They Reminisce Over You, or Looking Back At 2012 As I Enter 2013

Happy 2013!

The photo above is of a pair of sankofa earrings I purchased on my first day in Dakar in December. They are not Senegalese, but from Burkina Faso. I purchased them at a huge fair where almost every African nation was represented. I’m a firm believer in looking back to go forward–understanding and learning from my successes and errors so that I can go on to do the damn thing as they say. This blog post is directly inspired by Happy Black Woman’s review and preview. Since looking back is so very intertwined with moving forward, I’ve combined the two with the hopes I get at the bigger picture and not so bogged in the details, which I tend to do a lot. So here goes:

What was the most valuable lesson you learned this year? The most valuable lesson I learned this year was the difference between my ego goading me on and that still quiet voice directing me. Most times, my ego spoke to me pretending to be self-love, but it really did was reaffirm my fears, cause me to sell myself short and hide from opportunities. My ego fronted like it was protecting me, but it wasn’t. It prevented me from shining fully and aided and abetted me in getting stuck. Now, because I pay close attention and have made a concerted effort to slow down and reflect, I catch myself, or rather I catch my ego trying to play me.

What was the biggest personal milestone you reached this year in your relationships, health, finances, education and/or lifestyle? This year, I was able to walk away from personal relationships, some that I had for over twenty years, that really were not for my highest good. I decided that if the person doesn’t bring positivity to the relationship–always complaining, mired in drama, talking about other folks, etc.–then I really don’t want to be part of it. Negativity breeds negativity, just like misery loves company and I’d rather enjoy my own company than get bogged down in other folks’ stuff. I wished them the best and kept it moving.

What professional accomplishments (at work or in your business) are you most proud of this year? Although the way it came to me initially was no walk in the park on a beautiful April day, I helped co-author a grant for the day job which is resulting in this ongoing project, Next Stop: Brooklyn/Dakar and I traveled to Dakar, Senegal for 11 days in December. The trip was life altering (in ways that I am still unpacking) both professionally and personally.

What was your favorite family moment from 2012? My dad coming to stay with Tiny Smalls while I was away in Dakar. He didn’t think twice about it when I asked him and he took over homeschooling duties.

What was the best book/blog/song/movie/restaurant/city/country/etc. you discovered this year? Because of the project I’m working on for the day job, I’ve been immersed in all things Senegalese for a bit. So the best of everything has to do with Senegal, particularly Dakar.  I’m learning about Senegalese film and in love with the food. I’ll stop there, because like I said above, I’m still unpacking all that the trip meant.

Which personal development area(s) did you make the LEAST progress on this year: health, finances, education, relationships, family, work and/or lifestyle? Finances. I paid off some bills, but I want to reduce my debt more and increase my savings. I’m happy with the small progress I have made, though. Inch by inch and whatnot.

What promises (to yourself or others) did you break in 2012? The promise I broke to myself was to pursue my life with passion, taking it head-on. There was a big lull in my life as I allowed false notions of fear and insecurity seriously outweigh what I knew to be right. I also didn’t follow up with people the way I wanted to. I owe a lot of thank you cards. A lot.

What arguments/gossip/hurtful comments, if any, did you participate in or make this year that you wish you could take back and/or apologize for? Ahhh, there was a situation at the day job that was fueled by everyone, including myself, though one person was at the center. If I would have just breathed deeply and held a space for the person while living in integrity at work, much of the several months of feeling heavy and hopeless would not have felt that way. This played a big role in my feeling stagnant for a lot of the year.

What opportunities, if any, did you miss out on in 2012 because of fear or procrastination? I missed out on opportunities to speak and/or screen The Black Girl Project because I allowed them to roll right by.

What did you do in 2012, if anything, that was out of alignment with your values? Any time I made a decision based on fear and anxiety and not out of love; and there were a lot of those instances. Any time I didn’t look to serve and went into something thinking what I could get out of it. There were several months of this, but thank all that is holy that I was able to buckle down and pull myself out towards the end of the year.

What do you deserve more of next year? What do you deserve less of next year? In 2013, I deserve more love, openness, more acceptance. I deserve less closedoffedness. No, it’s not a real word, but you get it.

What personal milestone(s) do you most want to reach this year in your relationships, health, family, finances, education and/or lifestyle? A sustained and growing personal yoga practice, acceptance into a doctoral program, less debt and more savings, a finished literary manuscript, a short film completed.

What do you want to learn in 2013? How to harness positive energy so that it can be sustained over time.

What do you want to cross off of your bucket list in 2013? I have yet to devise a bucket list, but the one thing I’d like to accomplish is full self-employment.

What part of your life do you want to pay more attention to in 2013? My parenting and being a better/stronger homeschooler and my strengthening my spiritual practices–making them consistent.

Who do you want to spend more time with in 2013? Who do you want to spend less time with in 2013? I want to spend more time with people who are whole, particularly Black-identified women who are self-actualized or on that path. I want to spend less time (no time) with people masquerading as whole people.

Which activities, habits or behaviors, if any, do you want to stop doing in 2013 because they are no longer in alignment with your values? I want to stop procrastinating, stop devaluing my abilities and worthiness and stop making fear-based decisions.

What does your ideal day look like in 2013? Early morning: yoga, spiritual practice, writing, reading. Morning: homeschool. Afternoon: writing, research, teaching, meeting. Evening: Family time, winding down. Or something like that.

So that’s it. I’m looking forward to 2013. It feels like the beginning of some amazing adventures. I’m continuing with this process by working on this 2013 New  Year Guide. I’m a firm believer, from experience, that I can create the life I desire and it begins with belief, faith and flows into action. I hope your 2013 is all that you want it to be.