Black Lives Still Matter
Well, that was a clusterfuck of a year!
Honestly, I’m not sure that 2021 will be a whole lot better, but I really hope it is. I feel like 2021 is like the year you realise you’re in a bad relationship, but you still have to plan your getaway.
It’s hard to get excited for what’s ahead when you have no idea whether it will pan out. So, I guess all you can do is go with the flow.
I thought that’s what I was doing in 2020, but looking back, I don’t think I went with the flow at all. Instead, I stopped going with the flow and looked around at what was happening and decided to move in a different direction.
This was a very internal process for me.
I don’t usually say things like ‘internal process’ because I hadn’t stopped to check in on myself in a really long time.
2020 was a lot of shit things, but like most times that things are at a very low point, as long as you make it out, there’s generally a reason you needed things to be bad.
A very big moment that stands out for me this year is the Black Lives Matter movement.
I realised that although I consider myself a non-racist, we all collectively learnt that that wasn’t enough. Because there are systems in place in our society that benefit those of us privileged enough to have been born in a white meat suit.
The BLM movement allowed me to reflect on my behaviour and how I’ve been contributing to a system that I truly believed I wasn’t a part of. I looked in the damn mirror, and I have done some pretty horrible things that I’m not proud of.
For example, during my high school days I was working at McDonald’s, and I had a wonderful friend from Fiji called Luise. She is to this day still one of the most incredible humans I’ve crossed on my path during my lifetime, (and I hope for sure we cross again), but she has been in my thoughts a lot this year.
Back then, we all called her, ‘Black Luise.’
No one asked her if it was ok to call her that. She would play it off so cool because she’s an incredibly strong, confident, smart, amazing woman that wouldn’t want to hurt her friends’ feelings, but we, as her white friends, should’ve been better.
Lui, if you’re reading this, I apologise for that. Teenage me wearing my amnesty international badges to work should’ve realised what a fucking hypocrite I was being. I love you, and I love that for a time in our lives I was considered one of your good friends.
Later on, my work life upgraded from Maccas to retail, and I was a real bitch to certain demographics of people. I would play off my attitude and remarks not as racist or elitist, but as stereotyping. (Because that’s lots better – Gah!). And there are plenty of other examples of the little things I did as part of this systematic racist society we live in. And I would justify all this shitty behaviour because I had gone to Africa and Cambodia and volunteered in communities there so I’m definitely not racist and see how much I love everybody?!
And this was the gift I got from 2020.
The ability to see through my own bullshit. The ability to sit with all the horrible things that were happening and let them be processed, and learn from them, and change them.
I was not embarrassed to say it. Just like in this blog, I’ve allowed myself to air my dirty laundry as a learning experience. I was called out for a comment I made on Instagram and as much as my intent behind the comment was not ill-willed, it didn’t matter. It was the wrong thing to say and I won’t say it again. I learnt so many things this year and I want to keep learning.
To keep getting better at being a human who practices yoga. Real yoga from the core of their being. The yoga that has fuck all to do with standing on your head.
2020 was a yucky relationship, and in 2021 we’re going to make tracks to get out. But just like all yucky moments in life, I learnt something about myself and about others. I have a clearer vision of who I am and what I want to share (yes, I’ve added a 2020 vision pun).
I also learnt how to snow ski and do eka pada koundinyasana.
I hope you can also reflect back on this year and find your lotus growing out of the muck.
Here’s to 2021! May we put our health, the health of others, and the health of our planet at the forefront of our minds.
And Black Lives Still Matter.