Farewell 2020, it’s been real

Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

As we come to the end of what has been the longest year ever, I’m taking a little bit of time to reflect on the past year and its highs and (many lows). Like for so many others, 2020 has presented the kind of challenges that one typically experiences over the course of a lifetime let alone in one year. For me this year has been characterised by grief after the passing of my mum in February from the other big C, cancer, as well as the passing of others that I either knew personally or was acquainted with. It was a lot, and there several times over the year where my mental health took a hit.

And as if a global pandemic, threatening our health, livelihoods, and social being wasn’t enough, there was also the Black Lives Matter civil rights protests, as people (mostly white) came to terms with the idea of structural and systemic racism; the presidential elections, which like 2020 seemed to go on forever until finally Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were announced as President and Vice President Elect, and the orange demon who has terrorised so many over the past four years threw his toys out the pram; and of course let’s not forget Brexit. There’ll much more to say on that in the coming months I’m sure.

But it was not all bad. I may have been grieving and struggling with doing the things that I usually love doing like reading and keeping up this blog, but 2020 was also the year I published my first short story. A huge, really quite unexpected achievement and thank you to everyone who’ve taken the time to read it, I’ve been really touched by the feedback and I’m looking forward to sharing some more stories in the new year.

Reading-wise, this was the year of the DNF (Did Not Finish), not because the books were bad, but because my concentration levels have been so poor. Ironically, or perhaps prophetically, I started the year with a post about getting over the dreaded reading slump, not once thinking I would have to lean in and take my own advice once more. But what I did manage to finish reading was pretty good such as If I Don’t Have You by Sareeta Domingo (definitely one for a re-read at some point) and Emily Knight…I Am Becoming by A.Bello (a fourth book is apparently underway, yay!). Books I’m looking forward to finishing, or in some cases starting, include The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney, Natives by Akala, That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu, Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola and A River Called Time by Courttia Newland.

I have no idea what 2021 holds, and as unpredictable and uncertain as 2020 has been it would be unwise to try. But despite all the drama, let’s be thankful that we made it and we’ll make it through the next year too.

Happy New Year!

5 thoughts on “Farewell 2020, it’s been real

  1. Hi
    First of all, please accept my condolences on the passing of your dear Mum. We ask the Almighty to rest her peaceful soul and to also, to give you strength at this time and always.
    I love how your blog has grown from strength to strength. I don’t always receive the reminders of when you have written a new post plus…I’ve not visited my blog in a while. I wanted to ask if, since you now have your own domain, it has projected or raised the profile of your blog? I’m thinking of upgrading either on what I already have or, to create a new blog.
    How are your writing classes going? I still have to read your short story and give your my responses. But as for reading…yes, I’ve done more writing or did more writing last year (from 40,000 to 80,000) but my reading is really down. I bought books Girl, Other Woman by Bernadine Evaristo; Remi Eddo-Lodge – Why I’m no longer talking to White people; Tsitsi Dangarembga – The Mournable Body; Maaza Mengiste – The Shadow King; Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid and This Lovely City – Louise Hare. All these books look great on my shelf but I’ve not begun to read, even one! What’s happening? It bothers me that these days, I find it difficult to pick up a book and read. Maybe too much social media or Netflix.
    Anyway, let’s hope that 2021, I can correct this. To read many of these books as possible before the next batch of books written by black authors are released. BTW if I had not come to your site I would not have realise that Courttia has a new book out!

    1. Hey! Happy New Year to you, I hope all is well and thank for your condolences. It’s been a really strange time and as you can imagine I had all the feelings, sometimes at once in dealing with my grief. But I’m coming through it, day by day.

      I’m really glad you are enjoying my blog! You’ve been with me since the beginning, so it’s even more gratifying that you’ve stuck with me all this time as well as to receive your complements. I think having my own domain, adds a level of professionalism and you get access to more things like stats etc. At the time I did it I was hoping to monetise the site but haven’t yet done this. I don’t think it increases followers, I think for that you have to be regularly posting and be active on social media/other people’s blogs, which I don’t always have the time to do. It doesn’t cost that much to do it, so go ahead I’d say

      With you on the buying of books, but not reading them! However, I will say that Girl, Woman, Other is really good, as is Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – I definitely recommend. Well done, on getting more writing in, that’s definitely one of my new year intentions as I’d really like to publish another story. I’m going to try hard not to get lost in a Netflix binge this year too!

      Have just started reading Courttia’s new book, it’s very different to what we’re used to from him I’d say but it still has his unique style of storytelling. I’ll post a review once I finish. Here’s to some good reading and writing in 2021! Every blessing xx

      1. Thanks for your wonderful response. I look forward to reading your review on Courttia’s new book. Just started reading Kiley Reid. This was prompted by an interview I read in this week’s Sunday Times, as the interviewer really loved her book.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mum in 2020. Sending you hugs and prayers.

    I pray that this year will be much better for you. Happy New Year.

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