A Letter to 2021

2021,

With COVID taking over the media for the umpteenth time this year, I’m just going to skip the discussion of two new variants being introduced. I’m not disregarding them; I’m simply deciding to not dwell on them.

My word for the year was “friendship,” meaning the biggest thing I really wanted to hone in on was friendship, what it means to me, and who is genuinely my friend. Recent re-enlightenment regarding my buried trust issues has created some struggles with the last bit, but I’m working on it and my brain full of unnecessary pestering doubts.

Nevertheless, I have figured out my personal definition of friendship. In a legally binding way, I learned what a fake friend looks like (patiently waiting for my first lease to be up in April). There was a major differentiation between real friends and acquaintances, especially after graduating from college.

One of the hardest lessons I witnessed is people coming into and leaving your life for a reason. As someone with fearful/avoidant attachment anxiety, the leaving part is what I struggle with the most, especially in recent, newer friendships. The term “friend” holds an immense amount of meaning to me; it’s a title I hate throwing around like it means nothing. As someone with familial issues, the term “friend” means everything to me because my friends become my family.

This year, I found my people, my second family. The closest one to me is a 30-minute drive while the rest require long car rides or hours in a plane away. Still, they are immediate. One call, Snapchat, text, DM away.

The love I have for my friends went to a different level for me in 2021, and I could not be more grateful for my tribe.

While focusing on this specific type of relationship, other things were accomplished during the hard days of our continued pandemic. Yes, graduating cum laude from college was pretty sweet. Safely traveling to different states and making great memories was extraordinary. Somehow managing to keep up with rent despite job hopping and eating out a lot to explore new foods has been pretty nice.

Yes, all of that is beautiful, but my greatest accomplishment was finally deciding to go to therapy. It was the first time I put myself first; I’m finally taking initiative to stop hating myself and conquer attacks that leave me hyperventilating on the bathroom floor.

Twenty twenty-one, I lost a lot. I learned a lot. I forgave a lot. I healed a lot. I grew A LOT. January 2021 Jamilah would be so proud of how far she’s come, especially while battling the spread of a virus, several health issues, and an uptick in racism.

Thank you for another year of growth and helping me become more like an adult.

With all my love,

Jamilah

about the author

Jamilah is a college graduate in her early twenties who has no idea what she's doing with her life. All she knows is that she wants to live and learn and love herself.

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