last year this time I changed this blog intro with the top of the year prospectus and a dash of optimism. I remember watching a bit of the news and hearing about the rona from a North American perspective. So basically that means….it’s all the way over there-it won’t happen here. It’s only until early February 2020 where facilities were closing down due to health concerns and finally #lockdown happened. This is when I really felt the effects of this global lock. I was laid off from the job I was doing but it felt like a blessing as I had been operating in survival mode for several years now…..I got a much needed break by default to cultivate the creativity that had been slowly zapped away.
So although it was frightening to know folks that were infected and recovering from COVID and I also had known folks who’ve passed on, (may they rest peacefully.) I’m so grateful to be alive-now more than ever; I’m grateful for my family and the simple things in life. I’ve been minding my physical health a little more than usual (and my usual is always) and practicing proper self care from day-to-day. I’m more grounded than ever and because of this, I’ll have time to do the things I’ve been doing in larger chunks….and you know, dream bigger!
I saw a quote the other day over at Twitter and the person said: ‘walking around in NYC during the summer just because it’s nice out is mad fun’-xav and I responded with Literally. The. Reason. Why. I. Started. The. Blog. And this is really where the title came from. I love my city, but NY is the place I became myself. It’s unfortunate how the global pandemic may have changed the way we travel across the border but I’ve got plenty of memories that speak to what I’m like and what I’m doing today! It was my first stopover en route to Philly at Penn Station almost 20 years ago now, where I got off the Greyhound coach with my friend and we walked around Manhattan and a little bit of BK and I knew I’d be back again!
I love Toronto but it can get pretty negative and mundane at times, so whenever I went away, I came back with new juice and inspiration. From the textile/fashion district and Soho, to BX to Spanish Harlem and yes, gentrified Brooklyn too! Among many things I learnt over there-how NY’ers get down to House at Langston’s, Shelter and APT. I did learn that there was nothing self-centered and aggressive about the hustle. And when I’d come home, I’d have the same sauce that folks turn their nose up at to tackle my goals. I think I enjoyed the subtleties like assertiveness, cultivating my own style and being grounded in my uniqueness. These one woman trips (I talk about in this blog) made it easier for me to be on my own wherever I went. After returning from Osaka, I had to rediscover Toronto in a different way than I left it. I think I idealized Toronto a little BUT I did have to tap into where I’d been and the things I tackled up until right now. I miss travelling so much.
Why is this about me section so nostalgic in 2021? Well, as I’m contemplating a platform upgrade for the coming year, I wanted to remove a load of articles from the very beginning of this blog. Little insignificant blurbs and random thoughts-but it takes me back to the stages that I was in then; so I’ve decided to keep them! (Some articles I did drop though.) Whatever the coming years have in store for us, don’t forget to look at who you were before now-with all the shit that ran down the pipes last year and more coming….appreciate what we have and are today! Once ‘outside’ does open up gradually, I can’t wait to meet more people who match where I’m headed and what I’m about to become! I write with more intention now, I take my time and I really think about what it means. There are more topics coming-some unique, alternative perspectives, some DJ tings 🙂 here and there-but whatever it is…..get into it! Take this year slow and FOCUS.
P.S. I learnt a lot of this from Carmen Mitchell and I didn’t even know back then…….