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Onward & Upward from 2023


2023 was quite the year for us all, but it was especially transformative for me. Like everyone else, I faced my share of challenges, but the mixture of good and bad made me better than ever before. And for that, I'm forever grateful.


On January 1st, I could have never guessed how much I would accomplish over these last 12 months. I started this year unsure of just about everything: the direction of my career, what was coming next, my love life, my financial situation, my future, my plans, and more. I’ve written previously about how my job was eliminated at the end of 2022, and while I started out glad about it, the weight of feeling eliminated did eventually catch up with me. Just as joy comes in the morning after weeping through the night, after grief came a blessing. It turns out that those 3 months off were so needed. I hadn’t realized how much I needed time and room to just…Be.  For the first time in my life, I finally had time to really sit with myself and think about what I wanted. What do I want my life to look like going forward? What do I want to do? Who do I want to be?


In my lowest moments, creativity saved me. Therapy made me feel reassured. Friendship gave me support. I was honest on the days that I felt rough, and learned to honor the gloomy days just as much as I did the sunny ones. I vlogged to get myself out of bed and outdoors. I completed my third year of my Black History Month series on Instagram. I secured a new job in my desired field (Marketing). I didn’t miss a bill or a meal. I was a speaker at a women’s event where I shared one chapter in my story of resilience. I saw San Francisco with my best friend in the world. I touched the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, and took some of it home in my boots. I explored and found a deeper appreciation for New York with the people that I love most.


I experienced working in a nonprofit. I did work that mattered to me and that was impactful; forming new friendships that transcended the workplace along the way. I made beautiful, Black boys and girls feel seen and shared their stories with dignity. I stood up for myself and others, even when it was hard. I challenged people in positions of power to do better. I made a third career move that was totally unexpected, and that has me learning like never before. I joined a gospel group. We recorded an album and sang for Dr. Bobby Jones.


I said, “Yes” to opportunities that only God could have orchestrated to come my way, even when they scared me and when my first instinct was to find all the reasons to say, “No.” I finally tried acting and learned how much work goes into getting a production to the stage. I cut off dead weight that consumed more of my energy than it ever cared to refill. My friendships got stronger. I learned to let people be there for me, and they showed up in small ways that had unimaginable impact. I made apologies and accepted faults in the name of sisterhood. I got closer to my brothers. I deepened my love for ME. I learned that the power of life, death, success, and failure, truly does lie on the tip of our own tongue. And lastly—because this post has way more “I” statements than I’m normally comfortable with and because He is always going to get the glory from me—I learned to trust God like never before. It is only by His Grace that I made it through.


Despite how the year started, everything that I said I wanted to do came to pass. Was it perfect? Not by any means. I had my share of trials and got tired of the world’s turmoil just like everyone else. But I had lots of reasons to smile, too. Overall, I’m grateful for 2023.  She made me rediscover the fullness of me. She forced me to grow, and quit sweating the small things. And finally, she made me boss the fuck up like never before. My gratitude overflows.


Goodbye, 2023.

2024, you better get ready. I’m coming for you.


Happy New Year, Reader.


Love,

The Kultured Queen

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