My 2021 Acceptance Speech

Amanda Miyahira
2 min readJan 3, 2022


Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

“Looking back on this calendar year…” is how a CEO would start her holiday speech, so I’m absolutely going to use analogous language. I call this delusion “manifesting a hyper-specific tax bracket.”

2021 was a year that turned unprecedented times into precedented ones. I write this as Omicron is fingerbanging its way through society, like an overeager freshman trying to catch up to its more experienced peers, Covid-19 and the Delta variant.

Science, as a discipline and community, was once again forthrightly disrespected. And our government, once again, proved itself to be ineffective when dealing with government things, like structural inequality and protecting its most vulnerable people.

But let’s talk about me for 3 minutes.

In 2021, I started to focus on the present, or maybe it was a by-product of Adderall, persistent trauma, and back-to-back work meetings which didn’t allow me to process or think about anything else. “It’s called compartmentalization, Amanda—we should really talk about this,” or whatever my therapist said.

I made space for ideas, people, and habits that made me feel good, and threw a Molotov cocktail at the rest because my energy and time are PRECIOUS. I made strides both professionally and personally, and even formed half of an abdominal muscle—or an umbilical hernia. There’s really no way to know. “I literally have answers for these questions, Amanda,” or whatever my doctor said.

I was vulnerable with people and often met with cruelty, but I learned to forgive without apology and empathize without reciprocation. I also learned that closure isn’t required to move on, but maybe set his car on fire, sis. Just in case. And for those of you who matched my vulnerability with the same energy and with your judgment reserved, you’re the gems in my 2021 coronation tiara, and I appreciate you more than I can ever express.

If 2020 brought blisters, 2021 brought calluses to ease the burden of carrying weight. And if 2022 doesn’t usher in burgeoning muscles, like a goddamn Hemsworth (not Luke), so help me. I’m prepared to greet this new year with the same tenacity and resiliency as the cast of the Expendables with a combined total of 240 years of onscreen, action hero experience.

Insert Chumbawamba song for impact (and to provide contextual information about my age).

I hope this note finds you laughing, loving, and Covid-free—unless you’re Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, specifically. Here’s to 2022—a year with fewer resolutions, but more resolve.

Inspired by Phoebe Robinson’s “2020 Was My Year” Acceptance Speech. Edited by Drew Patty.