I come here with my shaky hands to shamelessly type that I am trying to take this blogging thing seriously this year. No…this is not the time to abuse me for my irregularity and how much less I have posted on here over the past year. Leave 2020 matters in the trash bin where they belong.
Anyway, I am not sure I have any ideas on what I want to write about on this piece but I am here anyway to just run my hands and type gibberish hoping to come up with something that will meet my blogging commitment this year, and the promise I might be making at the end of this post. Yes, I am still thinking about it as I type this.
I bet it is too late to wish you all a “Happy New Year” on the 29th of January but I will still say it because it is New Year on here when the new post drops in your inboxes. So… Happy New Year to all my followers and subscribers on here and the handful of readers I have on social media. Thank you all for sticking with me through my “New blog post” alert days and the “dragging worthy” days. I want to say you keep me going, but where am I headed really, when WordPress keeps sending “It’s been 8months since your last post” reminders every other week. I am drowning in shame at this point. I feel your hot stares and side eyes through your devices too. It is okay, I have heard!
*Pulls 2020 out of the trash bin*
Two nights ago, I smiled and laughed so hard scrolling through the pictures and videos I have on my phone. Most of them dated back to the beginning of 2020. For a minute, I totally forgot how shitty 2020 was. The videos were mostly of my friends and me living our best lives. A lot of them were about new places we had discovered, our cards and ludo sessions, adventures we promised ourselves and really just eating, laughing and bullying each other as we always do.
If there is anything the entire world has unanimously agreed on in recent years (not that I have data to prove this), it is how bad 2020 was to everyone. The year brought us COVID-19, a lot of losses and generally bad mental state for many people. The year took us on a roller coaster ride of messed up feelings, draining emotions and a halt none of us asked us. Many of us spent most of last year bent on our knees asking “who did I offend” – this is a daily for Gambians, I promise!
Any who, I am not here to remind you of our shitty past; we can all do that by ourselves. Rather, I am here to tell you that when you dig deep into this trash bin, you too will find a thing or two to smile about as you read this post and hopefully when you think about 2020. The pain and hurt is draining and you have paid for that already. You deserve joy in your lives now, dears.
The first time I had to do this, I was on the beach in Brufut with my people. The instruction said “write 3 things you are grateful for in 2020”. Digging deep and hard, I replayed all of the hard days and moments, especially the times I spent enclosed in my room, unable to see my family because of a “you tested positive” result. Digging deeper, I realized how much there was to be grateful for. How, in between the downs, there were rosy ups, fresh starts to amazing things and also the end of big fights for me.
At the start of 2020, I officially graduated with a degree in Environmental Science. I am as shocked as you are ma’am; do not ask me how I ended up in this program judging from what I currently do for a living. This was one hard journey for me especially because I had mentally checked out of the program 2 years into the degree. After 4 years that seemed like a lifetime, I had to settle the bill for this degree I believed the Government of The Gambia was paying for but…long story. This is definitely my proudest moment yet and it happened in 2020. I went to the bank after the accountant cheekily threw this news at me, packed all of my savings and gave them to the University of The Gambia for a degree “I am not using anything to do”. This is the moment you shower me with compliments and maybe throw in a few gifts too.
Sometime in 2020, I ended a very beautiful experience with amazing people at my former job, to start a new professional journey with more beautiful people and impactful work. I am writing this blogpost in Farafenni, where I am currently on a monitoring trip of our projects and the impact it has had on the lives of people. And I must say…AMAZING! It is the real time results these projects bring about in the lives of people, the lives we are changing and the future we are creating for The Gambia. It has been the most challenging experience so far, but I love how much I have done in this short period, the growth and the brighter days that lie ahead.
Talking about new beginnings, after 3years of procrastinating, my friends and I launched our podcast – Uncensored – in 2020. Check us out here and please talk to God about us. We need all the prayers to deliver us from the shackles of procrastination.
Just like the rosy start of 2020 for me, I ended the year doing work I deeply love – chasing stories, the sun and memories. I worked on a photo project for the Great Green wall Film, an awesome batch of stories you should definitely check out.
This might seem like a little in 12 months, but I believe that gratitude should be a part of our everyday life. I am trying to get better at it and I think you should too. Get into this year head on with a pocket full of gratitude to God, yourself and the people around you. Give yourself the extra push, the tap on the shoulder and the drive to keep moving ahead. This will help you travel this world with less weight to worry about.
*Back to 2021*
Less than one month in, and I have already received my first “L” of the year. This is beside the point; I have more things to be grateful for. This year has started really well, I am on a more fulfilling journey and working on financial discipline this year. I am failing so far but I am determined to get through this and meet my financial goal for the year. So, help me God.
As part of my commitments this year, I am holding myself to putting out a blog post at least once in a month. Kifa and Wilson, do not stress my life. I am holding myself to this, please.
Still, on the blog, I am opening up space for 2 writers that would like the space to post their content. I have a guest space on this site for you. I already have 1 person that has showed interest so if this is something you are interested in, hit me up and let’s get this journey going.
I hope this post was worth the time you spent on it. Till February…Love!
In the meantime, tell me what you are currently grateful for in the comments.