Reflecting on 2020
Now looking back on 2020, I don’t think anyone was prepared for the physical and psychological impact of what a global pandemic entails – It will be a year I personally will never forget! The pandemic took my entire life and flipped it upside down – my life, career and heart all took a toll. The journey 2020 took me on was not easy but I learned how to make some delicious lemonade out of all these damn lemons I got handed!
Self-Love what’s that?
Self-love was one of the biggest areas of growth that 2020 highlighted for me. Prior to the hit of the pandemic I was constantly on the go travelling for work from coast to coast. When I was working locally I was basically the Lady Gaga meme, ‘wakeup – work – side gig – work – another side gig – dinner with friends – sleep – repeat!’ It felt like I never had enough time to accomplish everything I was cramming into my schedule. Then out of nowhere I could not leave my house except to go to the grocery store. Talk about being sucker punched with immediate change! I was feeling extremely stunned and was very confused with how things changed so fast and what was happening around me. This forced me to look within and have a really hard conversation with myself. I reflected on the fact that now my travel for work, fashion events, dinners and photo shoots have all been taken away from me, which than made me wonder what happiness exists in my life outside these things? I honestly could not think of anything other than my plants and the half read book on my shelf! This was a serious wakeup call for me – a moment to start making time for acts of ‘self-love’ within my life outside of my work and friends. I realized that self-love fosters joy within your life instead of just filling it with temporary happiness. Really think about it, does that Barbie dream house you got for Christmas as a child still make you happy? Or does taking yourself on a walk along the water still help you clear your head like it always has ever since you were young? This is the differences between temporary happiness and joy.
I honestly had a difficult time thinking about what brought me joy because outside of my work, I could not really think of anything else. As a child I very much enjoyed running so I immediately thought to give that a try! I had always bounced around the idea of becoming pescatarian to reduce my meat intake so I figured it was also a perfect time to make the transition. It allowed me to learn how to cook because I cannot survive off UberEats forever! Reading and expanding my consciousness has always been extremely important to me. So I set a new goal to track how many books I can read this year! I managed to read 24 books!!! Though some of you may see these as small changes in my life I cannot begin to tell you the amount of joy each of them have brought me. They have helped support me fostering more positive habits for myself and for that I have so much gratitude!
Who’s in control?
As a true Aries I love to be in control. When major changes happen in my life I first freak the fuck out for a few days, eye twitch and all, but then I take control. This year has really forced me to look at my reactions to change and learn to have a better relationship with understanding this instead of leaving it on read. The pandemic was fully out of my control, losing major contracts was out of my control, not being able to travel was out of my control but what was in my control was how I reacted and allowed it to affect me. Once I stopped resisting to change and learned to take a breath, collect my thoughts and look at the new challenge as a learning opportunity it seriously changed my mental state of mind. Instead of binge eating ice cream and potato chips I worked on new strategies to find other clients I could work with this year. Instead of flying all over the world I discovered my backdoor and all the magical little places it hosts. This change of the mindset landed me one of the most successful years I have ever had to date career wise and I barely left my house!
Checking my privilege and white fragility!
The BLM movement that occurred this year was a huge eye opener for me. Prior to educating myself I never considered myself a racist person and I surely did not realize the amount of privilege I held as a white male in society. The world was basically created for me with many advantages in my favour as a white male. From what I was fed through the media, TV, movies, even the opportunities in education the choices were made mostly by white men for white people. Growing up while attending school I was never taught by a person of colour – also everything I learned was curated by white people. This was a huge moment of realization for me and really put things into perspective the amount of privilege I held. Reading the book ‘White Fragility’ by Robin Diangelo really helped ignite the importance of educating myself so that I can constantly become more self-aware of this pressing issue and try my absolute best to change. I want to share a quote from her book with you all:
“Stopping our racist patterns must be more important that working to convince other that we don’t have them. We do have them, and people of colour already know we have them; our efforts to prove otherwise are not convincing. An honest account of these patterns is no small task given the power of white fragility and white solidarity but it is necessary.”
Ps: I also have discovered the cozy, luxury that is a hoodie as a first time wearer in 2020.