Kwaheri 2020

If 2019’s GIF was:

2020’s GIF is:

What a year!! What a motherphucking year!!

2019 was, hands down, the best year of my life so going into 2020 I was extremely optimistic about the year. Kumbe the Universe was listening to my plans like:

This has been one of the longest, hardest years ever, and not just for me. 2020 has been long and hard both collectively and individually. I mean, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepped down from their roles as senior royals in March THIS YEAR! That is a prime example of just how long the year has been and I am beyond relieved that the last day of 2020 is finally here.

This year the novel coronavirus pandemic has left an indelible mark across the world, with approximately 1.4 million lives claimed by the virus so far. Last year on this day as we were gearing up for the new year none of us could have predicted that 2020 would turn out the way it did. The virus has irrevocably changed every fabric of life as we knew it, something none of us were even remotely prepared for as we began the year.

I lost an uncle in July this year and his death taught me a lot about grief. I intend to write about what I learnt, but his firstborn daughter is one of my bestest friends so I have to be sensitive to her, and her family’s, newfound grief. That said the post should be up at some point in 2021 as I have already started working on it, and once my cousin is comfortable with it I will share it for everyone to read.

This year I told the story of my mum’s battle with cancer. That was, unequivocally, the main reason 2020 has been such a long, hard year for me. I knew telling my mum’s story would retraumatise me, but I greatly underestimated how traumatic it would get. Telling the story of my mum’s battle with cancer made me feel like I was losing my mum to stage IV breast cancer all over again. I knew I wanted to tell my mum’s story this year before memories start to fade, but what I did not realise was that my grief was still too new. I was a mere two years into my never-ending grief journey when I began her story with ‘JS Kicking Cancer’s Ass Theme 1 of 13: The Paralysis.’ I was nowhere near ready to write my mum’s story this year but unfortunately for me time, specifically the correlation between memories and time, was not on my side. So I soldiered on despite the fact that there were times – many, many times – it was impossibly hard to keep writing. The penultimate post in the story of my mum’s battle with cancer is the longest, hardest post I have ever written in my life. At just over 6,500 words it trumps my second longest post, Let the Light In, by well over 2,000 words!

I told some of my biggest stories last year – the aforementioned Let the Light In, my mum’s domestic abuse story as well as my domestic abuse story – but if you were to combine how difficult it was to tell all three stories and then multiply that by 100, it still would not equate to how difficult writing about my mum’s battle with cancer was. Not even by a long shot. Writing the JS Kicking Cancer’s Ass series is, unequivocally, the hardest thing I have ever had to do and the penultimate post in particular wrecked me as I really cried while writing it. It went up the week of my mum’s three year anniversary and the day before part one went up I received some very distressing news that left me heartbroken. I cried sooo hard that Tuesday evening before part one went up mpaka I got a stitch. The last time I cried that hard was in January 2015 when my mum was admitted in hospital for 20 days.

I committed to telling my mum’s story regardless of how difficult it would be because, as I said in December 13 2018, even the battles lost are still worth telling. My mum might have lost her 5 ½ year battle with breast cancer but that does not make her story any less powerful because even the battles lost are still worth telling. Now that I am done I am taking a break from writing sad stories in 2021. There may be a few here and there, but overall in 2021 the blog is going to have a much happier vibe because I am fucking over sad stories.

This year I have not been to the office since March 18th as we have been working from home and I absolutely LOVE!!! working from home because:

Obviously this is a joke but there is also some truth in this meme

However, working from home has not been all rainbows and butterflies because my industry, like many others, has been adversely affected by the pandemic. We had staff cuts not too long after we started working from home and were advised that there would be more cuts towards the end of the year. I am naturally an anxious person so knowing that I might not have a job at the end of the year really made my existing anxiety skyrocket. More so because my sister is in the hotel industry and her workplace closed for a few months and in that time I was taking care of her where I could, so my job security, or lack thereof, greatly troubled me. But the year is over and I still have my job and my sister is back to work and for that I am deeply grateful.

