2020…you were the most generous slice of hell that no one I asked for, and in a sick way, I thank you. My irresponsible side has flipped you a colossal bird, but I am not too good to give you the snarkiest thank you.
2020 was oddly symmetrical in triumph and tragedy. 2021 has to be the year of absorbing all you are and improving. We all received the redundant reminder that we are not invincible, even when our superheroes pass on and we have remnants of the capes hoping we can someday fly like them. In between those that crave oppression and others that are exasperated by it. 2020, you made me tired of the world and made me weary of myself. Pandemic pauses caused my depression to play in a loop of damning routine. Sleep, stare outside, clean my body and my home, sleep, eat, loathe, sleep again, my God...I did this majority of last year, too.
If you were expecting this to be a guide, please stay because we all need to face the ugly truth about ourselves, and I had to face it about myself. We probably found therapy in memes that helped us sift through our mosaic of broken dreams, empty promises, and dysfunction in familial and intimate relationships.
I read books until my brain hurt, wrote until my hand cramped up, and sat in my own shadow as the sun beamed through my window. I painted and found relief in another form of art. Blues, reds, and burnt oranges making canvases succulent in view. Though I found pleasure in this new hobby, however, I still found myself feeling incomplete. I enrolled in school to pursue my education and kept myself busy, but I faced a hard pill that we all needed to swallow. New ventures can act as a form of procrastination.
2021, make me and others like me have a bang. No, not the bang from your obnoxious neighbors above your apartment, things breaking in your home, and whatever else comes to mind. But, a real bang. 2021 has to be our year of healing and comforting our bs. How many times a day do you look at your phone, ignoring the minutes pass you by? Thanks to my phone updating me on my activity, my screen time went down 43%. That was a start. I am starting to grow distant from my phone because I can live my life responsibly and manage myself properly. Staying in the house, I stopped looking at my responsibilities as chores. We all know the phrase "If you know better, do better." Why is better such a task that we complain about having?
Stop asking for better if you know you're not ready for it. We all wish that we could get paid for posting on social media and, hell, get paid for just waking up. We all see ourselves at the bottom of a social ladder we built and can't afford to climb. Hear me out before you start talking about the elite; trust me, I don't support elitism.
When I mention the social ladder we built, think about the social media influencers we've made famous. Check out your favorite gossip page and scroll to see a face you don't recognize. Just like you, I've asked the question: "Who the f*ck is this?" We made people famous that have not one lick of talent and when they give us a taste of what they have to offer, we are rarely surprised with what they bring. The standard is to have a common body type that Sarah Baartman was ridiculed for having or people who say a phrase and they are famous. No shade, just truth.
Like many of us, we sat and made TikTok's; or watched them. I went to Instagram, Snapchat, then to Facebook, checked the weather in Bora Bora, and back to the missed text messages we forgot to respond to. Jeez, don't let me get started on the phone having no notifications, and I check my phone in public to combat my social anxiety.
Lady, please, give me six feet. I'm just checking the stock market to see what I could've made had I invested in Tesla.
I sat back and wrote down what I achieved on a random week. I passed another class, lost a couple of pounds, read a book (ok, I lied the chapters for my upcoming class), and I went out and jogged a full lap at the track. Pretty cool. Though I made some accomplishments, I realized to kick that ladder over and build my own. The one thing I had to grasp was the truth of me accepting myself and being my best self. Birkins and BussIt challenges. Dances and depression. Shots of alcohol and pills of harsh reality. Social media and the things we engage in make us create a hole of damaging and unnecessary criticisms that we impose on ourselves daily. And for what?
I had to say screw it and make my first Facebook live because I told myself I wasn't pretty enough, and I had to tell myself to STFU. 2020 was the year we needed to realize we can be our own worst enemy. 2021, be your best damn friend and don't apologize for it.
We all have a best friend that tells us what we need and want to hear. Tell yourself what you need to hear. Don't let the voices of those that doubted you or projected their failures onto you infiltrate a real moment between you and you.
Do this: write down the best version of yourself. I don't care if they are Beyonce famous or wealthy like Bill Gates. Write down the traits of that version of you, own that part of you. And imagine what they would say if they saw you right now.
And let me do this favor for you: no, they are not calling you worthless. Nor a failure, or stupid. No. They are not saying you can't do something. Take that out immediately.
After that, draw a ladder and write down how you feel now at the bottom and as you go up the rungs, write down improvements and what you believe would help you get to the top. Be specific, be vague. Do what makes you comfortable. Even in writing, it feels good to go up. If you can effortlessly embody all that you are at the bottom, what's stopping you from being the person at the top?
You do the same thing with social media. You want your followers to go up. The more followers, the more you climb up the social ladder, right? Do yourself a favor, kick the ladder over. Whatever kick you choose, kick it down.
We were ordered to social distance to keep ourselves safe.
Not social distance to lose ourselves.
Get yourself back and be your best damn self.
You built your ladder, remember?
Climb that ladder.
Love yourself differently.
Love yourself better than you did last year.
Even if it exhausts you, keep climbing.
Though in different areas, I know in a better place in mind and spirit,
We'll see each other at the top.
Here's to 2021.
Here's to you for climbing.