2020 WAS NOT THE YEAR OF THE HUSTLE

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2020 was the best of times and the worst of times, I

voted by mail for the first time,

placed in my first feature screenwriting competition,

volunteered in Rwanda and visited Tanzania before the pandemic hit,

mastered working from home, it took about 3 months in quarantine to do this,

was promoted into my first management role,

bought my first brand new car,

became an executive board member for a creative non-profit,

had 18 virtual screenings of my short film, Destiny’s Road, and won some awards,

learned to bake homemade cookies and scones,

watched my first Korean Drama series and became obsessed with the genre,

became serious about investing in the stock market,

rented a beachfront property to just write for two days,

joined Clubhouse, a new social media networking site, and learned some really cool stuff.

But I also,

became too consumed with politics and was on the verge of losing hope in humanity,

battled depression and anxiety so bad that I developed temporary involuntary muscle twitching,

struggled with cycles of writer’s block and lack of motivation to pursue my passion,

missed and obsessively worried about my family in N.C.

got zoom fatigued and became irritable in virtual meetings,

reached my heaviest weight in 20 years,

had a record amount of rejections from writing and film festival competitions.

Regardless of how many accomplishments I gained in 2020, this pandemic took an emotional and physical toll on me as it did a lot of folks. Some weeks it took a therapy session to get me out of my funk.

Diddy recently posted on his instagram, “if 2020 didn’t bring the Hustle out of you, it ain’t in you.” I don’t agree with this. 2020 may have been the year that some needed to hustle to cover rent or feed their families. But this was also the year where plain survival, both mentally and physically, was good enough. I struggled to do anything after seeing the video of George Floyd being murdered. I also needed a mental break from Trump trying to steal the election. I became overwhelmed with everything that had to do with Covid-19. The hustle will always be waiting and ready for me when I am strong enough. I would rephrase Diddy’s quote to “if 2020 didn’t make you self reflect, practice self care, and appreciate what you have, you need to reevaluate your priorities.”

A friend recently told me, “There’s hustle in all of us and it awakens at different moments.”

I pray that 2021 is a better year for us all!

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