Updated: Jan 1
As 2020 begins to wind down I do what I do every year and look back on how this year has treated me. For the most part it has been pretty good, it has been reflective, given me a lot of foresight and the ability to see things more clearly. Which is funny because 2020 is normally associated with vision and it literally gave me that clarity.
I didn't have any intentions or goals for 2020, the only thing I strived for was love in all forms, which I wished for on my previous Birthday and luckily I received that but I didn't have any goals for the upcoming year and maybe as to why I wasn't too upset with how the year went. That isn’t to say it was easy, I mean I was still upset and I really struggled.
I have been reflecting on a lot of things these last few weeks of 2020 and lots of things have come up for me. From beginning to end, I have been at my happiest, happier than I've ever known. My childhood was hard and I was in a constant state of hypervigilance, always on the edge and it felt like everything just went wrong and got worse and worse. The years leading up to 2020 has been me in survival mode and I truly suffered; I found a piece I had written about my teens and it brought me back to that time. I felt all the pain that had been inflicted on me and it reminded me about how happy I am now and also how grateful for where I am at currently.
2020 has shown me a lot, I have been made aware of how annoying humans are, how much work the Black community have to do, but also how amazing and how hard I have worked to get where I am today. My self determination is second to none! I never give up and that, I would say is one of my favourite traits about myself, even in the times of darkness and pain I kept going. 2020 has brought me so many gifts that I am thankful for and I will not join the bandwagon and say that 2020 is the worst year of my life. It has been a truly testing one for us, and I appreciate that so many people have well and truly suffered this year, however being inconvenienced is not the end of the world. It isn't ideal, but there are definitely worse situations that we could be in.
That is something that I want to note too, I know that everyone experiences things differently, however (and I would not say this to someone in distress) but some of you need to hear that there are people who have it worse than you. Lot's of people screaming and making demands were comfortable, with a roof over their head, family, food in their fridges and cupboards, bills paid and/or financially stable, working from home or could stay home, safe and screamed how hard their lives were and to add to the screaming was chants of "stay at home" "wear masks" and whatever nonsense internet warriors were screaming, with zero thought on how these words affected others (especially essential workers) and what was actually happening outside.
If you went outside you would see what was actually happening and not the biased pictures from the media or the internet performers begging for attention. The inconsiderate chants and the self righteous attitudes were to say the least, insufferable!
That leads me to what I realised this month: I realised a lot of things about our (Black) community, we need DEEP healing, the elitism and classism within our community (which I have been very vocal about previously but it's making more and more sense now), the inability to hold oneself to account, the scarcity mindsets that we have, we still live in slavery- we have house & fields niggas the same way (currently writing about this in a different piece), the hierarchical mindset that we have adopted via white supremacy and so on.
I also gained clarity on society itself, my understanding of liberalism a little more and how it is a virus and extremely detrimental to Black liberation. A campaign moving solely on buzzwords and chastising people who don't agree and doing absolutely nothing for anyone. It is very cultish and if you do not agree or repeat word for word what they are doing, you will be bullied until kingdom come. I experienced them a few years ago and it kept me silent for a very long time, until this month whilst watching a live by @AfricaBrooke (on instagram) and messages from spirit from Che Alexander @negratienesazon please make sure that you are following them both and if you are a holistic, spiritual mama (or papa) like me, Che will gather your life with love!
My ethos is community and community care, liberalism and the cult of "do as I say" or you are a bigot is the exact opposite of that! I do not want any parts and I will not be manipulated into doing that. My aversion to that political framework is more than just the lack of substance but mostly because of the abusive nature and similarities to white supremacy. There is zero self accountability or self reflection and I wish people would hold up the mirror to their behaviour.
These reflections have made me realise how well I have been doing and how much my voice is needed, 2020 has given me the confidence that I have always needed and this isn't to say that I am not scared as shit but I am much more comfortable with losing people and standing in my truth.
This year has been good to me because I got to experience life without racism front and centre, it hasn't gone away obviously, but the world slowed down in a such a way that white people could only do so much harm to us. I was reminded of this when going to the library at 15-20 minutes before closing. I was only going to be 5 minutes max as I just wanted to use the computer to request a book, where I was met by an angry white woman (who also happened to be gay- being straight passing is so fun!) being passively aggressively rude to me. It was interesting cause after I explained what I wanted to do, she just made the exchange longer and unnecessary. The library wasn't closed and I know she's one of those people who go into retail stores at 2 minutes to closing and demands service. This incident severely upset and triggered me, it messed with my mental health but it reminded me of how much I didn't have to deal with this as I've been at home for the most part.
I also found running, which when my body isn't trying to take me out, is a very enjoyable experience, aside from the white people. My favourite thing about where I run aside from nature is the fact that it is predominantly white people but I can be free to call them and their behaviour out. Reflecting back, I've had a lot of issues with white people around that area including on xmas day when I almost got ran over by a cyclist...But I keep going back and fighting for my space because my area like many in London has been colonised (aka gentrified) by rich white people who want to take over and "help" the poor coloured people by being there and taking up space; me and my one woman party will not let that happen!
I also found how beautiful my area is and I found new ways to walk, new things to see, I went to the park often and didn't feel out of place (my social anxiety fading away but still so present).
I found strength and resilience within myself and I learned detachment. I found the real me, that hadn't had the chance to see light, who had to stay hidden and out of the way because she shone too brightly and made others feel bad about themselves. I found out that that is other peoples problem and not mine. I found myself looking in the mirror of the things I was accusing others and realising that I was doing the same. I found things that I dislike and won't tolerate, like simple minded people and people who enjoy constant pity parties and refuse to do any self development work.
This year has been good to me and just because it didn't go the way I thought that it would, I am thankful and grateful for the experience. Thank you 2020 and I hope that it continues into 2021, although my expectations are currently very low!