This year Taylor Swift, aka my favourite artist of all time, surprise-released not one, but two albums!! It pains me to admit this… but I did not like folklore. I tried and tried and tried but I just found it so boring. But I am sooo in love with evermore and have listened to it an insane number of times in the last two or so weeks. In fact I am listening to it right now as I work on this post and it is no longer sitting right with me how I can be so O.B.S.E.S.S.E.D with one album but be bored by its sister-predecessor. Yaani I am itching to write about evermore so badly but on the other hand I do not like folklore. So I have decided to give folklore a few more tries in the new year as I work on my Q1 posts.

As of this post my blog has been up for 862 days and counting and I am cognisant, and deeply appreciative, of the fact that I would not be here were it not for you dear reader. Thanks for being on this ride with me and here’s to fucking shit up more in 2021.

Last but definitely not least 2020 will go down as the year I fell deeply in love with the most incredible man I have ever met. I have written about him, and us, many many many many times this year including, but not limited to, Heartfelt; Fire Flames; Let’s Talk Pleasure Coach Tyomi’s Cowgirl Workout Tour and FRIENDSHIP & CAMARADERIE. The latter is probably my favourite post of the year, across all the categories, because it chronicles our VERY beautiful love story so well.

The one thing many of us were newly blessed with, amid all of the difficulties of this year, was stretches of time: to sit, to think, to listen. That ended up being the biggest blessing in disguise for me and my boyfriend as it allowed us to spend more time together than either of us would have thought possible at the beginning of the year and for that I am extremely grateful. I cannot wait to see what 2021 has in store for him, me and us. I have a great feeling about next year. As a former boss once said to me, you cannot have two bad years. Kwanza vile next year my man is turning 30!!! 2021 is going to be a GREAT year and I am claiming it now!!!

That photo of my boyfriend and I is probably my favourite photo of us. It was taken after I hosted my BFF Adelle Onyango at Two Rivers for a talk on International Women’s Day or, more significantly to me, my mum’s birthday. She would have been 61 that day and OF COURSE my boyfriend was there to support me. We were having one of our usual cute moments (if I do say so myself) when I caught my photographer-cousin trying to take a candid pic of us, so I turned to my boyfriend and asked him to pose for the photo.

Were it not for my boyfriend my mental health would have been in the pits this year. Do not get me wrong, I have very supportive friends and family in my life but having someone, and not just someone but an incredible someone, with me during the initial months of the pandemic ended up being a lifesaver. If I had to tell the story of my mum’s battle with cancer while all alone in my house for months… I cannot see how I would have survived that. Next week we celebrate our anniversary and it is my deepest, sincerest wish that the Universe grants us many lifetimes together because one lifetime is simply not enough.

As 2020 rolled in I was confident that I would have so much to say in this post but it has been a very muted year for me. I mean these were my only lewks of the year:

My boyfriend and I like to joke that I took the year off to be a girlfriend. Lol. But also, kinda sorta true. I am hoping for better and MORE next year and once again I am claiming it now that 2021 is going to be a GREAT year! From my lips to the Universe’s ears! Amen!

As usual the blog will be on a break for all of January. If you are new to the blog and did not know that… well, as I like to say, sucks to be you. Lol. Unlike 2019 and 2020, my Karibu 2021 post will go up on February 3rd because I am tired of writing and I need a break from deadlines for my sanity. Writing this year has felt like a complete chore for the most part. I believe telling my mum’s story is the main reason for that because it has been extremely painful to relive those memories, but the fact that I had a very muted year did nothing for my excitement and inspiration as a writer. I hope to recharge during my month off as I figure out how to recapture the joy of writing because writing is not what I do. It is who I am.

Until then, from the bottom of my heart thank you dear reader for sticking with me on this ride. A happy New Year to you and yours and see you on February 3rd.

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