It’s December 30th, 2019 which means it’s time for a post full of self-reflection and cliches.
I’ll start by acknowledging that I think this is the very first time I have posted a picture of myself here. What started as an anonymous blog has morphed into something I am proud to take ownership of… a place to discuss mental health, graduate school, relationships, adoption, books, and whatever else comes to mind.
2019 was supposed to be the best year of my life. I began my 3rd year of my doctorate, was preparing for my qualifying exams, and I was supposed to get married. Advocacy was really taking off and I was starting to shake the Imposter Syndrome I feel because I have never studied adoption in an academic setting.
By now, you know that the wedding didn’t happen. I was handed a cancelled wedding instead. I delayed my qualifying exams so I could process what was happening in my personal life. My new qualifying exam date was set for two days after my used-to-be wedding date. I didn’t pass. I didn’t fail, but I didn’t pass.
For the next two months, I fell into a rut questioning whether I was cut out for any of this. At the end of August, I passed my exam and also started figuring out the rest of my life. The last quarter of 2019 was full of growth and becoming aware of my needs and boundaries.
I really stopped tip-toeing around and said, “This is what I want, and this is why I deserve it.” I stopped prefacing every question with, “I’m sorry to bother you…” I’ve made my friend group smaller, but I have recognized the strength and loyalty of the genuine friends I have kept.
I stepped away from advocacy for several months and have come back with a new policy on my private life. It’s a blessing and curse that I am being seen as a valued voice on adoption, but as my platform grows, I need to strongly limit what I share from now on. Although my platform is 99% based on personal experiences as an adopted woman of color, I now realize that my posts don’t have to be written and shared five minutes after the experience. I am still going to be sharing and advocating, but I may wait a few weeks or months before bringing you into my world.
2019 handed me a whole lot of garbage I didn’t ask for, but taught me the importance of self-respect, family, friendship, boundaries, forgiveness, and sacrifice. And while I am thankful for having a more well-rounded perspective of those values, I am very happy to say goodbye to 2019.
As 2019 comes to a close, I give you a picture of me in my daily state–messy hair, some sort of pullover, and a smile because I know I am strong and capable of moving forward. I promise you and myself that I will continue to value myself, and I will not accept anything less than what I deserve.