An exceptional year has passed, to say the least, and good riddance, 2020! The hardest part of saying goodbye to a seriously f***ed up year is recognizing what good occurred from the chaos. From a pandemic to #BlackLivesMatter, and then the U.S. election to a lonely holiday season, what greases the wheel to move forward is accepting what happened, warts and all. Mindfulness meditation, in fact, teaches acceptance, no matter how difficult the facts may be. And while we’re not in the clear yet, a new year symbolically represents a fresh start. To wrap up 2020, here are a few of my most pivotal wellness moments (or lack thereof).
I published my first Wellness-ish-ness post on Jan 6, 2020, to advertise the debut event of Fight For Our Lives. Since then, the blog has gone through several makeovers as I deepened my knowledge in user experience, content strategy, and best blogging practices. While there is still work to do in order to reach my long-term vision of Wellness-ish-ness, this little website has been an anchor for me and my creative wellness the past year.
I had a hard deadline to finish my second draft of my memoir just as the pandemic began. I convinced myself to stick to my plan although the world had turned upside down. By May 2020, I met my (extended) deadline (and found myself overworked and overwhelmed). While it’s still a shitty draft, I’m proud to have reached this milestone. And as of Jan 2021, I begin my third draft. Read a sample chapter of my memoir, published by The Seventh Wave.
In late 2019, the news cycle was awful. Immigrant children were separated from their parents (and still are). Police violence against BIPOC communities intensified. And legislation against LGBTQI people wasn’t stopping. Wanting to turn our grievances into action, Seattle writer Ruth Joffre and I formed Fight For Our Lives as a way to advocate for these communities. Since its debut in January 2020, we’ve hosted 5 readings, 1 community conversation, and 1 video series, all in service of communities targeted by divisive politics. Check out our events.
Rare opportunities were awarded to me in 2020, both surprises because, well, I’m used to rejection! Ah, the life of a writer. Read the press releases for the 2020 CityArtist award and the NDN Collective’s Radical Imagination grant.
Stay-at-home orders = reduced risk of infection = easy access to the refrigerator. Stress eat much?
I’m especially excited to have debuted We the Indigenous on Indigenous People’s Day in Sept 2020. There's so much indigenous talent out there who need a virtual audience. The best news is I’m proud to extend this series along the west coast in 2021. Learn more on my author website.
Because I’m such a nosey person, I’m always curious about how other artists stay creatively healthy. My original goal was to launch a podcast but then the pandemic hit. But I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to interview other artists, especially when creative wellness was needed the most. And so, 60 Second Interviews | 6 Feet Apart launched in late 2020. Special thanks to writer Juan Carlos Reyes for being my first interview. Watch the interview here.
I have no right to complain. I'm still here and I'm grateful.
I'm here. - D.A.
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