Earlier this week, I began flipping through pictures form this year. Pictures of friends, family, places, and experiences. And it made me realize, what an incredible year 2014 has been. I say incredible to try and capture the true magnitude of everything that happened. This year was one of the most difficult years I’ve endured in a while. I was hurt, I was ecstatic. I was let down, and I was encouraged. I was productive, and I was lazy (resting really), and I did so much this year it’s hard to believe it’s already over.
And so, to recap what happened on SWC Chronicles, with some entries about what was happening out in the world as well… I give you the rollercoaster ride that was the year…
The snow was everywhere, snow snow snow. I remember being cold constantly, but excited at the same time. That type of excitement where you know you’ve seen too many Gilmore Girls episodes, but at the same time are hopeful that anything can happen, because this beautiful magical class-canceling substance called snow is here.
February’s have always been this weird bittersweet busy type of season. Especially since going to college. This year in particular, it was especially busy because of the million things all the organizations I’m involved in happened to be throwing on at the same time on the same week (it felt like it at times). Additionally I remember it snowing on Valentines Day as well… I knew exactly who I wanted to be valentine, however that person of course, in true SWC fashion, had no idea my thoughts ( or maybe he did, and i’m the oblivious one). It was February when I found out I’d made Homecoming court as well, and all the festivities were going on.
In Feb 2014 on SWC Chronicles: https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/02/17/let-me-tell-you-about-my-best-friend/
Another hectic month. There was Homecoming (March 2). Big South Tournament in a dreary Myrtle Beach, but our Bulldogs played their hearts out. She’s the First *UNC Asheville* put on our first 5K & Carnival. Was able to go to my 3rd SROW conference.
And on SWC Chronicles I admitted defeat, failing my Thankfulness Challenge:https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/thankful-challenge-easier-said-than-done/
A month of academic and personal triumphs. This month was huge on a number of fronts. I presented my research on the State of Black Asheville for the very first time, began expressing the internal struggle I was having with expressing myself as a multi-racial woman-woman of color. I also semi-poured my heart out this month (semi, in fear of rejection) and for the first time in a while unrequited was not the outcome.
On SWC Chronicles, the identity project had begun:
A month of saying goodbye, seeing you later, moving up, and realizing that change truly truly is inevitable. May was an emotional month. For the first time since starting college, I was ecstatic to be going home. I wanted to be as far away from the school setting as possible, and I had two weeks to refresh before going right back to work. Literally. Little did I know though at the time, May wasn’t just the time of goodbyes, but it was the beginning of new phases in friendships. And the friendships that solidified in the whirlwind of Spring 2014, are one for the books.
On SWC Chronicles, the identity project was still in full swing: https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/identity-project-part-1b-let-the-braiding-begin/
The month of Orientation! Freshman, Transfers, and office life galore. June was an interesting month. Just when I though my matters of the heart were calmed and settled, what would end up being another lesson, and evidence of how I already felt in the first place came rolling on through. My favorite part of June however, was the bonds made with two women who I came to love and admire, and laughed about 80% of the summer away with.
On SWC Chronicles, the Identity Project was came to a close: https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/identity-project-conclusion/
A month of goodbyes, and see you laters. I truly learned how much I hate saying goodbye this month. It was moment in time where I was beginning to realize that it was a summer of lasts, more than I was already putting on that it was… It occurred to me that i’d never be in the particular position I was in last summer, ever again. Not in a doom and gloom end of the world kind of the way, but in a this is the ending of an era, and end of a phase kind of way. July I learned more about being alone and being lonely, more importantly I learned the difference. I struggled with the push back of pouring my heart out in the first place, and of how I was going to have the ultimate senior experience.
In the World, this happened in July: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/20/justice/ny-chokehold-death/ #ICANTBREATHE
On SWC Chronicles I embraced caring too much as a strength rather than a weakness: http://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/why-it-happens-caring-too-much-inspired-by-hannah-b/
Words can’t express how happy I am to be a senior. And the beginning of the year was no different. It was like a new weight was lifted off my chest and a new weight (much much heavier) was placed on it in return. The weight of the future (okay i’m done being melodramatic). August was filled with travel, and family, and work, and preparation. The clock was ticking and I was closing in on deciding what path I was going to pursue this year, and little by little it started falling into place.
