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  • Writer's pictureAnn Yebei

Hello 2023. Goodbye 2022.

Updated: Jan 21

Diary Entry #4: Ending December, Greeting 2023


An overshot of a round light brown plate with 2 scone patries and three, dark, round fruits. Plate is on a bright yellow background (the table) next to a deeper yellow mug full of white milk.
Start on the Right Note!

November and December had been a race with time! My sister and I both completed academic requirements to graduate and were seeking employment for our OPT, which started in January 2023. We acquired job offers in early-mid December, decided, and swiftly booked late tickets to visit home (we’re international students and haven't visited for 3 years now thanks to COVID's lockdown) for the remainder of the holidays.

It was barely 3 weeks long.

I won’t stew over it since I had confidence in long-distance job searching (COVID quarantine era, hello?), and it was my parents wanting to ensure I had employment before leaving US borders. It was a fair concern, that is, the risk of exhausting the 3-months grace of unemployment and travel permits given to post-graduate international students.

January 2023, I started living under my own roof for the first time.


No Longer a Student

A Smile or Laugh Can Never Wrong You

It took me nearly a month to get off this high.

But I’m done! And I let myself have that stage! It’s huge when I really think about it and I avoid being humble about it. My Master of Science in Education degree in Mental Health Counseling is my first higher education diploma. That’s huge. And I have every right to celebrate it. The last few months of school over the summer reminded me of my yet-unexplored capacities, and how the support systems I had around me were a blessing. I appreciated these revelations since they urged me to keep going even if it felt hard in the moment. It will only get easier with time, it says.

Putting aside that this is a marketable-enough level of education to find a job, I’m tired. I’d like to enter a new chapter in my life past academia. In the future, should I find a specialty I’d like a Ph.D. for, I’ll return to the wonderful world of academia.

Until then, ciao.

New Chapter of Life

If I was not looking for a new place to move into or a job, I was creating and consuming content. Some web novels (and social media apps) try my self-control, but overall, overarching adjustments were successful late last year and earlier this year.

Solitude is Healing, Isolation is Slow Poison

1. Every week, I published online content that was useful to me (e.g., moments to remember) or to others (health information, events, reading recommendations, etc.).

2. Every day, I aimed to connect with a friend to check in on how they’re doing and be a source of love and support.

3. Every day, I practiced intentionality in the content I consumed- Do I need it? Am I interested in it? - and questioned if it contributed to my growth. Cleaning out my subscriptions meant I was making the most of my time and data space.

4. Various journaling and meditations practices continued to invest in my spiritual and mental health journey. While I’m no longer a student by formal academic standards, in life, I’m forever learning. This is both a joy and an adventure I don’t mind partaking in for the years to come with myself!


Unemployed and Seeking

Seeking work was a chore! Having friends in the same place had been both motivating and validating. So, consistency and self-accountability were my core focus rather than grumbling about the amount of work that goes into getting hired. If I found an ideal space, great! If not, I’d still learn and grow. (Updates! I am in a compatible job space currently!) I’m aware that I’m a baby in the workforce- there’s only more learn if nothing else- and, God-willing, I have time on my side.

Hello Spring 2023: Practicing the Art of Thriving

On that note, being unemployed means being royally broke. I’d have loved to resume therapy, but it was not happening. I thence only thought to continue my self-care, personal development, and having those meaningful conversations when needed with those around me.


October had been the start of another major transitional period in my life and November was my playtime with National Novel Writing Month, which I intend to reflect on in a different post. I got COVID for the first time in October (it was brief, thank God). I started scheduling experiences to look forward to and I still look forward to creating meaningful memories and things. I was volunteering to contribute to the community and build experiences and memories with new faces and the familiar.

And I was nervous for the future.

Anxiety during times of transition is normal. So, I accompanied myself through the days while practicing support-seeking behavior, because no man is an island. And I had all the world by my side.

Life is a Beautiful Journey...if You Choose So


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