2021: The Year of Breakthrough — Thank you for everything!

Maya Angelou

Thank you to all of you! A sacred bow to each of you for your continued support and for reading this today. You make me feel alive and believe in myself everyday. Grateful for you in my life.

This month was full of uncertainty, and I am not sure where the road will lead. And I may not know what’s next for a while, but I am getting comfortable with the uncertainty and ambiguity. Taking it one day at a time.

This is probably the toughest decision to listen to my body signals and take care of myself. It’s never easy to resign from a job and not know how to have a plan forward.

Few weeks ago, I knew I was not myself, wasn’t sleeping and I needed to take care. I wanted to make sure that I was okay. So I took a leap of faith and I gave my resignation. It all happened so quickly, I couldn’t quite process what happened.

And the next day, I felt like I had that everyone down. And the truth is deep inside, I had let myself down.

My inner council kept saying: How could you let this happen again?

The blackout and the fall in Chicago, made it real and the scar on my face will remind me every day that I need to take care of myself. That stress and anxiety with the job isn’t worth it.

I set out to do the same and uncover what happened. I was overwhelmed. I was trying to solve too many problems at once. I know that’s not my strength. And it took me down. I was not sleeping and I was struggling to make the day go by and I knew I was not my best self.

On Sunday, when I walked by the art space. I came across this poster on mental health and all I could hear in my head was:

Wait, how did they know? It was like the universe was telling me something.

These three questions probably changed my life. Made me really think who I am and what I want to be.

Artspace: Mental Health

As simple as these questions are, the answers go deep. Try it out and share with the world.

What does mental health mean to you?

Mental health is everything. I want to be the change I want to see in the world, break the stigma on mental health and be a voice for the unspoken. I am committed to self-publish my first ebook in Dec 2021 — A broken teacup: Filling the cracks with mindfulness, essentialism and self-care.

What makes me happy?

The little joys of life make me happy: eating a pastry, seeing a butterfly, walking amidst the green trees, drinking hot chocolate, matcha or turmeric latte, enjoying Royce chocolate, trying new cuisines and restaurants, catching up with friends and sharing our stories of life, taking the time to be unbusy and appreciate life as it is in the moment.

And of course mentoring: It’s the best thing that has happened and my way of helping others be their best.

How do I feel physically, emotionally and spiritually?

And how do I feel right now..

Physically.. I finally went to the gym for a self reflection ride after many weeks of being tired and exhausted, unable to wake up on time. And that felt good, and I know I need to exercise more. I know I should eat healthy but sometimes I don’t want to anymore. I’m conscious that I’m growing old and that I should take care of my health.

Emotionally.. I was drained last week, and didn’t have any energy left.. Today I feel a bit more alive. Even though I don’t have a job, somehow I’m okay.

I know our work is everything and every conversation starts with “where do you work”, but honestly I don’t care.

I am going to do what makes me happy even if it doesn’t pay like mentoring.

Spiritually.. I need to get back to where I was. I’m still in the discovery phase trying to find myself. I’m still afraid I’m not sure what the future holds for me. I want to believe that the universe has a plan and I need to just go with the flow and stop worrying or worrying that my parents are worried about me.

I want to take my days slowly and the job felt demanding with unrealistic expectations that I couldn’t keep up with. No matter what I did, I felt like I was not going to succeed.

I want to succeed on my own terms, I wanted to be happy and alive and excited every day about what I do. Fast forward to today, a few weeks after, I am happy and excited about what I do as my meaningful work. I mentor, read, write, photograph and connect with mindful souls. We share our struggles and experiences as humans around the world.

I did what gives me joy and meaning: walked Lake Johnson and discovered a nature trail and JC Arboretum and appreciating the gorgeous Fall colors in Raleigh, connected with friends and explored new cuisines at restaurants. This is me, fully present and in awe with nature and everything around me. I am alive again with all the positive aura back in my veins.

Thankful and Grateful

Today marks an important day, a day of thanks. And I want to express my gratitude for everything in my life, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I’m grateful to every individual that reached out to me in the past year when I was lost and didn’t even know who I was. Your support means the world to me in ways that words can’t even describe. Just checking in on me to make sure I was doing okay. Thank you!


This year of 2021 is my year of breakthrough.

And guess what? I just read a book called Quarter life breakthrough and I felt like the book made me alive again. Thank you Smiley. You are a gift to the world. Thank you for empowering us lost souls.

This doesn’t happen often but when you read a book and you know this is just the book you need to rise again. I picked up a few books to help show me the way. Thank you Wake county library!

It’s like your fireflies at the peripheral vision showing you where you need to be and lighting the path forward for you.

Today, I finished writing my first ebook on my journey with stress and anxiety. thank you to folks who supported me in this. Much appreciated.

A Broken Teacup: Filling the cracks with mindfulness, essentialism and self-care.

Next step is figuring out how to self-publish an ebook on Dec 21, 2021 (this date is as Div as it could get). I don’t know what it will take to make it happen, but I am ready to trust and see what happens.

The ebook PDF is ready and I’m not going to let perfect be the enemy of good.

If you are interested in a preview or just wanted to say hi, I would love to hear from you, dear friends.

Happy thanksgiving to you and your family. I’m thankful for all my amazing kind and loving friends in Raleigh, who made 2021 a year of discovery and exploration for Div.

Maya Angelou

I’m grateful to the universe for helping me chart a path on the road less traveled and prepare me for the roadblocks ahead.

  • Thank you for all the inspiration from the greenways and the museums to the art spaces and the libraries.
  • Thank you sunshine, for the beautiful walks and for the beauty in simplicity around me. I am fully present in the here and now.

I appreciate you. I’m grateful for you in my life.

Thich Naht Hanh




Inspire | Influence | Impact [Mentor. Author. Explorer.]

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Caretakers of The Mystery

Future: word of death to a child’s mind

Ignore Doomsday Scenarios, Look for the Silver Lining

The outstanding and remarkable qualities of leisure times

When Isolation is the Cure & the Source of our Pain & Dysfunction.

Eleven years later, I’m not afraid of fear.

About Me — Shannon Hugman

Death: Ending or Beginning?

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Div Manickam

Div Manickam

Inspire | Influence | Impact [Mentor. Author. Explorer.]

More from Medium

So What’s the Deal With Trekking Poles? Facing My First Challenge: Elevation

A hiker holding trekking poles stands on a rocky outcropping.

8 experiments that keep me sane working from home

How to Break the Habit of Being Yourself?

Using the Fear of Failure to Succeed