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2020 is almost over, what are you going to do now?

When you think about it this year was anything but usual. After hit on hit with the pandemic, Kobe Bryant’s passing, someone in my life passing suddenly, and so much more. It is so easy to feel discouraged.

I remember on December 31st, 2019 I just knew this was going to be my year. I have so much potential that I wanted to tap into for 2020. I had past issues that were clouding me, but I told myself that I would not let myself go into a dark place again. Then the first week of January, I did. I went deep into a dark place.

The reason why I did was because someone really close to me my cousin, Dede passed away January 7th ,2020. I was at school so when I heard the news, I died a bit inside. I didn’t know how to cope or even if I should cope because it was too painful. How was it I saw you a week before and now I hear this? I went back home for a funeral during MLK weekend. I still don’t remember much because I blocked my memories about that day. I started to drink a bit more, I also went out with guys I wasn’t interested in just so I wouldn’t have to think about what happened. I had an internship lined up with this dope company, but I missed it because I didn’t send the papers in time and they decided to not let me proceed. I was sad but it didn’t affect me as much because of the grief I was dealing with.

With all of this happening, then here comes the game changer: the pandemic. My school shut down and we all were forced to go back home. The problem is I couldn’t be at home because every spot I was at, I had a memory about what me and Dede did. The anxiety and depression came in heavy. While I was back at home, I couldn’t grieve properly. My parents wouldn’t let me feel. So, I had to think to myself and say well it happened, I can’t change anything. I decided to push myself and find internships on Indeed. I did find one and it was a great experience. I did PR work for an underground rap artist called Ashton Martin. I worked on his EP release for 8 weeks and the amount of support back was great. I also took a course with DJ Damage and learned so much about the entertainment industry. He is really motivating but I was still grieving so I wouldn’t be so immersed into it until I felt ready to. The course with DJ Damage led me to finding and taking a graphic design course with Casey Diggs from CTDGRAPHICX which was amazing as well. Then, I decided to do something I don’t like to do- self-reflect. I had to figure out what is blocking me from where I wanted to go. I wrote down all my fears and looked over it and realized that majority of my fears come from other people, not really me. I had to learn on how to block out other noises that wasn’t beneficial to me. I also pushed myself on working out to bring back the confidence I lost. When you start self-reflecting, it is a process. It will be hard, you'll wonder why do I have to do this? I'm fine the way I am. Until you really look at what’s hindering you, you will be stuck at the same spot. I had to look inside and to start placing the puzzle pieces back to be myself again. I know I am capable of more so why not do more?

I pushed myself to have another internship while being at school, but I wanted a job in the industry, and that wasn’t God’s plan for me. Rejection after rejection, only having unpaid internships. I felt super discouraged. Here I am, 21, a senior at FIU who has about 7 internships and still no job will take me in. I got the credentials and the work to back it up. But you know what that taught me: patience and also building my own. I was focused on building up someone else’s dream when I can have my own. If I have my own, no one can take me out. I can do what I want, I can push it the way I want to. Why I never did it before is simple, I was scared. Scared to fail. Scared that I wouldn’t amount to anything and prove others right. Now I know that I was the one holding myself back and in order to bring change, I have to change myself and how I viewed me. How you feel about yourself goes into your family life, relationships, school and career. Maybe those were the reasons that made you that way. You have the chance to change the narrative. So what if this year wasn’t the best for you? What can you do personally to make 2021 better? Take this month to self-reflect, write your fears, write your goals. Look into what made you, you and start to work on yourself. While working on yourself, work on those goals. Life doesn’t wait on no one, as you can see from this year. I got big goals and I put that on me, Saweetie said it best. I plan to execute that to the fullest this month and especially next year.

xoxo Ashley

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