With March 2020 bringing on the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in many ways the word “unprecedented” became the word of choice. For 2021 and me personally that word still fits.
In a way, the last 3 ish years have been rather unprecedented for me personally and professionally. For context:
August 2019: we got married (yaaaay!). Now FF to the new year.
March 16, 2020: California goes into lockdown (AKA “shelter in place”). Everything shuts down except essential errands (i.e. for most grocery stores). At the same time, my employment with Macy’s Tech was coming to its anticipated end since the company announced the office closure by the end of Q1.
June 2020: Both Glenn and I were jobless and paying upwards of $3K in San Francisco apartment rent waiting for the world to pull itself together, jobs to come back, answers to come…the only thing that became certain was that we couldn’t afford to (financially shouldn’t) stay in the Bay Area if neither of us had a reliable income. We had family currently residing in Kentucky that we’d planned on moving closer to at some point down the line, at the time we thought, “why not now?” So we started packing.
July 2020: In an unprecedented move as newlyweds, we literally drove across the country and started our new life in Louisville, KY and began job hunting. Everything locally was remote until further notice. In many ways, it’s a good thing I’ve been working from a laptop since college since I figured I’d at least be able to secure a remote job in some form or fashion. We continue to mask up around family and socially distance (remember vaccines weren’t available to the general public until 2021).
October 2020: I got a blessing in disguise in the form of a job offer. A fully remote role to join the team at Sears Parts Direct, the e-commerce arm of Sears Holdings, which is the parent company of the retail chain stores Kmart and Sears.
February 11, 2021: Kentucky gets a very unique winter day. It rained the night before and the water was frozen to everything. We had to chisel the car doors open. It fun to explore and beautiful to experience but I silently affirmed this is why I don’t live in Antarctica.
April 2021: It’s finally our shot; vaccines become more widely available to the general public. The moment I feel the needle and the tiny pain prick in my arm I become flooded with emotion and relief. As we exit, I can’t help but take in the sight: the hallway walls are lined with small posters of the reasons different people chose to get vaccinated. Those with “family” on it resonated most with me. It still amazes me we’re living through something like this in our lifetime.
May 2021: We attend our first in-person event for the Kentucky Derby (which was postponed from last year due to COVID). It’s outdoors and we have a fabulous time sipping mint juleps and strolling around the Paristown Hall venue. My two big highlights of the day were getting to meet the local Wave 3 weather team that organized the event and cheer loudly in public for the horse named “Soup and Sandwich.” It becomes clear I need to start building out my hat collection.
June 2021: Miraculously, we close on a house that’s also nearby to where my brother and his family live in the area. I knew saving for and purchasing a home were a big deal but yet again in unprecedented-like fashion it became an even bigger deal during a global pandemic. Housing demand skyrocketed due in part to supply and demand. Couples at home with families needed more space and working couples left major cities for, you guessed it, more space and the opportunity to be geographically closer to family. We felt incredibly fortunate to be in such a position. If you’re in the KY market for a great realtor, I know a gal.
August 2021: Ok, dream job alert! I received an offer and officially joined the SEO team at Under Armour. It’s a fully remote role and I’m alongside other seasoned professionals with technical and content disciplines, respectively. In many ways this role would not have been possible had it not been for the pandemic and (ahem, unprecedented) ways in which it fundamentally transformed remote work and talent acquisition.
November – December 2021: We finish up a number of home improvement projects mostly on the exterior. The best part has been leveling the back patio area for an outdoor above ground fire pit. When the weather is nice, and honestly even when it’s not, we enjoy a fire out back.
While it’s a relatively quiet month for me at home, I realize the larger outside world continues to be buffeted by a number of threats from supply chain shortages, climate change, racial injustice, workplace staffing shortages, the Omicron variant of COVID…take your pick. Not that I needed any more reasons to be incredibly grateful for everything and everyone in my life, but again, in unprecedented like fashion, one materialized. It had been unseasonably warm in Kentucky this winter, and on the evening of December 10th an F4 tornado touched down in the south western part of the state. It left behind a trail 200 miles long of devastation leveling houses and businesses.
At this point, I’m really hoping that’s all the unprecedented events for 2021 because it has been another crazy year. I’m ready to move on and do what I can to help others get their power back.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”Jane Goodall
If you’re interested and able, here is the official link to donate to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund