Happy New Year to everyone, and a huge thank you to everyone who’s read and supported That’s a Bit Racey this year. It wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without a round-up post….so here are my personal reflections on 2020. It’s going to be tricky to do this without using cliches, but what a year!
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, with all of the isolation, boredom and lethargy that so many of us have felt (and these are the least of the challenges many have sadly had to go through) I’ve found connection, motivation and energy. These are the three words I would like to focus on today, New Year’s Eve 2020. They’re the beautiful positives that have come out of this year for me, and at a time when gratitude is so important, when the simplest of things mean the most, they provide the summary I would like to remember 2020 by.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of chatting with my beloved friend, Scott, who is about to launch a new podcast, Recalibrate, exploring how people stay “connected” in all senses of the word. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own connections, something that’s been at the top of my mind recently, and referenced in my last post, Sisterhood.
I spoke to him about the deeper connections I’ve found with friends and family this year. The increased discourse about race, the self education I’ve been immersed in and my attempts to get more people talking about race, have opened up some incredible conversations, experiences and bonds.
In addition, I’ve discovered new role models and allies. I’m working with some absolutely awe inspiring people both in my day job and my spare time. Individuals I find it hard to believe I didn’t know, or know in the same way, before this year.
And of course, I have adored discovering the many connections I’ve made between the pages of books, on the scroll of my bookstagram feed and through the authors who’ve opened my eyes.
Is there anyone who hasn’t had a period of lockdown lethargy this year? When you just lost motivation to do things you normally love, or normally do automatically? And you just wanted to sit around drinking wine in your PJs?
But, in the same breath, I have to ask, is there anyone out there who, like me, reflected on the world around them and realised a few things?
These are of course rhetorical questions. I can hear many voices answering “yes” to both.
I’ve seen some amazing creativity this year. New businesses, new networks, new ways of working, new passions.
For me personally, I realised how privileged I am, and how challenged so many others are in terms of racial prejudice. I made self-education a priority and the more I learnt, the more I felt the need to do something from my humble corner of the world. I’ve been inspired to move out of my comfort zone and to broaden my circle of influence little bit by little bit.
This blog was born, a new role emerged for the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and my day job took on an additional dimension. I’m challenged, rewarded and encouraged by all of it, and will always be grateful for the positives that have come out of the difficult histories and current events I’ve learnt about.
OMG. My energy has certainly waxed and waned hugely this year, for reasons I’m sure everyone can relate to. But the connections I speak about, and the motivation I’ve found to “be the change I want to see in the world” has been a vital source of energy for me.
Of course rest is important too. And taking refuge in the quiet moments of 2020 has been a source of energy too. I haven’t read this much in years. As well as learning and growing through what I’ve read, I’ve also recharged. I’ve spent A LOT of time with the cats, and woken up with a book on my lap many, many times.
Reading is a comfort. It’s also a catalyst. Its power can never be underestimated.
And the truth is, this year, I’ve found something bigger than myself, bigger than my daily routine, and it’s energised me. Blimey, there’s a lot still to do, but my friends, family, colleagues, role models and cheer leaders give me the impetus to keep going, little by little. And I’ll lend my voice to all those trying to find their creative voices, their inner activism, and a better world through 2021 too.
So that’s it from me in 2020. From the bottom of my heart I wish you all a safe, positive and hopeful 2021. I’m here to chat, I’m here to help, and I can’t thank you enough for joining me on this journey.
Goodbye 2020, good riddance and thank you – all at the same time.