The past few months have been challenging to say the least, in some of the best and worst ways. I took a break from blogging and content creating because there was too much going on in the world to even think about pouring myself into anything else. As you know, I set intentions at the beginning of each year instead of making resolutions. What I had in mind while setting my 2020 intentions vs how they’re coming to fruition are two different things.
In the most simple terms, abundance is defined as a large quantity of something. The first thing that my mind associates abundance with is wealth, but abundance can be applied to relationships, success, and joy. After practicing gratitude in previous years (something I continue to do, especially now), I decided at the beginning of this year that I was ready to welcome abundance in my life. While I originally set the intention with my finances and school/work life in mind, quarantine has taught me that the best way to bring abundance into my life is to improve and place value into all aspects of my life, which brings me to my next two intentions.
With a new morning routine that included listening to a podcast every morning on my work commute, I was ready to change the content I consumed to be more intentional and helpful to develop as an adult in January. I also made a small goal to find a community-based project to get involved in, much like the Women Helping Women event I co-hosted with my friend Kat in 2018.
Halfway through the year, my idea of development completely shifted with the passing of George Floyd. It forced me to reflect on my voice as a woman of color, which made me uncomfortable for not speaking up more about injustice in the world on social media and for not emphasizing my voice as a WOC like I originally intended to when I started blogging. My self-development now includes both learning new skills and learning how to become actively anti-racist and bring more attention to issues that BIPOC and WOC face daily.
For more information and resources on how you can help, visit the Black Lives Matter Carrd.
Although I mention self-care a fair amount, I have to admit that before this year, I rarely practiced what I preached. I have a way of pushing myself to the extreme to accomplish what I feel I need to at the cost of my mental health. In January, I committed to scheduling more time for myself and listening to my body for once. I knew I needed to slow down, but to be honest, I thought I could just slap on a face mask once a week and be renewed. I now know that I was dead wrong.
I realize that this comes from a place of privilege, but COVID-19 forced me to slow down completely. I will be working from home until 2021 and I was thankfully in an online graduate program, to begin with; I had to cancel trips to Italy, Puerto Rico, New York, and Trinidad. My concerns became less about the superficial things in life and more centered around my health (both physical and mental) and my family, although I don’t know when I’ll be able to see them again. I’ve had many ups and downs in the last four months, but I have also learned how to listen to my needs.
I’ve been tracking my sleep habits and water intake and have finally been exercising consistently. I took it upon myself to learn more about skincare and hair, and have developed routines that are helping me feel better from the inside out. I also confronted a lot of feelings I allowed to build up over time. I am truly learning what self-care means and how it benefits me.
Since travel is basically a character trait at this point, I choose an intention associated with my love for traveling. This year, I chose wonder. In January, I had high hopes to visit both Europe and Asia, and the best way to describe how I felt while planning my trips was wonder. While my Europe trip was different than expected (still amazing), I clearly won’t be making it to Asia anytime in the near future. What wonder looks like now is the amazement I feel scrolling through Pinterest discovering and researching places I’d like to visit in the future.
On the bright side, I have some great travel credits and have been able to save more for travel than I would have under normal circumstances. (I recognize this also comes from a certain privilege, since I have been fortunate enough to be working from home during a time of record unemployment in the U.S.)
Although the intentions I set for this year did not exactly play out as intended, I am grateful for how they have manifested during this period of quarantine. I have finally been able to reflect and make much-needed changes that I may not have realized otherwise. Not all of my days are great, but there is some aspect of greatness within each day. I hope everyone reading this is hanging in there during this odd time.