Per my previous work, I have waxed poetic about how shitty of a year 2018 has been for me. 2018 has tested my physical, mental, social, and financial well-being. I have written a lot about 2018 and its shittiness, but on this 363rdday of 2018 (which I am writing this), I would like to recognize some of the accomplishments of 2018; and, believe it or not, there were quite a few accomplishments in 2018 across the board. 2018 may forever be a shitty year, but it was also the year of Black panther (Wakanda Forever!), Cardi B, Michelle Obama’s “Becoming,” and black & minority politics kicking ass and taking names. And, to be honest, that is a pretty good place to start.
2018 has led to many great cultural paradigm shifts in arts & entertainment, politics & policy, technology, social justice, education, economics & finance, religion, health, and just about any facet of life. There have been too many to count and increasing number of blacks, women, and other minorities are at the forefront leading these changes — and getting the recognition. I pray that these positive trends continue to be the beacon of continuous long-term progress of society. We must continue to do our part to contribute to the long arc of social progress, even if current times seem bleak; we must learn from these mistakes, correct them, and, most importantly, not repeat them.
This year has seen a lot of growth from my friends and family. Of note, my Mom retired from her job after 35+ years and is living her best life spending those retirement checks. In addition, I have friends who have done some amazing things as well such as: getting engaged or married, having children, getting a new job, leaving a bad job, go independent and start their own business, mentoring and teaching children, getting elected or reelected to public office, serving their communities or churches or social organizations, joining a fraternity or sorority (there’s only one choice for fraternity…SIGMA), join a church or professional organization, win a sports championship, travel the world, sell their own art, buy a house, buys a car, fight an illness, end an addiction, seek counseling and therapy, repair a relationship, end a toxic relationship, help a stranger, and many other great things large and small. These accomplishments by friends and family should all be properly reflected upon and be recognized because they all matter, and they matter to me. I am grateful to have been there for your or to support you from afar.
For myself, I have a couple accomplishments that I am grateful for in 2018. I am thankful and proud to have resumed my writing and to be able to share my thoughts and feelings with you and receive constructive feedback. Furthermore, my family moved into a new house which has been great and much more needed than we thought. I have survived several terrible long-term bouts of depression and anxiety over the course of the year and I have come out stronger. I have refocused my spiritual life and reconnected with God more meaningfully, and I am finding the proper way & location to fellowship. I have been able to pay my bills and take care of my needs in 2018 despite having been unemployed for 2/3 of the year.
I have also come into my own more this year, largely as a result of the obstacle of 2018. I have learned to address matters directly, defend my position, and know when to engage or disengage in debate respectfully. I have come to learn what I am through Ancestry and 23 & Me as well as learn who I am through my character, values, and principles that I have made my core. I have learned to begin opening up to others and share more about myself to my friends and others. I have come to understand and accept that I do not know what I want to do professionally, and that it’s ok, and that I still have time to figure it out and make a difference helping others. I have come to understand that it is ok to not really care about a relationship and focus on my career and not being broke as well as my sexuality. I have come to learn that sometimes being present is enough, and that sometimes doing more than expected is necessary. I have learned that being a better son, brother, friend, and more requires that I give as much as I take and that I should be respectful enough to say thank you and humble enough to ask for help when I need it. For all of these things I am thankful for 2018.
I look forward to 2019 being more prosperous, more enlightening, and more giving than 2018. I hope that 2019 is a year where my friends, family, & myself continue to hustle hard to achieve our dreams, even if side hustles are a byproduct of a failing economy. I hope to have a few things up my sleeve in 2019 that will help setup things for a larger 2020 and beyond. Most importantly, I hope to have more positive days than negative days in 2019, and I wish the same for you because staying in place is better going backwards. I sincerely wish you the best for 2019 and I thank you for making each other’s 2018 better than we give it credit, because remember we all survived Aretha Franklin’s marathon funeral which may still be going on.