Happy New Year
Christina Greer, Ph.D. | 12/31/2020, midnight
We are in our last day of one of the most trying years of our lives…and we survived! No matter the circumstance, we actually thrived. 2021 is just around the bend and no matter what the new year brings, we should feel prepared to embrace uncertainty. We began to lay the emotional (and spiritual) foundation for the past 10 months and we must trust ourselves to approach the ups and downs of 2021 with a clear mind and heart.
Each new year I like to reflect on the past year. What I learned, what I did, where I traveled, friends gained and lost. This year was somewhat different in that I did not travel very much, but I still learned so much about myself, my strength, my ability to find joy, and my ability to let go of things not in my control.
I spent much of 2020 in my apartment so as to stay healthy and be one less person on the streets. I had Zoom meetings and catch-ups with old friends and family members I don’t normally speak to. I learned how to communicate with my students through a computer screen and begin to form a bond with them which will hopefully carry us through their college years. I did not exercise as much as I would have liked, but I did perfect a few recipes I had lacked the courage to try. I can say 2020 was the year I perfected making oxtails and I am so happy about that!
I use the end of a year and the beginning weeks of a new year to reflect on not only what I have done, but what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. I know COVID quarantine has made the future and 2021 uncertain; however, there are many areas in our lives where we can plan and prepare, despite the global pandemic. What ways are you going to explicitly seek out joy in 2021? What relationships do you want to strengthen in 2021? Are there any relationships that need to dissolve in the new year? What gifts do you have that can be useful to others in a time of need? What is one thing you have wanted to learn and just never made the time? Do you plan to work on a local campaign in some capacity?
There are so many possibilities with a new year. So many ways we can begin to plant seeds to see what the year will produce for us. “Faith fights fear” has always been my mantra, that and “Ask. Believe. Receive.” I truly hope 2021 brings you abundance, peace, and a sense of courage to face the road ahead. We all have the tools, we just might need to find and sharpen them just a bit. Happy 2021!
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and also What’s In It For Us podcast.