What I (Un)learned in 2020
I know, I know! We all said that we'd never speak of 2020 ever again, but can we really not speak on the year that we all learned to adapt in conditions that we only thought would happen in the movies? 2020 was the year that we lost EVERYTHING. figuratively, physically, mentally, emotionally. It was gut wrenching and hard to stomach as we watched our brothers and sisters gunned down in the streets and in the comfort of their own homes. We watched as the Covid-19 ravaged it's way through the country (and the world), claiming over 800,000+ lives in the US alone, and to top it off, we had to sit back and watch a HEARTLESS, excuse of a president spew hatred and propaganda with his speeches and tweets. If I had to choose one word for 2020, on a global scale, it would be: numb.
Isn't that how it felt, though? One major event after another happening back to back every single day was exhausting. There lies the beauty of the year as a whole, though. Being in a world wide lock down granted us the time to slow down and really get to know ourselves on a larger scale. As stated in my last post, if the only thing you achieved was surviving, then I applaud you. Especially if you did it alone. I'm so proud of you and you are worthy of this beautiful life, but if you were forced to stare yourself in the eyes in 2020, you probably uncovered some ugly and scary parts that you didn't know or forgot existed. The things that most would only see if they hired a therapist.
That's where I grew the most, but to get to my current state of mind, I had to unlearn the things that got me to that point. It wasn't easy, and I'm still (un)learning to this day, but I'm writing this so that you, my sweet reader, can grow and learn (or unlearn) with me.
No Mo' Deebo!
If you're familiar with the movie 'Friday,' then you know about Deebo. What does he have to do with anything? I'll tell you! I stopped allowing the people who were considered as "main characters" in my life bully me out of my chain. In this case, the chain is my voice. I stopped letting people bully me, regardless of who they are, or what they feel as though they've "done" for me. Don't stretch out your hand and then hold it over my head to guilt me into doing things for you. Don't try to persuade me into thinking a certain way just because you feel that I "owe" you in some way. What they've found out now is that my words cut like the brick that Craig threw at Deebo's head in the fight scene. It's effective communication, I promise, but what's basically being told to anyone on the receiving end is this, "...in the future, if you aren't able to communicate with me in an effective way that doesn't demean or invalidate my feelings and opinions, I will no longer be speaking with you." This is exact verbiage I've used with someone and they completely understood. Sometimes, you really just have to say what on your mind for people to understand.
Self Care Ain't Selfish
I PAMPERED myself in 2020, chile!!! I'm not gonna even lie about it! I took more bubble bathes than I've ever taken. Maybe once every other week. Not trying to throw off my pH. Ladies, yall know what I'm talking about...but I made sure to soak these bones, baby. Sometimes I'd watch a full length movie, listen to music, meditate with my stones, or just sit in silence, when I could, because you know, kids! Every soak was an experience, though. I completely enjoyed the time I set aside for my body soaks. I would add in essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus or tea tree oil when I was sore, but no matter what I always kept in mind that this is MY time and I am worthy of peace and quiet.
Authority Doesn't Mean Aggression
I use to always think to be in an authoritative role, you had to also be an aggressive person...at least, that's what I've experienced with people in authority all of my life. What I've learned being an esthetics educator is not all authority is demanding and forceful. My role as an educator is to enforce the rules, yes, but also to lead with light, positivity, and love. You don't have to be a dictator to earn the respect of people. You can be kind and have a heart filed with love. There is where true authority lies. Being a leader doesn't mean you have to be demanding anymore than being assertive means you have to be aggressive.
Letting Go Ain't As Hard As You Think
Trust me sis, I'm a Scorpio rising. If there is one thing I can do, is let it TF go! Recently, I had to come to grips that not all friendships are two-way streets. I held on to a "friendship" way longer than I should have. As a result, my feelings got hurt and I was made to look like a fool, when all he had to do is just open his mouth and be honest about his situation. So what did I (un)learn? Stop placing significance on people that refuse to see your value. Never under value yourself! Remember that they are the one that lost a friend, not you! Excuse my French, but let that shit go, babes. You have to be Queen Elsa to some stuff and what we don't need is the bullshit!
Save the Drama Yo Mama!
Listen! If you're the type of person that thrives off drama, I'm sorry, but you may need therapy. In a sense, that's kind of why I started therapy back in 2019. I realized that drama and grief were things that I was accustomed to in my life. Experiencing loss, whether it be from the loss of a friendship, or relationship, or family member, when you don't have those things in your life anymore, you can feel a bit uneasy. It's almost like your anxiety is on high alert and you're waiting for the next big disappointment. So how did I (un)learn to stop letting my anxiety get the best of me? Well, that's still a work in progress, but with more meditation and "me" time, I've learned how to tell my anxiety to stop in it's tracks so that I can have time to process.
There you have it! A few things I (un)learned in the year 2020. As hard as it was to make it through, damn it, we made it, and for that, I think we need to be celebrated. Some of us had a harder time than others, but if you're sitting here reading this, know that you are loved and are worthy to be here. Until next time, babes.