Last December, I decided to post a list on my social media accounts of a few things I was proud of accomplishing in 2019. I’ve gone back and forth about making a similar list this year because I don’t want to negate how grueling 2020 has been; however, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I feel like it’s even more important to make a list this year as a reminder that, just like previous years, 2020 has not been one-dimensional. In the midst of the bad of this year, good has existed. In the midst of despair, hope has existed. In the midst of chaos, wholeness has existed.
While the good has not always or even often outweighed the bad, it has persisted. Sharing some of the things I’m proud of this year is one way of acknowledging that I have persisted too and that I have what it takes to keep persisting, even when everything around me seems bleak. By publishing this list, I also hope I can inspire you to celebrate the ways you have persisted this year.
So here are seven things I’m proud of from this year:
I got certified as a GLSEN Professional Development Facilitator!
This certification gave me credentials to fulfill my goal of training other educators to create affirming schools for LGBTQ+ students and families. The training for it also connected me to a community of educators who nourished my spirit in all the ways I needed to level up as an educator.
I started a YouTube Channel!
One of the new skills I learned during the pandemic thanks to school was making animated educational videos. I enjoyed the process so much I decided to share my videos publicly and am looking forward to publishing more in 2021!
I graduated with my master’s degree!
Graduating during a pandemic after three harrowing years of school made this a bittersweet accomplishment. Still, when I remind myself of everything I faced to get this degree, I feel proud to be able to say I conquered grad school.
I became a certified school counselor!
This accomplishment was also bittersweet because certification did not immediately lead to a school counselor job like I’d hoped. But, these credentials have opened the door for me to get the additional experience I need to land a counselor job someday, so, all in-all, still a huge win for me.
I was a featured guest on a podcast!
It was extra special fulfilling my dream of being on a podcast through Confessions of the Queer Believer because it brought me back to my roots. Before I was an educator/advocate, I was a girl who just wanted more things tailored for Black LGBTQ+ Christians and now I’m part of a resource like that.
I published a resource guide!
While Finding the B in LGBTQ+ History isn’t the first resource guide I’ve made, it’s the first I’ve shared widely and sold. I’m still a little shocked that people have paid me to own a copy, but I’m also inspired by its success and excited to create even better resources in the future!
Without a doubt, the most significant thing I’ve done in 2020 is survive. Although much of that has been out of my control, I’m proud of myself for all the ways I have chosen survival in the midst of people and institutions who never meant for someone like me to survive.
If all you’ve done this year is survive, know I’m proud of you, too. This year has been devastatingly hard for so many of us and has made even more apparent how much the systems in this country are set up to ensure the survival of only a privileged few. But even with the systems against us, even with our disappointments and grief and heartache, we survived anyway. As far I’m concerned, that seemingly small act of resistance is worth celebrating more than anything else in 2020!