, and crashed with friends all across the country.
Of course, not all of her time is spent with other people. She told us that the other side of the pandemic is that “it was a helpful opportunity to slow down.” Slowing down to Emily means that she got more time to do some self examination, and really appreciate the little things. Being in an observant state of being gave her an opportunity to exist in a “slower rhythm of life,” which seems to be equally as peaceful and notification-ding-beep-tweet-free as it sounds.
Much like Ariana and Cheryl, Emily has not been immune to the changes 2021 has brought, but they’re all positive changes. Getting a new job and letting go of an old relationship means that she’s doing a lot of “reorganizing of priorities” in her life. From learning boundaries with her friends and family, to actively protecting her own space with work and life demands, she’s getting ready to take 2022 by the horns.
“Even though I know it’s hard, I still believe in the power of the people.”
It should be unsurprising then, to learn that Emily has thought deeply about our collective community. When we asked her if she was hopeful about 2022, her answer blew us away. “I’m not an optimistic person, but I’m a hopeful one, and I think they’re different,” she told us. From labor, to health care, to the environment, the huge, pressing issues that face this country are impossible to ignore, but Emily isn’t deterred. From her point of view, the more people that share their story and speak up about what they want takes a lot of courage, and she’s inspired and looking forward to the conversations and the movements that we’ll see in the future. “Even though I know it’s hard, I still believe in the power of the people.” ✊
So, What’s Next?
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling incredible… not to mention hopeful right now! Our Chime members shared their hearts with us, and while it seems like the theme of this year was change, we’re looking forward to 2022 being a year of growth, self-love, and care—for our community, for our country, and for our planet. And we can’t wait to do it all with you. 💚
Real Members. Sponsored Content.