Dear Diary,

For many, 2020 was unbearable, full of stress and anxiety, a year to put in the past. Understandably so for those who suffered the tragic loss of loved ones, struggled financially, and dealt with increasing burdens as a result of the pandemic.

As I reflected over the last year, it allowed me time to contemplate the goodness and blessings that 2020 brought to me and to those in my circles of fellowship and community. I believe these celebrations deserve recognition.

My journey to a better state of mental health and wellness underwent a thrilling rollercoaster ride when the pandemic began, but I am confident that the rollercoaster is coming off of its last steep climb and the end is in sight, even if there may be some unexpected final turns or camelback hills.

Through deep reflection, I learned that I actually enjoy writing as a creative outlet. It has helped me to de-clutter my mind from all thoughts – creative inspirations, negative self-talk, memories that randomly appear, to-do lists, just about everything that could float through my head.

Reflections of my transition from secondary to elementary showed me how my love of teaching and being surrounded by artists who share the same love of creating as I do has been truly rejuvenating.

Completing another graduate degree confirmed my passion and practice of andragogy, and sparked an itch to find ways to better support teachers.

I’ve learned the importance of establishing firmer boundaries in my professional life to keep relationships healthy and the work/home balance successful.

Being present and showing up will continue to be a priority. Live life now, do not wait until the what if’s may or may not happen. Breathe deeply and often. Show love, give love, and accept it. Embrace those around me because they could be gone in a moment’s notice. Use the gifts I have to contribute to this life because they are uniquely mine.