This is truly my favorite piece of the year: my 2021 Christmas Letter. I got through the weird 2020 and have powered through 2021
2021 saw a more return of normalcy in the world, daily interactions and seeing lots of family and friends I had not seen since the pandemic began. I got vaccinated in full in the spring and boosted in November. It made the year safer and more confident to vacation, go to Carowinds, sporting events, cookouts, and the movies
I have continued my writing, reading and #injustdrew movement. I also have found a renewed love for fitness, stress relief and working out. I ballooned back to over 300 again and my blood pressure followed suit. I had to go on medication to get it down enough to pass my DOT certification and donate blood. My goal now is to return to the mid 200s. Short term, I simply want to fit into 2XL clothing, be able to ride the rides at Carowinds and run once again. It’s that and a health thing more than a looks deal.
I lost so many loved ones and extended family this year, some to COVID. These include my cousin G-Baby, Robert Perky, Aunt Margaret, Spoon Davis, Chris “Farley” Blackstone, Lynn Bell (I had my watermelon milkshake in your honor), Fred Mosley, Coach Terry Kiser, Reggie Ross, Mrs. Dorothy Moore, Ernie Spearman, Wanda Bradley, Booger Smith, Uncle Darnell, Cal Dawkins, Jackie Sansing Beattie, Betty Hannah, Coach Steve Wilson, Ted Darr, Jim and Nancy Fitch. Going to these funerals and wakes have been draining. I do know I have more angels watching out for me now.
I got into more personal interests such as properly growing my beard into a downward fashion. It has been a journey but my beard is attractive, full and healthy looking. I have also gotten into painting miniatures which has turned into a fun, stress relieving hobby.
I have still been hanging at Wisefire Cafe frequently. I’m proud that the owner, Thomas Dover, is now DHEC certified for pastries and smoothies, on pace to buy his building and the one next door and still serve great coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Also, I have gotten involved with his spiritual worship group Ekklesia. I haven’t been into regular religion in a while, only spirituality. I have found a place with Ekklesia and I enjoy it.
Career wise, things are coming full circle for me. I had an awesome time and run as a Driver Trainer for Amazon (in my 6th year) and even became a travel trainer. I traveled to train on Amazon’s dime to Charleston, Atlanta, and Northern Georgia. I was recently rewarded for my hard work and prowess with a promotion to Assistant Station Manager in Charlotte at CLT6. I’m very proud and humbled to receive this honor and I’ve been hard at work in training during the company’s busiest time. I even got to travel again and spent a week in Virginia Beach training for my new role. It’s been a great year from that aspect and I look forward to what’s next for me in my Amazon career.
Sports wise, it’s been exciting around my way. Green Bay has still been winning, the New York Knicks have come around. My Atlanta Braves won their first World Series in 26 years. The local Gaffney Indian football team won their first state championship in a decade with an undefeated season. It definitely felt like normal again in the sporting world.
My mom has been receiving more medical attention although I would hope for more. We have completed more home improvement projects but there are more to come. Given all of the friends and family that lost their mother this calendar year, I’m very grateful for mine and cherish her daily.
Homecoming returned to Winthrop University in a limited fashion as I ended up celebrating my 20th anniversary virtually and Homecoming was much smaller minus the popular tailgate. I celebrated 25 years as a Blacksburg High School alum and I helped gather my class for a shindig. Overall it was one of many events that I enjoyed. My aunt Betty turned 80 this year and overall I got to see more of my family on both sides due to milestones and other events.
I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season (Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, and Happy New Year). Let’s continue to cherish and love each other and make 2022 as great as we can!
#imjustdrew #fromdarktosunshine #scaredeyes