I decided to use NOSTALGIC as my 2020 word of the year and it’s been quite eerie to see how this very particular concept unfolded itself as we muddled through the global pandemic. All year long, mental health experts have suggested that society is utilizing nostalgia as a coping mechanism while individuals are forced to persevere and find their sense of resilience amidst COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus.
I chose nostalgia as a guide as I searched for a connection between my own meaning and purpose, by looking back at my highest level of vibrations and happiness throughout my life. Essentially, I wanted to ruminate on my life experiences while affirming my spirituality.
I felt that this was an essential next step given my 2019 word of the year, FEARLESS, where in quarter four (November 2019), I uncovered an unnerving connection between the way my previous sexual and suicide-related trauma remained looming in my mind all year long, and the way in which I needed to face the fears I had come to know based on those past experiences.
Through nostalgia, I’ve discovered my path of stepping into my power and embracing my magic, something that I’ve shied away from. Which brings me to this quote that resonated with me from the book, I Am My Brand: How to Build Your Brand Without Apology, by Kubi Springer, a Black UK based Brand Specialist and International Speaker: “You’re usually born with the gifts that give you the greatest passion and success in life.”
As I reflect on the things I learned and concluded from this year based on nostalgia, I’ve come to understand the ways in which I’ve learned to become afraid of success and the unique gifts I was born into. I denied myself the things I deserved for so long.
So, here are some illuminating things that happened for me in 2020 that helped me take nostalgia to another level:
THE ART OF SEDUCTION BY ROBERT GREENE
As I’m wrapping up this book, I’m astonished that it took me so long to start it! Robert Greene is famously known for his first book, The 48 Laws of Power, which I read in college. It is one of my favorite books ever and still to this day, I regard it as a personal bible. The Art of Seduction is an extension of that book and reaffirms the stepping into my core, which has a strong link between spirituality, sensuality and an undying fascination with the human mind. For those of you who are keen into astrology, horoscopes and human behavior, I’m highly recommending The Art of Seduction for further insight on different seduction archetypes.
Connection to nostalgia: 48 Laws of Power book that I read in college
AFFIRMING MY PERSONAL BRAND
In 2020, you all challenged my way of thinking. I had all these goals set out for myself and they were tough to address. Ultimately, what I said what I wanted in my goals weren’t being met with or matched by what I was actually doing or saying in real life. And I couldn’t see it for the longest time.
Thanks to many, many support sessions with my crew (I’m calling my support system my crew instead of tribe from now on!) this year, I finally made that breakthrough in quarter four (October 2020). As a result, we did a new logo reveal, conducted a brand audit and developed much needed marketing collateral to drive success in the new year and beyond.
There are countless individuals in my crew who’ve supported me this year however I’d like to thank the following individuals for heavily investing in me in 2020:
- Supal and Joy: for convening through our MASTERMIND sessions. This is where I settled on my personal brand tagline: Curls, Confidence and Career.
- Yessica: this woman singlehandedly helped me build the initial strategic plan for API Curls back in January – March 2020. Things like the Commit To Your Curls Club are all due to our professional development sessions.
- Frances: it’s been a beautiful opportunity to coach and mentor Frances in a way that I’ve always wanted to. Conversations with Frances have led me to affirm my reasonings for creating content, piloting program models for new consultation services and strategizing specific business relationships.
Connection to nostalgia: revisiting the beginning of my curly journey to remember why I started
MY LIFEWORK WITH API CURLS
I have concluded over and over again that my mission with API Curls is my life calling. We launched the website in August and recently unveiled our interviewing series called HEADLINER: Where Curls Take The Mane Stage.
Join our newsletter to stay up to date with everything we’re doing to create a platform specifically designed with Asians and Pacific Islanders with naturally curly hair.
Connection to nostalgia: reviewing the many impactful responses of standing up for what I believed in, which is that more women, especially API women should be empowered to embrace their natural hair textures
INVESTING IN AN OFFICE SPACE
I specifically remember in February asking Supal for advice on whether or not I should be paying more for my office membership. What she advised was golden. “If it helps with your productivity, it’s worth the investment,” said Supal. She was 100% right. As soon as I signed over the lease for an office space, it instantaneously became my second home and has exponentially supported the ways in which I’ve pivoted my service offerings or provided support to clients in this time of need.
Along with my office membership at Industrious, I’m able to travel to multiple locations with a guaranteed space to work out of. Even through the Coronavirus concerns, I’ve felt safe to work out of their different locations in Los Angeles.
Connection to nostalgia: reviewing the ways in which my career and professional life has evolved
At the end of quarter three, September 2020, not long after we launched the API Curls website, I crashed. My mental and emotional state was unhealthy and concerning. I was giving in to toxic habits and was consistently overwhelmed. On top of it all, all this stress exacerbated my worst PMS symptoms and put me in a highly depressive state.
I don’t ever want to or like to experience burnout, but truthfully this needed to happen. The universe gave me a tool to slow me down. When I burned out, lost inspiration and focus, slowing down forced me to find it and reassess my intention and priorities. Since September, I’ve maintained laying low and did my best to take off pressure to perform at a high level. What this really means is a lot of things I had planned for in quarter four of the year has essentially been on hold or delayed until further notice.
This is still something I’m working on addressing as my PMS symptoms again exacerbated into a depressive state in early December, which is highly concerning for me.
Connection to nostalgia: remembering and reminding myself to be more self-compassionate to nourish my life purpose and life work
CONNECTING WITH TRISHA, FOUNDER OF QUEENLY
One of my favorite moments of nostalgia was when I had the opportunity to connect with Trisha, Founder of Queenly, a marketplace for formal dresses that empowers women and young girls feel to find a dream special occasion dress. She founded this company after years of experience in the pageant industry where she learned how unaffordable dresses can be. This platform was created out of Trisha’s passion for providing greater access and resources for women.
My conversation with Trisha reminded me of my childhood growing up. I was extremely fortunate that my sister, Kwin, helped pay for both of my prom dresses. Outside of her desire to give me a teenage girl’s dream, my family wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford such an expense.
Connection to nostalgia: remembering where I came from, which helped fuel my resilience of tackling the crazy year of 2020
As for all of my 2020 goals, let’s say that I was able to accomplish about half of them despite dealing with the added stress of the pandemic. The rest will be reevaluated for 2021 and beyond. My friendly reminder to you is that you still have time and to take it day by day.
What about you, did you get to tackle any of your original 2020 goals this year? What has this year been like for you?
*Photos were taken at Coffee and Plants, a local coffee shop in Pasadena, CA.