And so you don’t forget, on August 9th, this happened
On SWC Chronicles I summarized the feeling of leaving my (hopefully not) last STF leadership summit as a campus chapter president : https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/this-is-why-we-fight-post-shes-the-first-summit-2014/
The thing about being super involved is that it never truly stops, but even more true is the fact that once it starts, the ball doesn’t stop rolling. September was an interesting month… I remember feeling stressed, much quicker and sooner than in the years before. I remember feeling sad, feeling hurt, and feeling anxious. The anxiety began settling in, and there was no doubt in my mind that it was full speed ahead, but the problem there is no real way to be sure of what, and that truly began to freak me out this month.
On SWC Chronicles, I’d begun my series Heartaches & Heartbreaks : https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/heartaches-heartbreaks-2-learning-the-difference-between-alone-lonely/
This October was the best birthday month a girl could have asked for. Although anxiety from September had been hanging over me like a dark cloud, I used the frustration I felt productively, and decided to make a few changes, both internal and externally.
Turning 21 felt great. Not just because I could now legally drink in every continent, not just Europe and South America, but because I felt like I’d been hitting the same social walls, same barriers over and over, and my birthday was the first weekend in a long time that I felt like I’d broken through the barrier for the first time since coming to college. A few more things began falling into place, even matters of the heart seemed to improve for a minute (shortlived, but it’s all good) and although Senior year, fall semester 2014 was not playing around at all work or school-wise, this month felt like a breakthrough period. Growing older felt right for a change (*commence all those who are much older than me to chuckle and think “Oh she has no idea”-I know… I’m getting there*).
On SWC Chronicles, I celebrated my birthday of course! : https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/another-year-another-dozen-reasons-to-be-grateful/
As the good times rolled, so did the funk, again. November was a true test of my strength and self esteem. In the past 8 months, I’ve gained weight. Simple as that, and I’ve struggled with loving my body and appreciating my curves now that I’m not in such a strict environment (majoring in ballet and performing multiple times a year in tight leotards and tutus), I’ve had moments where all I want to do is enjoy life, and by life I do mean food included. And yet, I’ve also been faced with the reality that I can’t eat whatever I want, health matters, and the issue of my weight should not be based upon a concern of an image, but one of my well-being. And I will probably ALWAYS struggle with that one.
In addition to low times, good times kept flowing in. I was very honored to be one of the 2014 North Carolina Campus Community Compact Award winners. Being recognized for doing things you love to do and would do without the promise of anything is one of the best and most conflicting feelings I’ve ever felt, but it could not have come at a better time, and I am still extremely honored to represent by school and the communities I’ve served.
Calvin Allen at Asheville, NC protest. Photo Cred: Citizen Times
In the world, this happened on November 25th, the fires were stoked once again with this decision.
On SWC Chronicles, I tried to look away from the present for a moment by looking towards the future : https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/when-disappointed-in-the-present-look-to-the-future/
And so here we are. The last day, last hours really of the year as I’m typing this… and December as been a blur. A blur of tears, over the injustices that plague the society and country I was born and raised in. Tears spilt over the fear and sickening feeling that one day if I have a baby boy, that boy will grow up a young man of color and I will have to give him the “existing while Black talk”. Tears over the men in my life that i worry about. Tears over the pain I see in the mothers of the young boys who have lost their lives recently, and who have sons of color who are alive today but who they are terrified for. Tears were spilt because of a truly draining frustration being in both a supportive but at times culturally incompetent where all you can do is shake your head at some of your classmates, and wish some of the adults would try and understand your pain.
In the World, this happened: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/03/eric-garner-grand-jury-declines-indict-nypd-chokehold-death
December has also been a celebration. It has been a stepping stone. It has been a growing period. My best friend, one of the first people I met in college, graduated along with several other amazing people who have made this whole journey bright and colorful and worthwhile. I’ve filled out graduate school applications, typed essays, filled out job and fellowship applications… and today I even took the GRE. It has also been a time for me to self-reflect, and get closer with family. As the time for major change approaches… I want to make sure the people that created me and raised me and made me into the woman I am today, know I love them and I eternally grateful for everything they’ve done.
On SWC Chronicles, I gave a little piece of my mind on breaking down privilege before talking about police brutality: https://swcchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/checking-your-privilege-conversing-about-police-brutality/
And so SWC Chronicle readers, it has been a truly truly wonderful year. And I want to thank each and every one of you, no matter at what point you hopped on or subscribed, for reading my blog. It truly has been quite a journey, and without your support/comments/suggestions/words of encouragement after a lot of these posts, who knows if this blog would still be here. It started off as a way to seek catharsis and now has developed into something I truly love to do. So thank you! I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your New Year’s Eve. Be safe. Cheers to you, and as always…