The start of ’22 has seen lots of self declarations of people’s “word of the year”. One of the most inspiring I’ve seen is in the beautiful book by Paula Sutton, Hill House Vintage. (I bought this book for my Mum for Xmas and read the whole thing myself on Boxing Day.) Her word is “Yes” – and it meant a lot me.
By making “Yes” her word, Paula has committed to following any opportunity that comes her way.
Not overthinking things. And not planning things too far ahead. Just going for it.
It got me thinking about what I want out of 2022. And I think my word is going to be “growth”. Here are the reasons why.
It’s impossible to list the ways I’ve grown since I started writing Oo! That’s A Bit Racey! I’ve learnt so much, widened my outlook, broadened my network and my book shelves have grown to the point of groaning. I’ve still got a long way to go on this anti-racist journey. I don’t think anyone can ever fully master the world of diversity and inclusion, because you can never understand each and every person’s experience. So to make a difference, I commit to continue growing. For me, that means continuing to learn and take action. Sometimes it’s hard. 2021 had its challenges, and I learnt the importance of self care. So, personal growth for me is also about understanding myself more, and growing in a healthy way.
Towards the start of my antiracism journey I committed to “Buying Black” with my post Black is the new Black. I’ve read many, many amazing books by Black authors that have helped me feel seen and enabled me to step into others’ shoes. I’ve also rocked some wonderful clothes by Black designers that have made me feel bold and confident. I’d like to put my money where my mouth is more this year. So there’s another area of growth for me to look forward to in 2022.
Hit me up with your recommendations of Black businesses please!
Nottingham is a vibrant, creative, diverse and energetic city. It’s full of incredible people doing great things every day. It’s also a city that’s full of challenge – we have some of the highest levels of deprivation and illiteracey in the country. In 2022 I’d like to do my part in supporting my community to grow. Being a Nottingham Unesco City of Literature Trustee gives me a great opportunity to help others “build better futures” through making literature more accessible and helping to improve the city’s levels of literacey.
Working with Real Talk TV is another avenue that will help me to celebrate some of the inspirational people of our city, and help them grow too. Sharing the achievements of real people is one of the most powerful ways to help others believe in themselves.
Talk, Talk, Talk
And of course – what I really, really want is to get more people talking about race – having meaningful conversations about racial justice, building up their confidnece to face into what they learn, generating a commitment to doing something about society’s inequalities. I know how hard it is. There are still many conversations that I find difficult to be part of. But talk builds knoweldge, And knowledge drives action. So I still stand by my pledge to keep chatting, and to bring others along with me.
What is your word for 2022? I’d love to hear from you. Whatever it is, I hope it’s one that brings you the personal growth you’re looking for. I hope it helps you achieve your goals. And remember – goals don’t have to be big – they only have to be meaningful. Good luck! And I hope 2022 is a very good year for all of us.
(Ps – I’ve been bleating on about myself for these last few blogs. Next up will be an interview with someone else – you’re probably getting a bit tired of my voice. And conversations are supposed to involve more than one voice aren’t they?!)