2020 has definitely been a roller coaster of a year. If it were a movie, we wouldn’t have believed all the emotional twists and turns we witnessed. I’m still not sure if we would classify it as a horror, a science fiction fantasy, or a psychological thriller- all I do know is, I’ve never been more excited to see its finale.
As we look ahead with the hope that 2021 will bring new energy and change, I sat down and thought about some of the things we need to leave right here in 2020.
After surviving this tumultuous year, I realized I deserved the reward of setting myself free from a lot of things I suffered through. So I’m packing only the most essential items to take with me on the journey to a happy and healthy 2021.
I know it’s a buzz term but let’s leave Toxic Relationships behind for the new year. If 2020 has taught us anything- it’s that we really need to make the best of our precious lives however we can. No one should have time for the toxicity of relationships that drain them. We all have so many bigger battles. If something no longer serves you, let it go. That goes for friendships, romantic relationships, jobs, or family members. If you are “putting in work” and not seeing your efforts reciprocated- do yourself a favor and see yourself out.
2020 was supposed to be the year of “clear vision,” so why do so many of us still believe we aren’t qualified or deserving of all of our heart’s desires. Why can’t we see that we really can make our wildest dreams come true? Let this be the last year you let that negative voice in your head keep you from building your dreams into reality. Self-doubt has stifled so many of us for way too long. After surviving a global pandemic, unprecedented unemployment rates, and a country on the brink of civil war- where you take yourself in the new year is entirely up to you. So you have to believe that you can do and accomplish anything! Stop playing small and dream BIG.
It’s seriously time to stop fake activism. We as members of society and, more importantly, as consumers, need to stop letting multimillion-dollar brands and corporations get away with patronizing hashtags and specially targeted P.S.A.’s that don’t really do anything concrete to help our demographic or our causes. Instead of black boxes on social media, let’s demand more black voices in rooms making decisions about how these brands can better serve our communities. And for the influencers who love to get a photo op of themselves doing something to remain “trendy,”instead-do the research and help educate your audience on how they can equip themselves to be agents that affect real change. Use your voice to hold brands accountable instead of just helping them sell their wares and collecting those checks.
Burnout and fatigue:
The biggest thing I’m leaving in 2020 is the burnout and mental fatigue that has been this year! When the lockdown started in March, I had just started a new corporate gig 3 weeks before. Thanks to self-doubt, I worried about job security. I overworked myself just to prove that I could be just as effective as I was in the office- while working from home. What I didn’t anticipate was how long this lockdown would be and how far apart I would spread myself amongst all my many other responsibilities, not to mention the state of the world around me. Watching the constant barrage of trauma porn every night on my television and devices gave me a new level of anxiety. I realized that by the time this is over, I may have put myself in a position of such extreme fatigue that I wouldn’t have the energy to return to any type of “normalcy.” I desperately needed to stop and reset and not feel guilty about it. So now, I say no to extra work and impossible deadlines. I log off. I put my devices on DND and turn on my OOF responses in order to make time for myself to relax. Now I am as steadfast about my self-care and mental health as I am about meeting work deadlines.
Let’s join hands and rejoice because, in 2021, we will finally be rid of the malignancy that has been this man’s presidency. The divisiveness, the ineptitude, and the turmoil we’ve all been exposed to for the last four years is about to end. For so many of us who watched the political circus in amazement and anger, we finally have a chance to take back our own power and rebuild the country on better terms for us all.
These are just a few of the things I’m happily leaving behind in 2020. Hopefully, we can add this dreaded COVID-19 to the list at some point as well. But as we all prepare to “level up,” let’s remember, when you pack light, you go further and soar higher. So be intentional about your self-care, your mental health, your growth, and your happiness. Can’t wait to see you all on the other side.