2021 in Reflection
Last year was interesting. Here are some takeaways
Professionally, I changed jobs and essentially doubled my income, but that wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t realize my worth. I’ve said it before that I have a passion for supporting teenagers’ mental and emotional health and wellness. My previous position supported that passion, but it also restricted me from the creative exploration I wanted to do with it. I asked them about expanding my role and giving me more room to support my students. Not only did they take my idea and create a new position, but they also blocked me from the role. As soon as I realized I hit my ceiling there, I applied for my current job. It was a 3-month process. It took time and patience, but it landed me in a role and a school that supports my passion. It feels good to be wanted.
This professional growth doesn’t come without the support of my friends, who held me down and cheered me on the entire time. None cheered louder than my wife, who pushed me when I wasn’t supported. Leah has been my backbone and support. We have seen our valleys and peaks, but I feel year 6 was our best year yet. I believe we became stronger this year than any previous year. I feel more connected today than on our wedding day, and we grow stronger each day.
I often grappled with the idea of considering myself a creative. I've always felt that moniker was reserved for people who not only create, but are KILLING it, podcasts, books, digital art, media, etc., and while I still believe that, I cannot doubt myself so much that I close doors on myself. I blog, I stream (currently on a hiatus), I want to create a podcast, and write a book. I am a creative. I can be one of those people that are KILLING it. I just have to believe in what I have and shoot my shot. Writers write, streamers stream, podcasters pod, and creators create. And guess who’s a creator?
Mad Black Dad is a brand name, like Pepsi, it’s a brand name. I need y’all to know that, and I need to act like it. I have a lot to offer, but that self-doubt creeps in from time to time. 2022 is about shedding that weight (more on that later).
Quick shout out to Lauren, who consistently calls me Mad Black Dad in public. When I blow up, you can be my marketing person.
With that said, Mad Black Dad merch & apparel is coming soon!
Lastly, journaling has been a huge help for my mental health. When I journal, I write down everything from my goals (which I check & update twice a month) to random thoughts that pop in my head, to specific feelings I need to unpack. I recommend everyone keep a journal. I highly recommend Black men keep one. We have been indoctrinated to believe being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, this is a low maintenance yet effective way to unlearn that lesson. Journaling helps organize thoughts, strategize, set goals, gain emotional intelligence, and expand vocabulary. Share it with loved ones or keep it to yourself. Write rhymes or in prose. You’re free when you write.
2021 was full of life and lessons. We contracted Covid and quarantined the last two weeks of the year, it was rough, but we made it. Despite the pandemic, it was a decent year. I’m confident that 2022 will be better.