As I write this piece, I think of courage and determination. Of stories I heard as a child about courageous women, who chose to challenge the status quo despite the risks.
I think of the kind of courage that saw my mother uproot us as young children from the elusive comfort of the city to plant us deep into the reality of a rural life. Dissatisfied with inequality in employment opportunities and advancement, she was determined to become her own boss. And so, armed with a nanny and a gun, she eased into her new role.
I can’t claim to have near as much the courage as my mother possessed. But I’m always determined in my small way to challenge gender stereotypes, biases and assumptions that still persist even today. So, as we celebrate women’s achievements the world over, I think of how far we’ve come and still to go.
To think of courage is to think of all the remarkable women, who keep dismantling boxes we often find ourselves lumped in. Women, who occupy spaces that were never designed with us in mind. To think of determination is to celebrate all you courageous women, who keep asking “What if?” and “Why not?”
There comes a day in every gadget owner’s life, when a latest version of an app declares your precious thing obsolete. Kindle recently proved incompatible with my iPad. I panicked at the thought of losing my book collections and not to mention random notes as well lists of all sorts (I’m a list freak) collected overtime that serve as inspiration for new writing. But I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized I could simple transfer all the stuff from the old iPad to the new one.
Nonetheless, in the midst of tidying up these notes, I came across a list of names I’d written down years ago. A list of my own Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Galadriel and all creatives I regard as friends and acquaintances I could reach out to for support. A handful of these names still pop up in my inbox, after all these years. These individuals continue to help me become a better version of myself and grow as a writer. That’s really something to cherish. And to quote Tolu Agbelusi, if I ever said I made it this far alone, I lied.
Being deliberate, slow and intentional, is my simple plan for the year. As I was meditating on my word, I had to reflect on all that was 2020. All I can say, I had asked to expand and the universe gave stretched me beyond by limits. By the end, I was totally burned out.
So, I had to honestly ask myself, “What do I really want, this year?” The answer is simple. I want to concentrate on writing and publishing my work in different media. That’s what is my heart, right now.
In order to do this, I need time which is hard to come by for me, nowadays. In the past, I’ve talked about silence as a place where my words come from. A place where I can hear whispers before words are fully formed. A place where an invisible force eventually propels me to write with urgency. I also need that silence, right now.
All this means keeping things simple. Letting go of the things I don’t have to do, even though they’ve been useful, I’ve enjoyed and learned from. What does this mean in practice? It means I’m pruning my to-do list as follows:
With lock-down and social distancing, FB became another way of staying in touch with my family and friends. But if I want to preserve my sanity, NO thank you, ma’am! Besides sharing of any of my posts there is a hit and miss.
Reading Challenges (Goodreads & my own Summer reading challenge)
Never again will I rob myself the joy of reading with the setting of deadlines and stress-inducing lists. I want to savour every book I read and to reread my favourites. I’m only using Goodreads an archive of books I’ve read and those I wish to read some day.
Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth. ~ Paula Danziger
Google Analytics indicates that my most popular posts are Life inProse, which I publish every first Sunday of the month. I happy that readers resonate with these short pieces because I’m trying to improve my creative nonfiction writing skills. I’ll continue to do so. In addition, once in a while I’ll feature a Conversation with a poet.
These mini reviews had been another way of supporting fellow writers. But I already leave reviews or ratings where books are sold. I guess I can simply join a book club, if I want to talk more about a book I read. Anyone of you run an online book club?
If you happen to enjoy my Random Things, all is not lost. I’m trying to come up with another way of sharing these. I’ll keep you posted!
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately… ~ Henry David Thoreau
In the end, my purpose is to be fully present in whatever I do, have fun writing and creating as well as focusing on the results I want to achieve.
So, deliberate as my word for 2021 is largely to do with how I want to evolve as a writer. We’ll see how I fare up. If I was reminded of anything in 2020 is that words truly have power.
And, and…I might be late wishing you a Happy New Year but I hope it started well, for you. But do tell, how are you?