We’re now in day 150-something of the shutdown and the onset of the pandemic. Since March we’ve all been working hard and hardly playing. It certainly has taken its toll. Those of us who were used to working from home are now questioning our relationship to work and home. For a while I was super motivated and felt like all was well for me. Then it set in that we likely wouldn’t be emerging from these enforced cocoons for quite sometime. I found working endlessly started to become draining. I knew I needed something to help me get by as this situation continued. Thankfully I’ve had a continual cohort to support me, my very good friends from college. We speak daily via text, aim to chat weekly on Facetime, and exchange posts throughout the day on Instagram. This has kept me motivated during this sad time. Combined with that there has been one phrase that has helped me cope with the pandemic. Keep reading to find out!
“Global pandemic,” that isn’t something I can say I ever thought I would be dealing with. I’m sure I speak for us all when I say 2020 hasn’t gone exactly as expected. However rather than falling into the ease of being distraught over the outcome, I decided early on to handle it differently. As 2020 begun I was set on it being my year and truthfully that hasn’t changed. I know that life and death are in power of my words. I can speak to declare what I want in my life. 2020, regardless of the level of crazy being on code red — is still mine. In order to feel that and believe it no matter what I see I’ve been saying one thing continuously.
I will prosper in the pandemic.
Point, blank, and the period, boo. As plans were cancelled on my calendar and all my travel dried up, I admittedly got sad. I was so upset that many of the things I had been looking forward to this year wouldn’t be happening. Once I got over my initial disappointment though I begun to think of this situation in another light. I thought to myself, “what are all the things I wouldn’t be doing if I was busy?” Normally my planner is chock to the brim with events and places to show up to. As country after country shutdown due to the pandemic it became increasingly clear that COVID wasn’t going to be the drop in the bucket that I had hoped. So I hunkered down. I got busy working because I decided I could either languish in the despair or I could use the time I make moves.
I’ve discussed here with you all before how I live by a life manifesto. The thing about having a life manifesto is that it still stands even if life takes an unexpected turn. Knowing what I want to achieve in my life allowed me to not be moved by the calamity that is surrounding us. With unemployment at an alarming rate, people facing eviction, and companies failing left and right; it is easy to think everything is falling apart. What I recognized during this time is that moments like this are when power moves are made. You can decide to be among the folks who worry or be those who plan. Inevitably the tide must turn, things will resume balance, and I want to make sure I am ahead.
Think About What Is Going Right
While we were already spiraling from this unknown illness another familiar sickness reared its ugly head. Racism has long been the thread that weaves this tumultuous nation together and 2020 saw to it that is started to fray. It coming apart has driven people into the light from behind their comfort zones. Forcing them to reconcile with their own racial bias and face the ways in which they’ve been complicit in keeping Black people underfoot. To be honest with you, I love it. I’m glad that 2020 made itself a martyr. Willing to lay on the line as the worst year in a generation to enact some real change.
Rather than being upset about this, I’m ecstatic. Overjoyed that we are finally having conversations that so many have disengaged from or completely ignored. Watching major brands and companies flounder because their racist behavior isn’t being protected anymore is good. It’s good that they can no longer hide behind the cloak of fake support and pandering language to continue to benefit from Black bodies and wealth. For me? That’s brought more prosperity in the pandemic. As a Black creative I work hard to partner and connect with brands that see me as valuable. Knowing now which companies those are is comforting. More so than having to guess or wonder now they can cope with their mistakes. Meaning that Black creatives who are otherwise ignored are being seen. Pandemic or not, we’re here and deserve to be respected, paid, and valued.
Your Thoughts Determine Your Outcome
Prospering in the pandemic doesn’t only have to be related to money. While obviously making a living and hopefully having abundance is something we all desire, prosperity is more than that. Prosperity is about living better and feeling better than you have been. This pandemic has forced us all to take stock of what is important in our lives. Having to come to terms with what we’ve found important and meaningful in our lives. For me, eating out had become a hobby and brought me so much joy. The experience of sitting in an ambient environment with delicious food was a luxury I lived for.
That part of my joy has changed. And I’m also heartbroken for all the chefs, staff, and restauranteurs who have suffered. But I’m coping by relishing in all the new forms of creativity that many of us have never tapped into. Suddenly there are chefs, DJs, photographers a plenty. Rather than viewing 2020 through the lens of loss, I’m choosing to see it as the year that we gained insight into what was no longer working. The world as it turned was not serving us in the way we needed it to any longer. So while I miss dining out, now the multitudes of service people, cooks, and more will hopefully get the respect they deserve when this is all said and done. Earth is dying and eroding more rapidly then we admit and yet in eight months it has begun to heal. Imagine what can happen to us if we lean into the pause and heal too.
Learning Something New Is Prospering Too
As I noted above prosperity doesn’t only have to be related to financial gain. Prospering can come in the form of expanding your mind as well. Throughout this pandemic I’ve decided to take the limitations off of myself because I was faced with the mortality of the world. That’s the whole truth of it really. Seeing how fast things began to crumble with one small illness I realized that I can decide to push envelope now, or I can wait for opportunity. Jokingly I have said to my friends, “I do what I want.” There is some truth to the statement but the hyperbole was much greater. Now though I am not going to allow anything; not money, not lack of notoriety, and certainly not fear, keep me from prosperity.
Recently I decided that I want my career to move forward, so I set about to hire a team to help me thrust that forward. Before I had the fear I wasn’t at the place in my life that I needed that. Honestly I felt I wasn’t successful enough to require it. That’s fear. Fear that I’m not worth it, that I haven’t worked hard enough, or I haven’t experienced success. What a lie from the side of my brain that keeps me questioning myself. In the mere three weeks since I’ve hired my manager I’ve completed a comedy spec, dusted off my pilot script, and felt motivated to write again. She challenged me and instead of cowering, I rose. Conquering the imposter syndrome daily is prosperity for me and I want it for you too.
As we move toward the close soon of this wild ride of a year, don’t lose sight. Also don’t lose hope. Things will not stay this way forever, they simply can’t. Eventually the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction and I want you to be ready. Use this last five months to change the tide of what’s been happening in your life. If the pandemic has thrown you out of whack, I understand but don’t let it continue to. Rise up against those feelings of sadness, the bear of worry, and tap into the idea that you can and will prosper in the pandemic, no matter what. Coping with something so negative by thinking on the positive is powerful.
I do what I want and that means I will win and prosper regardless of what the world is doing. Are you with me?