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staying in my own lane

a review on 2022

Halfway through this past year, I found the little focus feature on my iPhone. You know the one- you swipe up to get to your necessary shortcuts like clock, calculator and Bluetooth. There’s also shortcuts to making your phone silent; do not disturb, and sleep. However, I created a new icon for me to use instead of the general do not disturb. I chose the icon to be a heart, the color is pink, and its’ title is stay in ur own lane.

In all honesty, making this little focus feature was one of the best things I did on my phone this year. It forced me to ignore notifications that were truly irrelevant. It made me rethink what people I wanted to be in contact with, and what apps deserve my time. It has created time for me to focus on the thing that I enjoy doing most- like making music.

I eventually fell into the habit of having this stay in ur own lane feature, where no one could reach me except my immediate family, on 24/7. It was deliciously refreshing to feel less obliged to reply to someone right away, simply because I could say I just honestly missed the notification. I relished the time I spent with my phone on silent, writing more music than I ever have before without interruptions.

As Indy Blue, a social media influencer, casual filmmaker and fellow writer, once said,

“We all have a higher self. It’s anything we want it to be.”

In her blog post, titled “Becoming ‘that’ Girl,” she lays out the foundation for who her higher self is. She says:

“My higher self is cool. She gives the best advice. She can sit in boardrooms with billionaires and command the energy.

She is a present mother. An intentional lover. A consistent friend.”

Her statements in this one blog impacted me beyond comparison. I read the post one night as I was turning my phone off. I read it, and then re-read it. It made me wonder if, in 2022, I had been the best version of myself I could have possibly been. In Indy’s words- my higher self.

The answer is no.

It’s also yes.

This year, I have been ‘that’ girl. I have also strayed so far away from being ‘that’ girl, that I think it took me a good two months to regain composure. To clarify- being ‘that’ girl to me isn’t about drinking green smoothies and doing Pilates every morning and then going to your local market and buying a croissant all while recording it for Instagram reels- it’s about being the best version of yourself. It’s being anything you want to be. It’s making decisions for the greater good of your personal life. It’s finding ways to enhance your experience as a human.

Something that I did, that I believe is one of my behaviors of being my own ‘that’ girl, was creating that focus feature called stay in ur own lane.

This year, I wanted to release music that fell away from being categorized as country. I wrote The Stories, then Patience is a Virtue EP, and categorized them as acoustic pop, singer/songwriter, and folk. Next year, I’ll continue to leave country music behind. It’s just a maneuver that will enhance my experience as a human. It will provide an opportunity to mature as an artist through new genres and collaborations.

I don’t believe I will miss 2022. The year was one of far too much chaos and learning from mistakes and decisions all over the world for me to miss it. I desperately hope, however, that it was a year that set my upcoming 2023 up for success. I hope it prepared me for what is yet to come.

With plans to travel overseas, release new music, and publish a document I have been working on, I see myself journeying towards being ‘that’ girl again. I foresee extreme growth within myself. I foresee loss and gain. I foresee moments of despair and weeks of ecstasy. I wonder what else I can do to become my higher self- and off the top of my head, I can already name ten things. 2023 will be my year to put these things into motion.

I’ve seen eight people post saying 2023 won’t be their year. I beg to differ- every year has the potential to be our year. It just comes down to what you do to make it so.

I don’t have a sterling record of keeping my New Year's’ Resolutions, but this year my only resolution is to become more like ‘that’ girl. She compliments people in the street, takes her parents out for dinner (because she realizes how much time and effort they’ve put into raising her) and she protects her peace. She commands respect, expects people to value her as much as she values them, and she writes songs about guys who don’t even exist.

That girl is pretty darn cool. If I were to think of one thing that that girl does to be who she is, I would put it down to one simple conclusion.

She stays in her own lane.

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