2022 was one of the most incredible years of my life. I traveled extensively and visited Prague, Paris, Versailles, Luxembourg, and several cities in Germany, including Bitburg, Berlin, and Trier. In the US, Matt and I went to Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and California (Los Angeles, Los Olivos, and Solvang) and took a road trip from Memphis to Miami. I traveled to New York City twice for work and later back to California for a work conference.
I finally celebrated my birthday, which falls on Bastille Day, in Paris, and it was a birthday to remember. Not only have I been trying to celebrate my birthday in Paris for years, but I also got engaged to my love.
There we were: on a rooftop in Paris, with uninterrupted views of the Eiffel Tower and the glow of fireworks lighting up the night sky. My knees almost gave out beneath me. My heart was pounding; time moved in slow motion. I was already overwhelmed with the happiness of achieving my dream of a Parisian birthday, so my happy heart nearly burst when I realized what was happening.
2022 was also the year I met some incredible people, including “Her Deepness” Sylvia Earl; Jennifer Morris, CEO of The Nature Conservancy; and Katherine Brown, the 38th governor of Oregon. Talk about inspiring women!
I saw Jon Batiste perform and actually had a brief chat with him. I sang at the top of my lungs at an Alanis Morissette concert and had my mind blown when I went to see Neil deGrasse Tyson speak about his new book Starry Messenger.
With regard to work, I had the opportunity to help plant a thousand mangroves with the Nature Conservancy Florida, attend the Neuroscience Conference in San Diego, make my fourth Spanish TV appearance, and design the front cover of the Chamber Orchestra of New York’s 15th anniversary program! I also learned some incredible new things with my Air Force job. I am also excited about what is to come for the Betancourt Group in 2023!
The holidays were a wonderful time. Matt, my mom, and I flew to Memphis to spend Thanksgiving with Matt’s parents. Art Basel and Miami Art Week arrived quickly after, and December was another month filled with activities with friends and family. By Christmas, Matt and I wanted nothing more than to relax at home and catch our breath. After more than a dozen cities, four countries, and countless other amazing things I can’t possibly recap without taking hours to do it, slowing down for the last week of the year has been exactly what we needed.
With New Year’s Eve just a few days away, my favorite thing to do now is to reflect on the outgoing year and think about what I want to achieve in 2023. I also like to journal about the reminders life sent my way this year, and I would like to share some of those here.
- Life doesn’t always go as planned. If this phrase were a song, it would be the theme song for 2022. I set out to do a lot this year, and I did do many things, but not necessarily the things I had intended. At the start of the year, I set out to read a substantial number of books. Did I reach my goal? Nope. But I still read more than I imagined I could, considering how busy my schedule got. More about this goal in an upcoming post.
- Embrace the uncertainty. I haven’t always been the best at dealing with uncertainty, but this year taught me to lean into the unknown more confidently by making space for my feelings, journaling, and being more open with my loved ones.
- Movie-like proposals really do happen! I am still beside myself at the fact that Matt devised an elaborate plan to propose to me in Paris and delivered one of the best surprises of my life. It was a scene out of a Hallmark movie. The clip I posted on IG doesn’t do the moment justice.
- Keep going with the things you want to achieve. I know how corny that sounds, but I constantly need this reminder. I have wanted to celebrate my birthday in Paris for years, and the timing was always off, but I kept going. If you have something you want to do, fight for it. Do the thing.
- And speaking of doing things, this year reminded me that time waits for no one. We must set out to do what we feel in our hearts. Open your heart to love, travel, and move toward your career goals; whatever it is, do it. This is a big reminder I am taking with me into 2023.
Here are a few more pictures I loved from 2022. More on my IG and other blog posts.