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A place to interrogate the norms, gain insights, and get inspired

Me! On a boat! Somewhere in Antarctica… Photo Credit: Amber Reimnitz

INTERROGATION

I feel like this is where I'm supposed to share my reflections of 2020, but I don't know that I have anything insightful to say. This year has felt like a decade and I am looking forward to it ending. On a macro level, it was mostly terrible. Just dumpster fire after dumpster fire. The fact that we still have to pay bills in a global pandemic is mind-blowing and I'll never get over it.

You don't need me to recount how downright awful things have been. And that's not to mention how not great things were for many people prior to the pandemic. At the same time, it would be disingenuous to not acknowledge the effect it has had on my outlook for 2021. Normally, this time of year is full of optimism as we look forward to starting anew. Right now though, optimism seems far fetched. The best I can do is to hope.

Restorative justice activist and educator Mariame Kaba reminds us that hope is a discipline: “For me, hope doesn’t preclude feeling sadness or frustration or anger or any other emotion that makes total sense. Hope isn’t an emotion, you know?” Hope is something to be practiced on a daily basis. It is a commitment to building a future that works for each and every one of us.

We've seen many examples of that throughout the year. It's the mutual aid funds helping people pay their rent and bailing out protesters. It's the creation of community fridges or defund the police becoming more than just an obscure hashtag. It's TikTok becoming a platform for both laughter and digestible education. It can be hard to find the bright spots amidst all the trash. However fleeting, it's those moments of joy, of community, that allow us to access those pockets of hope. To keep ourselves from becoming too worn down by it all.

This is the energy I want to keep in 2021. Despite the mass tragedy and loss we've experienced this year, I remain hopeful that there will be light. All I ask is that we continue to take each day as it comes and do our best to stay afloat.

INSIGHT

Holiday celebrations this year have looked very different from years past. Or at least they should have, if you've even remotely been paying attention. As someone who is personally a bit rebellious when it comes to holiday traditions, especially Christmas, I want to encourage you to take this opportunity to forget the stress and create your own traditions. If for you, this time of year is typically characterized by stress and "shoulds," please know that you can opt out. You're allowed to decide who you want to spend the day with, how you want to spend it, or if you want to observe it at all. Sticking with tradition might keep the peace with your loved ones, but what would keep your peace?

INSPIRATION

Some ways I'll be spending my downtime this week…

  • Exploring Houston's street art scene

  • Connecting with other holiday soloists at this yoga social. A specially curated space for the femme, queer, nonbinary, trans, and/or feminist faves among us.

  • Getting in touch with my vegan-curious side with the help of my friend, Mary, and her Chocolate Chip Cookies.

  • Watching Sylvie's Love on Amazon Prime. Finally, a period piece featuring Black people that doesn't center racial strife.

  • And in case you missed it, Durrell Smylie with the mantra for 2021:

Where The Money Reside! 🤑💵💲💰

No newsletter next week. I'll be back in your inboxes on Jan 5th!

Ways to Support this Project:

  1. Share this newsletter with someone you love. Or even someone you just kinda-sorta like. I'm not picky. 

  2. Keep me fueled with tea. Venmo works too.

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