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In 2019, the doors to a long-standing healthcare institution where I had spent the bulk of my 20s working had closed its doors for good. Months prior, my work integrity was compromised when a gossip-vlogger, disguised as an out-of-state relative of a patient, secretly recorded our conversation to gain exclusive content for her YouTube channel. It ended up being one of the most talked about celebrity entanglements of that year and nearly cost me my job.

Oh, and to make matters worse, I was ghosted by someone who had recently told me I was a one-in-a-million type of woman, leaving me totally confused. I had to believe better for 2020 because 2019 had drained me.

I chose to sit down after that year.

Then, the pandemic hit and we were all forced to sit down. Literally.

My mom once told me that in her day, if you were punished by your parents for doing something wrong, your parents told all of your aunties and uncles what you did so you were punished by them, too. After already embarking on my own self-isolated journey, that’s what a government-issued quarantine felt like to me — one big, old-fashioned, communal ass-whooping. By the time March of 2020 rolled around, the walls had begun to close in on me and I had suffered what I believe to be a panic attack.

Like the rest of the world, much of what was happening was totally out of my control. Instead of succumbing to the feeling of helplessness, I chose to focus on those things which I actually had the power to change. Whenever the world would open back up, I refused to be stuck for any reason. Turning 30 years old played a big factor in this as well. 

Number one on the list was my credit. I was able to significantly increase my credit score by opting for a secured credit card, making on-time payments and paying off a collection. Real hot girl s**t.

Shortly after, I decided to work on mobility. While I had my license for many years, fear had kept me from actually driving. So, every week for a month, I took driving lessons — mask fully in tow. Before I knew it, I was purchasing my first vehicle. It’s the independence for me.

Lastly, it took some time, but I finally made peace with the fact that the guy who ghosted me was never coming back and that I deserved way better. Kudos to you, bish!

While it’s too soon to tell what 2021 has in store for us, remember this: focus on what you can control.