Onward and Upward! | A toast to the new year.

I’ll be brief, since I’m sure countless others have already gone over how tumultuous and trying a year 2020 A.D. has been. Imagine living through a global pandemic, one of the most worrisome presidential elections that many have ever seen – young and old – and, for me, learning the hard way how difficult it is to let go of toxic people who my heart wishes to hold dear.

But 2020 also taught me the value of family, the value of friendship, and my own value as a queer woman and as a black woman. 2020 taught me that my instincts are what I need to follow, and that I must begin to recognize who is and who is not in my peer group.

2020 has shown me that no one is going to truly value me until I recognize my own worth. I received my Bachelors Degree just as I came of age (21 years old), and immediately went into a PhD program after. When I ultimately decided to leave my PhD program – despite the fact that I had amazing grades and was involved in numerous extracurricular activities – it was because I had decided that my department was not one I wished to apprenticed myself to. I didn’t leave because I couldn’t “hack” it, but because I knew my worth.

And now, even through multiple hospitalizations due to my illness, through the pain of recovering from the intellectual trauma of having numerous professors call me incoherent or stupid, through the near terrifying predicament that has been the Biden vs. Trump presidential election – I received my Masters’ in Public Policy as well.

I have always valued myself, though at times it seemed like the better option would have been to submit to the peer pressure from those around me.

Now, with love, I bid adieu to the harsh yet bittersweet lessons of 2020. And I welcome, with a raising of my imaginary glass of bubbly (haha!), the harmonious and abundant energies that 2021 will bring.

Happy Holidays everyone! I can’t wait to see where we go from here.

God bless you, and God bless America.

Featured Photo by Jingda Chen on Unsplash.

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